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It’s Official: The Avalanche Will Not Have Home-Ice Advantage Against Winnipeg



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Any hope the Colorado Avalanche had of starting the playoffs at Ball Arena is now gone. They’re going to have to do this the hard way.

On Tuesday night, the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Seattle Kraken at home by a score of 4-3 to clinch home-ice advantage in round one against the Avalanche. All they needed was one point to get that job done, but they got two to seal the deal.

Three or four weeks ago, this seemed impossible. The Avalanche had gone on a nine game winning streak to create some separation between themselves and the Jets. Heck, at that point, they still had a shot at the Central Division. However, Colorado has gone 3-5-2 over their last 10 games, while the Jets have gone 7-2-1 to pass the Avalanche for the right to start the series at Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg.

Last year, this would not have been a big deal. Colorado was a much better road team than they were home team, leading the Western Conference in road wins. That ended up coming into play in round one, as two of the three games that they won against the Kraken came in Seattle. Their struggles were at home, as they lost three of four at Ball Arena.

This season, the script has been flipped. Colorado has been dominant at home, leading the NHL in home wins with 30. On the road, it hasn’t been as fun. They started the season by winning their first four road games, breaking the NHL record for consecutive regular season road wins with 15. Since that point, they’ve gone just 15-16-6 away from Ball Arena.

So yes, this could very well play a role in how things play out in round one.

It’s not just the team that performs better at Ball Arena, but the individuals. At home, Nathan MacKinnon has been absurdly dominant, putting up 87 points in 40 games. That’s a ridiculous 2.175 points-per-game. It’s not like he’s been bad on the road, as he still managed to put up 51 points in 41 games, but that’s a massive difference in production. At home, you get to pick and choose the matchups you want.

The playoffs are an entirely new beast, so it’s always possible none of this matters at all. I’ve seen teams sweep a season series in the regular season, only to get blown out in the playoffs by that same squad. You just never know what’s going to happen until the puck drops. The core of this Avalanche team has won before, and you can’t say the same about the Jets.

We’ll have a lot more to say about this series in the coming days, but it’s now official – the series will start in Winnipeg. The rumored start date is Monday, April 22, but nothing is set in stone yet. Colorado Hockey Now will keep everyone updated when everything is confirmed.

Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Evan Rawal, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

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