Even though the past 10 years of Colorado Avalanche hockey haven’t been filled with championships and banner seasons nearly as often as the first 10 years, there has still been some fantastic hockey. We took a look at a few of the greatest moments in the past 10 years of Colorado Avalanche hockey in Part 1 of this series, but there were so many others that we had to bring in a second part. Here is Part 2.
Nathan MacKinnon Breaks a Gretzky Record
Nathan MacKinnon was everything that he was advertised to be during his rookie season, and more. As good as we all knew he was going to be, it’s hard to expect that any player will be able to break a record held by Wayne Gretzky at any point during their career, but MacKinnon wasted no time. This assist broke Gretzky’s record for consecutive games with a point by an 18 year old. MacKinnon’s record was a large reason why he won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year.
Avalanche End Blackhawks’ Historic Streak
The 2013 season, which was shortened by the lockout, was not a good one for the Avalanche. There were really only a couple of positive things that came out of this season: The Avalanche ended up with the first overall pick and got Nathan MacKinnon, and the Avalanche ended Chicago’s unbeaten streak in emphatic fashion. After coming close in Chicago a couple nights previous, the Avalanche routed the Blackhawks, 6-2 at the Pepsi Center, giving the Blackhawks their first regulation loss in of the season.
MacKinnon’s Playoff Magic
No, the Colorado Avalanche didn’t win their playoff series vs. the Minnesota Wild in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but Nathan MacKinnon was amazing in this series. He had 10 points in seven games, including this beautiful goal in game 2. He also added an overtime winner in game 5. His ability to bring his game to another level in the playoffs was something truly astounding to watch, and we can’t wait until he gets that opportunity again.
Matt Duchene Showing Off in Pittsburgh
Matt Duchene has amazing hands and is an elite offensive player. Hard to think that so many people had given up on him at the start of this season. You’re not going to see a lot of guys pull this off.
People weren’t sure what the Colorado Avalanche would look like when the 2013-2014 NHL season got started. Even more, people didn’t know what Patrick Roy was going to be like as a head coach. In a moment that set the tone for the entire season, Patrick Roy got into things with Corey Perry and Bruce Boudreau. As if the shouting match wasn’t enough, Roy actually knocked the glass partition over onto the Ducks players.
Semyon Varlamov’s 54-Save Shutout
The Avalanche have made a habit of doing some dramatic things against the Chicago Blackhawks and, last season, Semyon Varlamov decided it was his turn. The Avalanche scored two quick goals in this game, and then Chicago took over the rest. At the end, Varlamov had faced everything the Blackhawks could possibly throw at him, which included the kitchen sink. Varly stopped 54 shots, setting a franchise record for saves made in a shutout victory.
#WhyNotUs – The 2013 – 2014 Season
There have been a few individual moments from this season included, but this season as a whole is arguably the greatest Avalanche moment of the past 10 years. The team not only made the playoffs, they won the toughest division in hockey with 112 points. Avalanche players were honored with several individual awards, broke records, set personal bests and gave the City of Denver some of the most exciting hockey it has seen in a long time. People look back on this season as a fluke right now, but even if it was it doesn’t matter. The way the team played and the way the city fell back in love with the team gave us something we all have been wanting for years, hope. Hope that this team can get back to the promised land and that the next 10 years will include moments even more special than these.
Did I miss a moment you think should be included? Add it into the comments below.
I’m a Denver native who has been a fan of the Avalanche since they came to town and a fan of the game before that. I started writing my own blog a couple years ago before moving to Bleacher Report and becoming a Featured Columnist there. You can also find me the Burgundy Brigade Podcast