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Chicks and their Polls: Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

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We've made it past the 10-game mark in the season, and the Avalanche are still sporting a winning record. The boys are tops in power play conversion for the league and are sitting at a comfy 5th in the West. People across the league have started taking notice, especially of breakout players like Ryan O'Reilly, Semyon Varlamov and rookie Gabriel Landeskog. Opposing teams have also taken notice, especially when camping out around the crease.

After a dismal season in 2010-2011, the popular prediction was that the Avs would spend another season wallowing around the NHL's basement. Pundits claimed a lack of forward depth, a weak defense and an unproven goaltender would be the team's demise. However, thus far that doesn't seem to be the case. But is it just an illusion? Is this team really what so many claimed, playing above its skill at an unsustainable rate? Or is the Avalanche for real, finally reaping the fruits of the rebuild?