[tps_header]Most Surprising Team: Colorado Avalanche[/tps_header]
I know I’ve brought up the Avalanche countless times already, but their turnaround season truly was something to admire. After finishing dead last in the West with a 16-25-7 record during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, Joe Sacco was fired as head coach and replaced by former Colorado goaltender Patrick Roy.
He took over a team that hadn’t been to the postseason since 2010 and didn’t look like much of a threat this year, but Roy brought a new culture to the locker room. Behind the stellar goaltending of Semyon Varlamov and outstanding performances from players like rookie sensation Nathan MacKinnon, the Avalanche exceeded all expectations by finishing second in the Western Conference and first in the Central Division with a 52-22-8 record.