Avalanche clinches playoffs for fourth straight season — second-longest stretch in club history
The Denver Post
Despite just one practice and a morning skate ahead of Thursday’s game at St. Louis, the Avalanche came off a five-day pause and won its first game in eight nights in beating the Blues 4-2 at Enterprise Center.
The victory clinched a playoff spot for the fourth consecutive season — the second-longest stretch in club history. The Avs advanced to the playoffs for their first 10 years of existence, from 1995-96 to 2005-06.
“My thoughts on the four (playoff) years is, it’s been a lot of fun. I enjoy the heck out of coaching this team and these players,” said Jared Bednar, who coached his 360th game with the Avs to surpass Bob Hartley as the club’s longest-tenured bench boss. “When they work like this and you start seeing the results coming year after year, getting better and better every year, it’s highly encouraging as a coach.”
Bednar’s fifth Avalanche team is 31-9-4 (66 points) with 12 remaining regular-season games. That’s the best record through 44 games in club history. The 2000-01 Stanley Cup-winning team was 28-8-7-1 (64 points) through 44 games.
“I think our buy-in in a bunch of aspects of our game — especially on the defending side of the puck — and just getting more committed to a good all-around team game and being great teammates, I like what’s going on around here,” Bednar said. “That’s a credit to all the players. So I’ve enjoyed it immensely and hopefully we can keep this thing going down the stretch run and into the playoffs and achieve the ultimate goal, which is why we’re all here.”
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