With the first quarter of the 2013-14 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of its biggest storylines and award contenders.
After finishing the 2012-13 season with the second-fewest points (39) in the League, many believed the Colorado Avalanche had their work cut out for them just to be a team that could stay in the race for a playoff spot in the Western Conference into the second half of the season.
So far, it appears the Avalanche will be in that race. What's more impressive is that there could be several teams chasing them in the standings.
Colorado entered its game Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes with 15 wins in its first 20 games, the most victories in that amount of games in franchise history. Matt Duchene, the third pick at the 2009 NHL Draft, was pacing the Avalanche with 20 points (12 goals, eight assists) in 19 games.