It was the same story with Minnesota, which went on to win the Stanley Cup.
The Wild went on a nine-game winning streak, and the Avalanche came within a game of the Western Conference finals.
Minnesota was the third seed in the playoffs in 2012-13, but they finished with a 1-5-1 record.
They won the Western conference in 2014-15 and lost in the second round in 2015-16, which marked the first time they had lost in six straight seasons.
Colorado won the Calder Cup in 2017, but the Avalanche failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs.
“I think a lot of that is the mental aspect,” Avalanche forward Alex Tuch said.
“A lot of the guys have been through a lot, and it’s been a grind for a long time.”
Colorado’s struggles this season have led to speculation about their future in the Western Hockey League.
The Avalanche have three goals in their past four games.
They have five goals in the past seven games, which is tied for third in the NHL.
They were tied for fifth with the San Jose Sharks in goals in 2017-18.
They are one of just four teams in the league that has scored at least 20 goals in three straight games.
“We have a couple of tough losses to the past couple of weeks, so it’s just one of those things where you go through the grind of getting ready for a game, trying to win a game and come out of the locker room with a victory,” Avalanche captain Gabe Landeskog said.
But the team was not in this position to get to that point, and their recent struggles have created an opportunity for some players to step up.
“You’ve got to get guys to play and you’ve got guys to learn the system, you’ve gotta get guys who have been around the game for a while to come in and take the load off,” forward Mikko Koivu said.