The Colorado Avalanche have struggled to find consistency so far this season, and with a 17-17-1 record and 35 points they find themselves in the bottom third of the NHL league standings. When it comes to expert power rankings, the opinions offer slightly more variation in where the Avalanche currently stand. Real Clear Sports, which looks at several leading sports sites across the internet, reveals that the Avalanche have a composite ranking of 22.67. A deeper look does show some disagreement on what direction the team is headed, however.
For example, Sports Illustrated has the highest ranking for the team (No. 19 overall), while Fox Sports drops Colorado all the way down to No. 25 overall. The crew over at SB Nation's Colorado Avalanche blog, Mile High Hockey, has no doubt taken notice of all this, but they are more focused on the chance to make franchise historyagainst the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night:
The Avalanche host the Lightning tonight and the Avs are trying to do something that no other Avalanche team has accomplished: win their 8th straight game at home. The franchise has seen two different 10-game streaks by the Nordiques (most recently in 1995), but the longest Avalanche streak is 7 home wins from January 23rd - February 25th 2003. The Avs haven't lost in Denver since falling 3-1 to Dallas on November 28th. Of course, they haven't won any road games in that stretch - not since October 22nd, actually - but the Avs have owned at home. Colorado is also trying to move above .500 for the first time since mid-November.
Stay tuned to SB Nation Denver for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the Colorado Avalanche be sure to visit Mile High Hockey. Visit SB Nation NHL for more news and notes around the league.