Following a 7-4 victory over the New York Islanders on Tuesday, the Avalanche improved to 6-0-0 for the first time since the 2013-14 season. The 2021-22 Stanley Cup Champions are one of three undefeated teams and seem to have corrected most of the issues that stopped them from repeating a season ago.

My thoughts through the first six games:


The most obvious of differences, the Avalanche’s depth has been a breath of fresh air. General manager Chris MacFarland added six new forwards over the offseason and they’ve combined for 14 points. Ryan Johansen, the team’s new No. 2 center, has four goals and an assist to lead the way.

Alexandar Georgiev

Without Pavel Francouz, the Avalanche have turned to starting goalie Alexandar Georgiev in each of the first six games. At some point, Ivan Prosvetov will have to make his debut — likely on Thursday in Pittsburgh. But for now, Georgiev has been the man in goal, setting a franchise record with a perfect 6-0 start, which leads the NHL.

Special teams

It took 20 power plays for the opposition before the Avs finally let in a goal while a man short. Colorado has successfully killed off 25 of 27 penalties in six games and has scored three shorthanded goals for good measure. On the power play, the team has six goals on 21 opportunities.

Logan O’Connor

Each of the Avs’ three shorthanded goals have come from depth forward Logan O’Connor. And he did it in three consecutive games. O’Connor has been a leader of the Avs’ PK for years and was rewarded three times for his speed and aggressiveness.

Jared Bednar

Several of the NHL’s Stanley Cup-hopeful teams, especially the ones that turned over a considerable portion of their roster, are struggling out of the gate. For the Avs, six additions to the forward core haven’t slowed them down. And it’s largely thanks to head coach Jared Bedar. In his eighth year at the helm, Bednar has established himself as one of the NHL’s best. His ability to mix and match his forwards for two weeks to find the best combinations, all the while remaining undefeated, is one of the reasons why he’s held in such high regard.

Mikko Rantanen

Someway, somehow, the Avalanche’s top winger has managed to look better than he did a season ago. It was always going to be hard to duplicate the 55-goal, 105-point performance that Mikko Rantanen had last season. But he’s proven once again that he has another gear. Rantanen has 12 points in six games, including two four-point performances.


This was always going to be something to keep an eye on after the brutal season the Avs just had. Other than a one-game absence for Andrew Cogliano to start the year, and Francouz’s absence since training camp, the team has enjoyed a healthy start to the season. It won’t be like this the entire year, but it’s still refreshing to see the Avalanche at its best.


Despite playing four of the first six games on the road — and remaining away from Ball Arena for the rest of October, the Avs have had a team-friendly schedule to start the year. Colorado played three straight road games to begin the season but had two days off between each of them. After playing the last three every other night, and continuing the trend Thursday in Pittsburgh, the Avalanche will go back to enjoying two days off between games. Following that match against the Penguins, the Avs will play four games over the next 12 days.

Their first back-to-back isn’t scheduled until Nov. 24 and 25.