Teams show their greatness (or lack thereof) in February and March, and that is when the Avalanche showed their true colors. Anderson showed fatigue and started allowing some bad goals. Duchene, also a victim of a long regular season, hasn't been the explosive player he was in November.
The team is tumbling in the standings and is hoping to hang onto 7th or even 8th place in the conference so they can get destroyed by the Sharks in the opening round. Then again, IT IS the Sharks we're talking about here; anything can happen.
Is Colorado a first place team? Clearly the answer is no, but they're not a last place team either. Hope should swell in Denver as the Avalanche are on the upswing. They've got some nice building blocks and hopefully (for them) they'll continue to improve.