"Obviously there were 20 games there where everyone was struggling. It is what it is; it happened. I think it's good to get it out of the way at a young age. For a lot of us, especially guys like me and (Ryan) O'Reilly, I think it's good to learn how to lose before you win. If we ever go through this situation again we'll know how to handle it better. Hopefully it won't happen again." -- Matt Duchene
-- Now that the nightmarish season is over, the Colorado Avalanche
have plenty of offseason work to do to return to respectability, along with a playoff berth.
The Avalanche finished 29th in the NHL's overall standings with a 30-44-8 record and 68 points, the team's worst record since it arrived in Denver from Quebec City in 1995-96.
Hard to believe the Avalanche were in the hunt for first place in the Northwest Division as recently as Jan. 24 with a 25-18-6 record before collapsing. Colorado went 5-26-2 in the final 33 games, a drought that included two 10-game losing streaks.
"It really went bad for us. It wasn't fun at all," said second-year center Matt Duchene
, who led the Avalanche in scoring with 67 points (27 goals, 40 assists). At 20 years, 84 days old, he passed Joe Sakic
(20 years, 268 days old with Quebec in 1989-90) as the youngest top scorer in franchise history.