Thursday night was one of those rare, rare sports nights of recent Minnesota vintage. It featured a very important game -- one we have called the biggest game for the Wild since Jacques Lemaire left town. It featured a home team that very badly needed a victory. It featured a crowd that was on point and fired up from the get-go.

It featured almost total domination by the home team ... and yet the type of tension that makes you savor the experience even more in retrospect. And in the strangest of twists, nothing terrible happened. The game did not go flying off the rails at the worst possible moment. A late surge by the visitors did not lead to the inevitable tying goal. The team that deserved to win ... won.

And now we have this: a playoff series that is ostensibly a best-of-3 and which feels tilted toward the Wild even though two of those games are Avalanche home games. Confidence was palpable in the Wild locker room postgame. The Avs are the team on their heels. Yes, that can all change with one bounce. But right now, this is the Wild's series for the taking.

So we say this: don't just be satisfied with how good Thursday felt. It's time, dear Wild fans, to get greedy. We went into this series thinking a well-played loss would still feel OK. Maybe that will ultimately prove to be true, but these past two games -- and the majority of Game 1 -- have convinced us that an adjustment in expectations is in order.

Go ahead and think big. Think about the Wild sustaining its unfathomable puck possession and pressure against a shell-shocked Avs team in Colorado. Think about Game 6 having the potential to be a Wild clincher back in St. Paul.

These things are possible.

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