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Avs proved that October is very important

Thursday, 09.23.2010 / 3:00 AM / 2010-2011 Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Avs proved that October is very important
The Avalanche were proof positive of what a hot start can mean. The Avalanche were 10-2-2 in October, the best mark in the Western Conference and the biggest reason the Avs went from last in the West in '08-09 to a playoff berth.
The Avalanche were proof positive of what a hot start can mean. The Avalanche were 10-2-2 in October, the best mark in the Western Conference and the biggest reason the Avs went from last in the West in '08-09 to a playoff berth.

Advantage Margin: +7
The Avs had 17 more power plays at home (165-148) and allowed 10 more than they received on the road (155-145).

Special Teams Goal Margin: -5
Colorado paid a price for its inability to kill penalties on the road (35 PPGA, 77.4 percent). The Avs did a good job by scoring eight shorthanded goals, but the power play was victimized nine times by opposing penalty-killers.

Goals by defensemen: 28   
John-Michael Liles and Kyle Quincey led the Avs' defensive corps with 6 goals apiece, and no defenseman had more than Liles' 31 points.

Overtime Record
Total: 9-4-5
OT: 2-4 SO: 7-5
Colorado was much more successful at home when the game went past regulation, going 2-2 in OT and 3-1 in shootouts, as opposed to 0-2 and 4-4.
     
Times Scored First: 40 Record: 26-9-5   
The Avs opened the scoring 20 times at home and 20 on the road, but did a lot better job of turning first goals into points at the Pepsi Center (15-3-2) than away from it (11-6-3).

Best 09-10 Number: 10-2-2
Colorado's record in October, the best mark in the Western Conference and the biggest reason the Avs went from last in the West in '08-09 to a playoff berth.

Worst 09-10 Number: 32.1
Average shots per game allowed by the Avs, the most of any team that qualified for the playoffs last season. Colorado made the postseason despite being outshot by 4.2 shots per game.
   
Scheduling
The Avs had better be ready to go at the start of the season; after opening at home with the Blackhawks, they go on a five-game road trip. After another five-game trip in early December, things get better for the next six weeks -- they have 15 of 19 (three five-game homestands) at the Pepsi Center.
Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh