The Colorado Avalanche became the first NHL team to reach 40 wins this season with a 5-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Tuesday.
The Avalanche, 15/4 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, needed just 54 games to reach 40 wins which is the second-fewest in NHL history behind the Washington Capitals (53 in 2015/16). They are the fourth team in total NHL history to win 40 of their first 54 games.
Colorado have won four in a row and six of their past seven games and finished February with a 7-2-1 record, which is the 19th consecutive month the team has earned a .500 or better record.
The Avalanche have enjoyed significant contributions from their high-end players with forward Nathan MacKinnon scoring in five straight games and defenceman Cale Makar recording 14 assists during a nine-game point-streak.
With a 40-10-4 record, Colorado lead the Central Division by 14 points and sit top of the overall NHL standings. Their .778 points-per-game percentage is first in the NHL.
The Avalanche also lead the regular season standings last season (39-13-4) and were awarded with the Presidents' Trophy.
Coach Bednar who signed a two-year extension to remain with the Avalanche in November 2021, said to the media after his side reached the 40-win mark:
"I'll stick with what I said the other day; it just kind of drags out the urgency in the group, wanting to win and keep this thing rolling in the right direction."
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