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Avalanche Start Season With Brutal Schedule

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Colorado started the 2010-2011 season at home against Chicago on the right foot, defeating the reigning champions 4-3 in OT. That game was just the beginning, however, as they start off the new season with a very difficult October.

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Tonight, the Avalanche travel to Philadelphia and face the Eastern Conference champion Flyers in their home opener. Tuesday night, they travel to Detroit to face the hated Red Wings. These are the first two of five straight road games, including four against teams that made (or just barely missed) the playoffs last year.

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When Colorado finally returns home -- on October 21st, two whole weeks after their home opener -- they face off against two of the best teams in the league, the very talented Los Angeles Kings and last year's playoff opponent, San Jose.

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This is a rough stretch for any team, but not altogether novel for this team. Last season, the Avalanche were on the road for 11 of 13 games early on, gaining a stunning 14 of 20 possible points. This season, gaining 12 points out of these nine games should be considered a success.