The worst season in the history of the Colorado Avalanche (in Denver) was finally put to rest on Sunday night in St.Louis. The Avs finished the season with 48 points, marking the worst full-season record of any team since the expansion Atlanta Thrashers finished with 39 points in 1999-2000. Although the Colorado Avalanche and their fans would like to forget about this season, there were some shining moments, and the Avs had some memorable plays. Let’s take a look at the top five plays of the 2016-2017 season for the Colorado Avalanche.
Top Five Plays of Colorado Avalanche Season
5. Calvin Pickard save vs Ottawa (March 11th, 2017)
With ten and a half minutes left in the second period, and with the Avalanche leading 1-0, Chris Wideman of the Ottawa Senators took a pass from Derick Brassard and flew down the wing. Wideman tossed the puck on net and it ended up landing right on the stick of Zack Smith, but Smith was denied by Pickard’s right pad, which gave Blake Comeau and the Avs an amazing chance going the other way.
4. Erik Johnson Overtime goal vs Chicago (April 4th, 2017)
In another action-packed game at the Pepsi Center, the Avs came back from a 3-0 deficit to the Chicago Blackhawks and scored three gorgeous goals from Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikhail Grigorenko, some of which almost made it on this list. Erik Johnson continued that momentum into overtime, streaking down the wing before slipping it by Scott Darling.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) April 5, 2017
3. Nathan MacKinnon goal vs Washington (March 29th, 2017)
With the Avalanche down 4-2 in the third against the Washington Capitals, MacKinnon took a pass from Tyson Barrie and went through the Caps defence like a hot knife through butter, undressing Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen before going backhand upstairs on Philipp Grubauer.
— NHL (@NHL) March 30, 2017
2. Calvin Pickard save vs St. Louis (March 31st, 2017)
After losing 5-3 to the Capitals, the Avalanche hosted the St. Louis Blues at the Pepsi Center two nights later. With the game tied at one, the two teams went into overtime, and Calvin Pickard stood on his head in the dying seconds, robbing Jaden Schwartz point blank. Pickard’s save electrified the Pepsi Center, and the Avs ended up winning in a shootout.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) April 1, 2017
1. Nathan MacKinnon goal vs Toronto (December 11th, 2016)
Ahh at last, the number one play of the season. On December 11th, the Avs headed to the Air Canada Centre in Toronto to play the Maple Leafs after losing 10-1 to the Montreal Canadiens the night before. With the Avs leading 1-0 halfway through the third period, MacKinnon was high-sticked by Leo Komarov going through the neutral zone on a power play, but he didn’t let that stop him. He maintained possession of the puck, undressed Connor Brown, dangled Morgan Rielly immediately afterwards, and then split Rielly and Nikita Zaitsev before firing a shot low to the stick-side on Antoine Bibeau. All four skaters in blue had a chance at stopping MacKinnon, but he made them look like silly.
Nathan MacKinnon gets high sticked by Leo Komarov, is cut open, but still dekes out the rest of the Leafs and rips one past Bibeau. 2-0 Avs pic.twitter.com/FSwtg1ZwSM
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) December 12, 2016
The 2016-2017 season was a season to forget for Avalanche fans, but the draft lottery is only weeks away, and the Avs have an 18% chance of snagging the first overall pick, so there is room for optimism. Regardless of where they land in the draft order, the Avs will have a chance to pick an amazing young prospect, one that will hopefully play a major role for the team in the future, creating new top plays to look back on in future seasons.