LAST SEASON: 39-31-12, didn't make the playoffs.
COACH: Patrick Roy (third season, third NHL season).
PLAYER TO WATCH: F Nathan MacKinnon. Spent the offseason working out with his buddy, Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby. MacKinnon added some weight and actually got taller by nearly an inch. The 20-year-old was the rookie of the year in 2013-14, but had an up-and-down season last year before breaking his foot and sitting out the final 18 games. Roy expects big things from the speedy forward.
OUTLOOK: The Avalanche couldn't make up ground after a slow start last season and missed the playoffs. So all training camp, the team preached a faster start. But they've struggled scoring goals in the preseason, shut out in their last three games. With a lineup that includes Matt Duchene, Jarome Iginla, MacKinnon and captain Gabriel Landeskog, Roy is confident the offense will turn around. Until it does, the Avs can rely on goalie Semyon Varlamov to keep things close.