Analysis

NHL Power Rankings: Eastern Conference Taking Control

By Colin Likas
Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate an empty net goal by center Derek Stepan (middle) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate an empty net goal by center Derek Stepan (middle) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 21, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (middle) celebrates with teammates left wing Blake Comeau (left) and defenseman Erik Johnson (right) after scoring the game winning goal in the overtime period at Nationwide Arena. The Avalanche won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (middle) celebrates with teammates left wing Blake Comeau (left) and defenseman Erik Johnson (right) after scoring the game winning goal in the overtime period at Nationwide Arena. The Avalanche won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 23: Colorado Avalanche

Previous: 28th

Season record: 9-9-0

Colorado is going to be absolutely average at everything, it seems, until new coach Jared Bednar can fully incorporate his different culture.

The Avs aren’t getting a whole lot of help from anyone on offense, as Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene and Erik Johnson are the only ones who have hit double-digit points. That reflects in the offense, with its aforementioned 39 goals in 18 games.

But the Avs’ goal differential is still just minus-10. Calvin Pickard has been really solid in minimal action, while Semyon Varlamov has been … eh. Not as terrible as he was under Patrick Roy, anyway. There’s just not much here to be excited about.

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