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Will the Colorado Avalanche make the NHL playoffs?

Do the Avs have better than a 50/50 chance of making the NHL playoffs?

Kiz: The buzz is back. In a hockey building, the momentum of something big about to happen builds with a noise that’s as real and organic as waves crashing on the beach. So how do I know how the Avs are for real as playoff contender? The happy sound of Colorado fans that truly believe this team is about to do something good is back in their barn.

Chambers: A hockey team with a worldly top line, excellent special teams and the ability to maintain third-period leads is a playoff-bound squad. The Avs are all that and more right now. Just a question if they can sustain it. Colorado has Nathan MacKinnon and is 18-1-1 when leading after two periods, and the penalty kill has been incredible. Impressive stuff.

Kiz: After Colorado beat Anaheim for their seventh victory in a row, defenseman Erik Johnson warned it’s too early for these young Avs to think they have accomplished anything, because it required seven straight wins just to get on the fringe of playoff contention. He’s correct. But why be satisfied with sneaking in the playoffs? The Avs should set their sights on passing Minnesota, Dallas and St. Louis to finish third in the Central Division. Too much to ask?

Chambers: Games in hand, Kiz. The Avs have 51 points but are coming off their bye week, and have multiple games in hand over the Wild, Stars and Blues. Indeed, they are on the playoff fringe, but if this keeps up, they’ll be where they need to be for the postseason. Chemistry is everything with a hockey team, and right now this team feels like it can beat anyone in the league.

Kiz: On that awkward morning at training camp, when Matt Duchene made it obvious he wanted out, it felt like a long, cold winter ahead for the Avalanche. But surprise, surprise, surprise. It warms my heart now to say I believe Colorado will earn a postseason berth. I’d give the Avs a 60 percent chance of making it. My main two concerns are: 1) Does this team have enough offense beyond the MacKinnon line, and 2) Is it too much to ask a back-up goalie to carry this team down the stretch?

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