The Colorado Avalanche might be the most talented last-place team in history.
With just 23 standings points in 27 games played, the Avs sit in 30th place in the NHL and only lost their foothold on the worst goal differential when the Arizona Coyotes lost 7-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night.
While the Coyotes are in the midst of a full rebuild, the Avalanche's roster is stocked with some former top draft picks, a skilled puck-moving defenseman, a handful of decent veterans and a Vezina Trophy finalist goalie. Yet they haven't been close to competitive.
It was reasonable to suggest that former coach Patrick Roy was the problem. During his tenure, the Avs were consistently one of the league's worst teams in shot attempt differential, relying heavily on special teams and goaltending to win games. It worked for one season, 2013-14, in which Colorado won the Central Division with an impressive 112 points. But Roy's teams collapsed and missed the playoffs the next two seasons, and he abruptly resigned this summer.
It turns out he was far from the only problem. The Avalanche sit in 28th in Corsi for percentage, taking just 46.6 percent of total even-strength shot attempts in their games this season.
So where is the disconnect between the skilled roster and the results, and how should the Avs fix it, given that there isn't much help on the way from prospects?