Stanley Cup champion Avalanche search for way out of rut

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche are currently on the outside of the playoff picture at the halfway point of the season. Maybe it's the long list of injuries finally catching up with the Avalanche. Or perhaps it's the toll from last season when they went into the summer to earn the franchise's third Stanley Cup trophy. There's plenty of season left as they try to avoid joining the company of teams that have failed to make the postseason the following season to defend their title. The list includes the 2015 Los Angeles Kings and the 2007 Carolina Hurricanes since the salary cap era started in 2005.

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