2021-22 Season Preview: Part 9

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The 2021-22 season preview carries on in the Central Division with the Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY...
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Feel free to view Part 1 (Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton), Part 2 (Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle), Part 3 (Vancouver, Vegas, Carolina, Columbus), Part 4 (New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers), Part 5 (Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington), Part 6 (Boston, Buffalo, Detroit), Part 7 (Florida, Ottawa, Montreal) and Part 8 (Tampa Bay, Toronto, Arizona, Chicago) of our 2021-22 season preview series if you haven't already done so.

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COLORADO AVALANCHE

2020-21 Record: 39-13-4, 82 points

Result: First in the West Division. Lost 4-2 to the Vegas Golden Knights in the second round.

Significant Gains: Darcy Kuemper, Darren Helm, Ryan Murray

Significant Losses: Philipp Grubauer, Joonas Donskoi, Brandon Saad, Ryan Graves, Conor Timmins

Strengths: Colorado had the best offense in the league last season. The Avalanche led the NHL with 3.52 goals for per game played. Colorado had the eight-best power play and finished second overall with 47 markers with the man advantage. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar were all point-per-game or better producers in 2020-21. Gabriel Landeskog, Andre Burakovsky, Samuel Girard and Devon Toews had strong offensive showings as well. The Avalanche also performed very well defensively, while preventing many scoring chances against. The team ranked third in the NHL in goals against per game played (2.36) and had the seventh-best penalty kill percentage (83.1).

Story continues

Weaknesses: The Avalanche lost some key players this offseason. The departures of Donskoi and Saad will test the team's depth…
Corey Abbott
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