Team Recap: 12th-Seeded ’95-’96 Colorado Avalanche

The 12th seed in the inaugural Ultimate NHL Playoff, the '95-'96 Colorado Avalanche.

The 12th seed in the inaugural Ultimate NHL Playoff, the ’95-’96 Colorado Avalanche.

  •  Adam Deadmarsh (LW)
    • 12 GP   2 G   4 A   6 P   -4   26 S   0 GWG   8 PIM   0 Stars
  • Stephane Fiset (G)
    • 2 GP   0-1-0   1.50 GAA   .813 SV% (16 SA)   0 SO   0 Stars
  • Adam Foote (D)
    • 12 GP   0 G   1 A   1 P   +2   11 S   0 GWG   2 PIM   0 Stars
  • Peter Forsberg (C)
    • 12 GP   2 G   7 A   9 P   +5   37 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   1 Stars
  • Alexei Gusarov (D)
    • 12 GP   0 G   2 A   2 P   -7   9 S   0 GWG   4 PIM   0 Stars
  • Valeri Kamensky (LW)
    • 12 GP   7 G   6 A   13 P   Even   32 S   1 GWG   4 PIM   6 Stars
  • Mike Keane (RW)
    • 5 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   Even   0 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Andrei Kovalenko (RW)
    •  12 GP   5 G   4 A   9 P   +5   26 S   0 GWG   2 PIM   2 Stars
  • Sylvain Lefebvre (D)
    • 12 GP   4 G   1 A   5 P   -7   18 S   2 PIM   4 Stars
  • Claude Lemieux (RW)
    • 12 GP   5 G   13 A   18 P   -5   76 S   2 GWG   8 PIM   4 Stars
  • Curtis Leschyshyn (D)
    • 12 GP   1 G   2 A   3 P   +3   16 S   1 GWG  6 PIM   0 Stars
  • Sandis Ozolinsh (D)
    • 12 GP   1 G   6 A   7 P   +1   27 S   0 GWG   4 PIM   1 Stars
  • Mike Ricci (C)
    • 12 GP   1 G   3 A   4 P   -9   15 S   0 GWG   4 PIM   0 Stars
  • Patrick Roy (G)
    • 12 GP   5-6-0   3.50 GAA   .893 SV%   0 SO   3 Stars
  • Martin Rucinsky (LW)
    • 12 GP   0 G   5 A   5 P   +5   27 S   0 GWG   2 PIM   0 Stars
  • Warren Rychel (LW)
    • 11 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   Even   0 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Joe Sakic (C)
    • 12 GP   5 G   9 A   14 P   Even   45 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   5 Stars
  • Chris Simon (LW)
    • 12 GP   1 G   1 A   2 P   -5   20 S   0 GWG   51 PIM   0 Stars
  • Craig Wolanin (D)
    • 11 GP   2 G   2 A   4 P   Even   8 S   0 GWG   4 PIM   0 Stars
  • Scott Young (RW)
    • 12 GP   4 G   0 A   4 P   -5   33 S   0 GWG   12 PIM   3 Stars

Bold – Team Best

Team Stats:

  • Record: 5-7-0
  • Goals Scored: 40
  • Goals/Game: 3.33
  • Goals Allowed: 45
  • Goals Allowed/Game: 3.75
  • Shots: 427
  • Shots Allowed: 407
  • Shots/Game: 35.6
  • Shots Allowed/Game: 33.9
  • # of PP’s: 22
  • PPG’s: 4
  • PP%: 18.2%
  • TSH: 26
  • PPGA: 5
  • PK%: 80.8%
  • Penalties in minutes: 113

I was looking forward to seeing who would represent the Avalanche. I was certain it would be the ’00-’01 team, but it was not to be. However, this team is still a very good team, but I knew that they were almost screwed because they had a matchup against the powerful Oilers lined up for their second series. Ultimately, that was what ended this teams tournament.

1st Round:

Bye

2nd Round:

Defeated 21st-seeded ’99-’00 St. Louis Blues, 4-3

3rd Round:

Lost to 5th-seeded ’83-’84 Edmonton Oilers, 4-1

The ’95-’96 Avalanche was the franchise’s first season in Colorado after moving from Quebec and undergoing a name change. It also won the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. Under head coach Marc Crawford, the Avs posted a record of 47-25-10, which was good for 104 points and 1st in the Pacific Division. They were 2nd out of 26 in the league in goals scored (326) and 8th out of 26 in goals allowed (240). Hockey Reference’s SRS rating system had this Avalanche team as the 2nd best team in the league that season, but was ranked last in strength of schedule. Colorado defeated the Vancouver Canucks in six games in the Conference Quarterfinals. Then, in the Conference Semifinals, they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in six games. They also defeated the Detroit Red Wings in six games in the Conference Finals. Then, in the Stanley Cup Final, they swept the Florida Panthers.

Joe Sakic set, at the time, a career high while leading the Avs in goals with 51. The sometimes controversial Claude Lemieux finished second on the team in goals with 39. Youngster Peter Forsberg led the Avalanche in assists with 86 and Sakic was second with 69. Sakic and Forsberg were first and second in points, respectively, with 120 and 116 points, respectively. Valeri Kamensky was third on the team in points with 85. Longtime member of the Avalanche, Adam Foote, was arguably the teams best defenseman, as he was among the teams leaders in PIM’s and plus/minus. Other top defenseman were Curtis Leschyshyn, Alexei Gusarov and Sandis Ozolinsh with Ozolinsh leading all defensemen in points. In goal, of course, was legend Patrick Roy. However, he basically split the starting duties during the regular season with Stephane Fiset, but Roy was the guy during the playoffs. Roy posted a 2.68 GAA and a .909 SV% in the regular season and a 2.10 GAA and a .921 SV% in the playoffs. At the conclusion of the Final, Joe Sakic was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for his performance in the playoffs where he posted 18 goals and 16 assists for 34 points in 22 games played.

Up next is the #13 seed, the ’34-’35 Montreal Maroons!

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