DENVER (AP) - As the season went along and the Colorado Avalanche kept winning and winning, they broadened their ambitions: From simply making the playoffs to accumulating 100 points to capturing a division title.
This youthful squad pretty much accomplished everything they set their minds to, even if "nobody expected to see us where we are," first-year coach Patrick Roy said.
A turnaround such as this was understandably a little hard to picture, considering a year ago Colorado finished last in the Western Conference.
The Avalanche not only matched a franchise record for wins (52), but secured the Central Division as they return to the postseason for the first time in four years. They host the Minnesota Wild in a best-of-seven series that begins Thursday.