Rewind the Colorado Avalanche 2015-16 two months and you’ll find a team that had lost eight of its last ten games and appeared to be in a free fall in the Western Conference standings. At 4-9-1 after a home loss to the New York Rangers, making the playoffs was already looking like a difficult hill to climb as the rest of the conference racked up early-season points at an alarming rate. Now, it’s the Avalanche who are filling up the points column (and opponents’ nets) with regularity.

After a 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators on Friday night, the Avalanche are officially standing at the doorstep of the playoffs. Colorado and Nashville both have 45 points, but the Predators hold the final Wild Card spot because they’ve played one less game. A Nashville loss at Arizona tonight would put the Avs into that last spot by way of most wins.

Colorado improved its record to 21-8-3 with the win and currently sits in seventh place in the Western Conference. They’re winners of six of their last 10 games and will carry a three-game winning streak into Chicago on Sunday looking for redemption on an overtime home loss on New Year’s eve.

Tyson Barrie scored the go-ahead goal at the 11:00 mark of the third period and Jack Skille added an empty-netter to ice it in the end. Jarome Iginila scored his 601st NHL goal to even the score at one in the first.

Both Barrie and Iginla scored on the power play, continuing Colorado’s hot play with the man-advantage. Colorado is the best in the league since mid-December and now rank fifth in the league with a 21.8 percent power play. They’ve been especially good at home, converting at a 28 percent clip on the power play at Pepsi Center.

Postgame Friday, head coach Patrick Roy said he was impressed by his team’s ability to play sound, smart hockey despite seeing two different leads in the game disappear, especially on special teams.

“Power play got two for us, PK [penalty kill] killed an important one that started the third [period]. We could not ask for any better than this,” he said.

He’s also happy that his team is finding confidence at home after spending a big stretch away of November and December on the road.

“We seem to be more and more confident which is good. Winning against LA, winning against the Blues and tonight against these guys, I think it’s good for our confidence.”

Securing those divisional wins against teams like Nashville and St. Louis is no small task. Colorado, the seventh-place team in the Western Conference, sits in sixth place in the Central Division. They’ll face another tough divisional foe in Chicago on Sunday night before returning home to face Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

Back-to-back wins over last year’s Stanley Cup Finals participants would certainly help add to that confidence that is developing so rapidly as of late.

Listen to Roy’s full postgame press conference in the podcast below courtesy of our friends at the Altitude Radio Network…