In Patrick Roy's first season as Colorado coach, he took a team that had the worst record in the Western Conference last season and transformed it into a first-place group in 2013-14. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon was a revelation, and along with teammate Paul Stastny, a pending free agent, tied for the Stanley Cup Playoffs lead with 10 points. Franchise goaltender Semyon Varlamov is signed for the next five years, and there is a core of bright young talent.
But in a close series that ended with Nino Niederreiter's overtime goal in Game 7, a few glaring issues tipped the balance.
Why were the Avalanche eliminated by the Wild? Here are five reasons: