By Jack Lowenstein

(CBS4) – The Colorado Avalanche are riding a 5-game win streak and coming off an exciting 7-5 win over the Ottawa Senators. That has placed positive notice back on the Avs, and at a time when the hockey team’s superstar is watching from the bleachers.

Heading into the Thanksgiving week with a step ahead on the ice is always considered a notable measure of a team nearing the halfway mark of the NHL season. The CBS Sports pre-Thanksgiving NHL rankings boosted the Avs up three spots to put them at No. 10, as the league’s contenders come into focus.

Alex Newhook of the Colorado Avalanche shoots and scores against goaltender Filip Gustavsson of the Ottawa Senators at Ball Arena on Nov. 22, 2021.

Alex Newhook of the Colorado Avalanche shoots and scores against goaltender Filip Gustavsson of the Ottawa Senators at Ball Arena on Monday. (credit: Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

“Don’t look now, but the Avalanche have won [five] straight games and might be finding some kind of rhythm just in time for Thanksgiving,” CBS Sports writer Austin Nivisin reported. “They’ve even been able to do that without Nathan MacKinnon. On a team loaded with superstars, Nazem Kadri has been leading the way. He is on an eight-game point streak right now.”

Thanksgiving day has been considered a hallmark point in the season when it comes to the teams that have a clear chance at a Stanley Cup playoff berth. Things can always change, as some teams lower in the standings go on miracle runs during the second half of the regular season. But most will agree it’s best to feel confident and with a good foothold in the standings during the holiday season.

“Outside of the very best and the very worst, there are still some blind spots, however,” Nivision wrote. “Because the NHL creates a standings point out of thin air for overtime games, there are a lot of teams in the thick of the playoff race at this point in the season. The trouble is trying to sort them out at this time of year, but I gave it my best shot.”

The Colorado Avalanche will take more shots on the ice when they host the Anaheim Ducks at home at 7 p.m. Wednesday night.

Jack Lowenstein