Just Happy to Be Here, or, Playoffs Goals and Expectations

When Thor forgets his hammer, he just cross checks you instead. It's pretty much the same thing. - Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Let's take the temperature of the room.

The playoffs start tomorrow, not for the Avalanche, but for six teams they do. But let's get this done before anybody starts anyway because I am impatient and want to know what you guys think.

Colorado's goal is now to bring home a Stanley Cup. Cool. You and everybody else. So when I say, what is your goal for this team in the postseason, that's not a valid answer. What I mean is more like, what benchmarks do they need to clear for the playoffs to be deemed successful?

What is the absolute minimum requirement for you to look back at the playoffs, and say, the Avs did all right for themselves? Success, well played, and all that? What do they need to do to make the playoffs a success?

With that bare minimum out of the way, what then are your realistic expectations? Where "should" they end up? This isn't the same as a prediction, don't get ahead of yourselves. Look at the team as objectively as a #sprots fan can, and the bracket in front of them: Where should they end up?

This is different from "bare minimum" and the best way to show it is an example: You can expect Colorado based on this season's regular season record to have Chicago's number, so, it would make logical sense that they reach the WCF (assuming the Blackhawks beat that team they're playing). But you could still say, as long as they make it to the divisional finals at all, that's successful. Chicago is still a really good team after all.

What do you expect from the Avalanche this postseason?

Finally, put on your robe and wizard hat and peer into the future. What do you predict is going to happen? How far will they go? Who will they lose to, if anyone? Get silly with it if you want, who will score the most goals? Whose beard will beat Max Talbot's?

I've already snuck my answers in there. I call this playoffs a success if they can handle Minnesota (blizzards and wind be upon them) and make it to the second round. It would be the final birth of the inevitable, most boring rivalry in sports. (That's not even a shot across the bow of Wild fans. These teams have historically played low-event hockey against each other. Of course if you are already upset about this then just feel trolled, I don't give a shit.)

There's still this blind fan in me that says "they always play their best against Chicago" and "Varly > Crow" and just expects them to make it to the Conference Final (assuming Chicago beats St. Louis, which I think they will). I would not predict that though. It would be a really fun series that I think the Blackhawks would take at home, in 6. Also the surprise beard of the playoffs will be Brad Malone's ginger nightmare. Oh yes, be afraid.

So what are your answers? Don't forget you have until games start or so to sign up for the Mile High Hockey Playoffs Bracket Challenge League, and here finally are all the questions easily copy and paste able.

What is the absolute minimum requirement for you to look back at the playoffs, and say, the Avs did all right for themselves? Success, well played, and all that? What do they need to do to make the playoffs a success?

What do you expect from the Avalanche this postseason?

What are your playoff predictions for the Avalanche?

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