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Are the Colorado Avalanche Legitimate Stanley Cup Contenders?

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NHL Hockey

Updated Jan 4, 2023 · 5:31 AM PST

Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov looking on from the bench
Semyon Varlamov and the Avs are off to a .6-1-2 start. Photo by 5 of 7 (Wikipedia) [CC License].
  • The white-hot Colorado Avalanche are moving up fast among the Stanley Cup contenders
  • Sportsbooks’ odds on the Avs winning the Cup have dropped from +3600 to +2200
  • Colorado last won the Stanley Cup in 2000-01

It’s been a long time since the people in the Mile High City could get excited about the Colorado Avalanche.  Between 1995-96 and 2001-02, the Avs won two Stanley Cups and appeared in six conference finals.

But since then it’s been quite the dry spell for the Avs. They’ve missed the playoffs in six of the past eight seasons, and haven’t won a postseason series since 2007-08. Take a look at the “Top 10 Contenders” tab below to see where they are today.

2019 Stanley Cup Average Odds

Avs No Longer Have Nots

To the fans of teams currently dredging the bottom of the NHL standings, the Avs are the living, skating proof that hope springs eternal. As recently as the 2016-17 season, Colorado finished last overall in the NHL with 48 points. 

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Last season, though, they engineered a sensational turnaround and finished with 95 points, earning the second Western Conference wildcard. The Avs have carried that momentum into this campaign. They are off to a 6-1-2 start and recently completed a 3-0-1 road swing. 

Odds to Win the Stanley Cup

Stanley Cup  Odds to Win the Stanley Cup
Toronto Maple Leafs +750
Tampa Bay Lightning +800
Nashville Predators +900
Winnipeg Jets +1000
Boston Bruins +1000
Colorado Avalanche +2200

*Follow the link in the table to see odds for all 31 teams

That has resulted in the Avs’ 2019 Stanley Cup odds going lower and lower. In the preseason, they were +4000 to win the Cup. By the start of play, the odds dropped to +3600 and with Colorado’s bolt from the gate, the Avs are on the cusp of serious contender status at +2200.

MGM Line is Grand

Colorado’s top forward unit of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen is among the most potent in the NHL. MacKinnon is contending for the league lead in goals and points and will be in the Hart Trophy conversation. 

Both MacKinnon and Rantanen opened the season with points in the first eight games, the first time that’s happened in franchise history since both current Avs GM Joe Sakic and Anton Stastny did it in 1988-89, when the Avs were still the Quebec Nordiques.

Should You Take the Avs Seriously?

Colorado suited up 11 rookies last season and nine players made their NHL debuts. Four of their top five scorers and 11 players who suited up for 50 games were under the age of 25, including two teenagers, defenseman Samuel Girard and forward Tyson Jost.

The Avs are well on their way to the top – but they’re not there yet. If you are looking for a Central Division team to back to win the Stanley Cup, the Nashville Predators (+900) or Winnipeg Jets (+1000) are much wiser investments.

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