Welcome back to another edition of Blackhawk Up’s Conference Call Tuesday. In this weekly column, we discuss the past, present and future of one of the Blackhawks’ fellow Western Conference teams, with the people who know them best: their own dedicated fans.
After an overhaul of an offseason in 2013 that saw Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic return to the organization, this time in coaching and management roles, the Colorado Avalanche started their season with what many thought was a bleak outlook, playing in the strong Central Division for the inaugural time.
The Avs won their first game of the season with some classic Roy flair, and went on to win, lots; their first 6 games of the season, and 14 of the first 16. By the start of November, the Avalanche were first in a Central Division that many thought would challenge them for a playoff spot.
The Avs kept up their consistency, thanks to a heroic effort in goal by Semyon Varlamov, 2013 1st overall pick Nathan MacKinnon exploding in his rookie season, and Matt Duchene finding his rhythm en-route to a career-high point total.
Colorado entered the post-season as the first seed in the Central Division, taking a date with the Minnesota Wild, the Conference’s first wild-card holder. The Wild wouldn’t go away through their seven-game series, and in the end, one goal seperated both teams from a trip to the next round, in Game Seven overtime. The Wild scored that goal, ending the Avalanche’s season in spectacular fashion, and earning themselves a date with the Blackhawks.