It’s been a long time coming for the Colorado Avalanche, but now game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has come and gone. The region is starting to back the team like they did in 2001. Banners are being hung all across Denver showing support for the Avs. Captain Gabe Landeskog is welcoming people to Denver on a recording on the trains at DIA. Heck, the Avs logo is proudly being flown at the state capital, and for good reason: it could be a special postseason for Colorado.

It started back in October, when the Avs got off to a 12-1 start. Pretty soon came the #WhyNotUs slogan. Everyone thought their pace couldn’t be sustained, but when all was said and done in the regular season, it was the Avs on top of the Central division, ahead of preseason Stanley Cup favorites Chicago and St. Louis.

So that begs the question, why not them? They have a coach who knows how to win. They have veterans who have won and know what it takes to be successful in the playoffs. They have young, talented and hungry stars that are looking for a deep playoff run. But maybe most importantly, they have had success against the best competition in the west.

The Avs went 4-0-1 against their first round matchup of the Minnesota Wild in the regular season. Add that record to the fact that the Wild goaltending situation is a big question mark. Their top 3 goalies, Josh Harding, Niklas Backstrom, and Darcy Kuemper, are all out of commission to injuries. They brought in Ilya Bryzgalov at the trade deadline to mind the net, but the Russian doesn’t have a history of playoff success.

The Avs only have a losing record against one team that is in the western conference playoff picture, and that’s the St. Louis Blues. An injury riddled team that has lost 6 straight heading into the playoffs, and faces a tough first round matchup against the defending cup champs, the Chicago Blackhawks. By no means are the Colorado Avalanche the favorites heading into the playoffs, but you certainly can’t count out a deep run either. So…why not us?