One season after finishing last in the Western Conference, the Avalanche clinched the Central Division title on Sunday when the St. Louis Blues lost 3-0 to the Detroit Red Wings. It is the first division title for Colorado since 2002-03.
By winning the Central and finishing second in the conference, the Avalanche will play the top wild card in the West, the Minnesota Wild, instead of the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, in the first round of the playoffs.
This is the franchise's first trip to the postseason since 2009-10. The Avalanche have not won a playoff series since 2008.
I definitely think going back down helped me, I had a lot of confidence down there, I played a lot of minutes and I think that helped me a lot. With the 37 games up here, that gave me experience as well. I know what it takes to play in the NHL and now it's time for me to show that I'm capable of being a full-time NHL player.
— Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl on finishing the 2014-15 season in juniors after playing 37 games with Edmonton to begin the season