How many championships have the Avalanche won? History of Colorado’s appearances in the Stanley Cup Final

The Avalanche are finally back in the big dance. After failing to get out of the second round for the past three seasons, Colorado finally got over that hill and after a dominant win in the Western Conference Final, find themselves with a chance at the franchise’s third Stanley Cup. 

Colorado does not have a ton of experience playing in the finals, but when the club has gotten there, it has yet to lose. Will they make it a perfect 3-0 record in finals appearances this year going against the Lightning?

SCF SCHEDULE: Dates, times, TV channels for Avalanche-Lightning

Below is the Avalanche’s Stanley Cup Final history. 

How many Stanley Cups have the Avalanche won?

The Avalanche have hoisted the Stanley Cup twice in franchise history. 

Below is a quick review of both of their championships

  • 1996 Stanley Cup Final: Avalanche 4, Panthers 0

Colorado’s first Stanley Cup Final appearance was a success. In the club’s first season in Denver after moving from Quebec City, the Avalanche squared off against a fellow first-time Final member in the Panthers. It was the first time since the formation of the NHL that the two teams left were each making their first finals appearance. 

The Panthers had ridden the back of goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck to the final, but there was only so much he could do. The Avalanche earned a 3-1 win in Game 1 before pouring it on for an 8-1 victory in Game 2.

In Game 3, Joe Sakic’s goal in the second proved to be the game-winner to take the contest 3-2 and built a 3-0 series lead. And finally, in Game 4, despite an outstanding effort from Vanbiesbrouck to match Avs goalie Patrick Roy save-for-save, Uwe Krupp broke a scoreless tie in the third overtime to complete the sweep and lift Colorado to its first Stanley Cup win. 

With 34 points in 22 games, Sakic was named the Conn Smythe winner as MVP of the playoffs. 

  • 2001 Stanley Cup Final: Avalanche 4, Devils 3

The 2001 Stanley Cup Final made for one of the greatest goalie matchups in the finals that the NHL has ever seen. On one side was Roy and the Avalanche, and on the other was Martin Brodeur and the Devils. Both teams had earned the No. 1 seed in their respective conferences heading into the postseason. 

The Avs struck first in Game 1 by a score of 5-0, with Roy posting a shutout, but the Devils answered with a 2-1 win in the next contest. After again exchanging victories in Game 3 and 4, New Jersey took a 3-2 series lead thanks to a 4-1 victory in Game 5. 

With their backs against the wall, Roy and the Avalanche shut out the Devils again, staying alive with a 4-0 win in Game 6. In Game 7, Alex Tanguay’s two goals propelled Colorado to the series win and raise the Cup for the second time. 

Ray Bourque was able to finally win his Cup that had eluded him for more than 20 years. It was the first and only time in NHL history that a captain was not the first player to lift the Cup, as Sakic elected to forego that honor and have Bourque hoist it first out of respect for the veteran defenseman. 

Roy won the Conn Smythe for his outstanding efforts in net for Colorado. The 2001 win marked not only his third Stanley Cup victory but his third Conn Smythe. 

Avalanche Stanley Cup Final appearances

Colorado is a perfect 2-for-2 when it comes to Stanley Cup Final appearances. 

Below are all of their appearances.

Season Stanley Cup Final opponent Result Regular-season record Head coach
1995-96 Panthers W, 4-0 47-25-10 Marc Crawford
2000-01 Devils W, 4-3 52-16-10-4 Bob Hartley

STANLEY CUP FINAL PREVIEW: Avalanche vs. Lightning 

When was the last time the Avalanche played in the Stanley Cup Final?

It has been over 15 years since the Avs played in the finals, with 2001 marking the last time they made it to the big stage. 

Colorado made it to the conference finals the next season but had not advanced past the second round since until this year. The Avs went through a rough stretch from 2008-2017, failing to make the postseason in seven out of those nine seasons.  

What teams have won the most Stanley Cups?

The Canadiens have won the most Cups with 24, but it’s been nearly 30 years since the last time Montreal hoisted the trophy, with their last win coming in 1993.

After the Habs, the Maple Leafs have 13, but their last Cup win came in 1967 and the team has not been to the finals since then. In third is the Red Wings with 11, most recently winning in 2008. 

TEAM STANLEY CUPS
Montreal Canadiens 24
Toronto Maple Leafs 13
Detroit Red Wings 11
Boston Bruins  6
Chicago Blackhawks  6
Edmonton Oilers 5
Pittsburgh Penguins 5
New York Islanders 4
New York Rangers 4
New Jersey Devils 3
Tampa Bay Lightning  3
Philadelphia Flyers 2
Colorado Avalanche 2
Los Angeles Kings 2
Dallas Stars  1
St. Louis Blues 1
Calgary Flames 1
Anaheim Ducks 1
Carolina Hurricanes 1
Washington Capitals 1
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