Ice hockey rocks in the Rockies! Known as “the Avs” to diehard fans in the Centennial State, the Colorado Avalanche are a Denver-based professional ice hockey team. The Avalanche compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Central Division in the Western Conference. The Avalanche share their home base of Ball Arena with the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Mammoth.
Following a 2022 Stanley Cup win, the Colorado Avalanche are standing taller than ever! If you want to see the team move mountains on the ice in person, only Major League Vacations (MLV) can help you plan the sports vacation of your dreams with the Avalanche. If you’re thinking of planning a Colorado Avalanche sports vacation, get revved up by taking a look at the big moments showing off the unshakable power of the Avalanche.
The Colorado Avalanche were founded as the Quebec Nordiques in 1979. Formerly a charter franchise of the World Hockey Association, the Avalanche joined the NHL in 1979 in the company of the Edmonton Oilers, Hartford Whalers, and Winnipeg Jets. Following a high streak that lasted from 1981 to 1987, the team finished last in their division during the 1987-1988 and 1991-1992 seasons. The team’s 1989-1999 season holds the unfortunate record for being the worst in franchise history.
A bright spot came during the 1992-1993 season. This marked the first time the team had made the playoffs in six years. It was just two years later when the Avalanche won the Northeast Division while riding a streak of having the second-best regular season record. What’s interesting is that the Avalanche were still playing as the Quebec Nordiques up until this point. It wasn’t until 1995 that the team was renamed as the Avalanche as part of a shift in ownership. While the team was actually inches away from being called the Colorado Black Bears, poor reception from fans caused a last-minute reversal that ultimately resulted in the team being named the Colorado Avalanche. The name change also marked a transfer to the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.
The Avalanche have won a total of three Stanley Cup championships spread over the 1996, 2001, and 2022 playoffs. The 2001 advancement to the games happened to coincide with the team’s best year ever. While not directly related to the Stanley Cup, another major victory came in November of 2019. The Nov. 18 match between the Avalanche and the Ducks marked the Avalanche’s 1000th win in team history.
You can’t talk about Colorado Avalanche history without digging into the team’s rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings. The two teams first met at the Western Conference Finals in 1996. To say that the relationship got off to a rocky start is an understatement. During Game 6, Kris Draper of the Red Wings was famously checked into the boards by Avalanche’s Claude Lemieux. The altercation was so severe that Draper had to undergo facial reconstructive surgery. The event marked the start of what is one of the most contentious rivalries within the NHL.
While the rivalry cooled after 2002, there was a slight resurgence when the teams faced each other in the 2009 playoffs. The Red Wings ultimately swept the Avalanche before going on to win the Stanley Cup. During the 2013-2014 season, the rivalry simmered down fully when the Red Wings moved to the Eastern Conference. That means that the two rivals now only meet up twice a year.
Another topic that always needs coverage when talking about Colorado Avalanche history is the team’s logo. Starting in 1995, the logo used on home and away jerseys was the foot of a yeti. However, the team opted for a slightly more subdued symbol when changing the Colorado Avalanche logo to an insignia taken from the Colorado state flag in 2015. The Colorado Avalanche logo today is a burgundy letter “A” wrapped in snow.
The Colorado Avalanche are known for churning out the best of the best. The team’s “hall of fame” contains Valeri Kamensky, Uwe Krupp, Claude Lemieux, Kris Draper, and Patrick Roy. The team’s current roster of players is also full of powerhouses on the ice. Take a look at the players who helped to make the 2021-2022 season an incredible one.
- Mikhail Maltsev
- Valeri Nichushkin
- Tyson Jost
- Alex Newhook
- Logan O’Connor
- Nathan MacKinnon
- J.T. Compher
- Darren Helm
- Sampo Ranta
- Nazem Kadri
- Gabe Landeskog
- Andre Burakovsky
- Mikko Rantanen
- Jack Johnson
- Bo Byram
- Erik Johnson
- Devon Toews
- Cale Makar
- Ryan Murray
- Kurtis MacDermid
- Jonas Johansson
- Darcy Kuemper
- Pavel Francouz
The 2021-2022 season was nothing short of historic for the Colorado Avalanche. Plowing through firestorms on the ice all season long, the Avalanche are the 2022 Stanley Cup Champions. While the regular season alone still has fans catching their breath, it was the extraordinary journey during the playoffs that made this a truly remarkable season that will be putting logs in the fire of Avalanche fandom for decades to come! A quick recap of the season reminds us of a 56-19-7 record with a 24.01% (7th) power play, 79.66% (15th) penalty kill, 312 goals scored, and 234 goals against.
The Avalanche have spent almost the entire 2021-2022 season on a winning streak. It was no surprise that they were the Stanley Cup favorites for many sports websites. Over the course of 82 games, the Colorado Avalanche played a record-breaking season that ensures the team will remain one of the top NHL teams in the history books. The 2021-2022 season was a 119-point season that saw the Avalanche grabbing the top seed in the Western Conference.
The 2021-2022 season saw the Avalanche grab 56 wins. In fact, the wins represent a new franchise record. What’s more, the 56-19-7 record is second best in NHL history. The Avalanche managed to pull off two separate winning streaks in a single season. The first streak was a nine-game streak that ran from Jan. 14 through Jan. 30. The second was a 10-game streak that ran from March 29 through April 16. Of course, the even bigger news was the home-game streak that saw the team remain undefeated during every home game at Ball Arena from Nov. 3 through Jan. 30. This was one of the longest home-game winning streaks in NHL history.
It will be forever solidified within the realm of NHL trivia that the Avalanche produced more than 300 goals during the 2021-2022 season. The 1995-1996 team is the only team that has done better than this since the Avalanche first arrived in the NHL. Here’s a look at some other incredible stats from the Avalanche’s 2021-2022 season:
- 43 wins when scoring first.
- 13 wins when trailing first.
- Four wins in shootout.
- Nine occasions of scoring seven goals or more.
- Eight players with 50-point seasons.
- Four 80-point scorers.
- Seven players reached the 40-goals mark.
- Five hat tricks.
- 64 goals from the blue line.
- 180 points in 170 games.
- Average of 3.76 goals per game.
- 79.7% penalty percentage.
- 2,874 total shots.
- 10.7% shooting percentage.
- 35 shots per night.
- 189 wrist-shot goals.
- Seven shutouts.
- 16 players with career bests.
The 2021-2022 season also marks 194 behind-the-bench wins for Head Coach Jared Bednar. This makes him the coach with the most wins in Avalanche history! Of course, the thing that might be the most remarkable about this season is that it marks the fifth time in as many seasons that the Avalanche moved on to the NHL playoffs. Of course, the Avalanche were crowned the 2022 Stanley Cup Champions after dethroning the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Avalanche had a history-making postseason that ultimately led to a Stanley Cup victory against Tampa. During the playoffs, the Avalanche defeated the Nashville Predators, the St. Louis Blues, and the Edmonton Oilers on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals. It was then time to battle the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tensions were high as the team stood up to the two-time defending champion on the ice. However, the Avalanche pulled through to win their third Stanley Cup on June 26.
It’s the Best Time to See the Colorado Avalanche Play
The Avalanche are on an upward trajectory that can only get better. Planning an ice hockey sports vacation lets you see Denver’s NHL team coming straight off of a hot streak. Only Major Leave Vacations (MLV) lets you plan a sports-cation based around the teams you love. Browse our hockey vacation packages today!