By Matt ClaassenPosted Apr 05, 2018 09:27AMARLINGTON, Colo.
— The Colorado Avalanche have had a few moments of late when the team is in the midst of a long playoff run.
But now, they are in the same spot the Minnesota Wild are in: In the throes of a slump, where they have lost six of their last seven games.
Armed with some good fortune and a few lucky bounces, the Avalanche have turned things around and are in a position to clinch home ice in the Western Conference final for the second straight season.
The Avs have won eight of their past 10 games, and while they are still not on top of the Wild in the standings, they have shown signs of life.
The Avs are 10-3-1 at the Pepsi Center, which was not the case last season.
In that stretch, they won three of their final five and were only 2-2-0 when they were without Pascal Dupuis.
He missed the team’s four games with a lower-body injury, but was back for the start of the playoffs.
Dupuis is now a healthy scratch, and Jonas Hiller is skating with an aneurysm.
They will play without their top two goalies for the final time this season, but they could have a better chance than most people think this year.
The Avalanche are 11-5-2 in the playoffs this season after winning seven of eight overall.
The team has outscored opponents by an average of 2.06 goals per game, with three of those wins coming by more than one goal.
That has been particularly evident in the past three weeks.
They have won four of the past five and are riding a four-game win streak.
The Colorado Avalanche are one of just four teams in the NHL with a winning percentage of .500 or better (only Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles are better), which ranks among the top five.
The other teams are the Pittsburgh Penguins (88.9%), the Detroit Red Wings (87.6%), the San Jose Sharks (86.9%) and the St. Louis Blues (85.6%).
The Avalanche were 1-8-1 in the second half last season, which is the lowest winning percentage in the franchise’s history.
The Wild are currently the worst team in the league in goals per shot (1.31), which is tied for eighth worst in the division.
The Wild have allowed more than 100 shots in three straight games and have allowed at least 100 goals in three of the last four games.
The Dallas Stars are the only team in hockey that is allowing less than 100 goals per season.
The Stars are 4-4-2 and have lost five of their seven games overall.
They are tied for second-worst in the entire NHL.