Avalanche Poll: Who Will Celly First?


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The Colorado Avalanche are starting their season not too far from where they left off. Their first regular season game is against the Avalanche’s demons from the post-season, the Minnesota Wild. The first game is in the Xcel Center, where the Avalanche struggled in the playoffs.

But that was then, and this is now, and the Avalanche are poised and ready for retribution. For a run-and-gun team like Colorado, that’s going to look like breaking through the Wild’s slothful neutral zone and playing some exciting hockey.

The Avalanche have plenty of players who can snipe or bang in the first goal. So, Avs Nation, who do you think will get the first goal against the Minnesota Wild? Whose hockey celly will we see  first?

#1: Matt Duchene

You can never go wrong betting on Matt Duchene to score a goal. Now, he can be streaky about scoring goals, and he did struggle during the preseason, but when Dutchy gets over his streak, he does it in a big way.

As far as goal celebrations go, Dutchy scores so often that he’s got quite a repertoire. He jumps up against the glass sometimes. He often opens his mouth wide and unleashes a rebel yell. One of his most memorable celebrations came after one of those scoring slumps — he mimicked ripping the “monkey” of not scoring off his back. Even more memorable came after a longer slump. He crashed the net and banged it in, yet his reaction made it look as if he had missed — he growled fiercely and ice-picked the glass.

Dutchy’s reaction to scoring in the first game of the season is unlikely to be that dramatic — he’s probably more likely to fall back on his usual motor-start:

#2: Nathan MacKinnon

Nate is another excellent bet. He worked hard over the summer to improve — and he was already at a high level.

Nate was known for his own notable celly last season. It came after his first goal. He got so excited that he skated right past captain Gabriel Landeskog’s open arms to throw himself against the glass. The shocked look on Landy’s face indicated no one had ever skated past his open arms before!

One of his usual moves, though, is the standard skate-and-scoop — he’s very exuberant in his execution:

#3: Gabriel Landeskog

And then there’s the captain. His goal-scoring ability occasionally gets overshadowed by Dutchy and Nate. However, he was second only to Duchene last season in points and second only to Ryan O’Reilly in goals last season.

Landy has all the usual celebrations in his repertoire, though many of his are hug-based. However, he’s especially renowned for Landeskogging:

#4: Tyson Barrie

Then there’s Mr. Clutch, the player head coach Patrick Roy puts in when the Avalanche are down, and time is running out. Barrie became well-known for his game-winning goals last season — after lining up his ducks and officially making the team.

Just like the other players, he fist-pumps, skates-and-scoops and occasionally throws himself against the glass. However, after scoring against the Vancouver Canucks, he invented the whirligig:

#5: Alex Tanguay

Maybe Tango will score first. However, I included his name on this list mostly so we could revisit the biggest goal he’s ever scored — the game-winning, Cup-winning goal in the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals:

#6: Erik Johnson

Ok, it’s probably more likely that Ryan O’Reilly scores before Erik Johnson — O’Reilly’s coming in pretty hot from the preseason. However, when EJ scores, it’s a thing if beauty. Just last season he made two goals that would be highlight-worthy for even the premier snipers in the league. For one, he split the Detroit Red Wings’ defense like a hot knife through butter before sending it in top-shelf. For the other, he powered through the neutral zone on a coast-to-coast play, muscled through the Edmonton Oilers like they were peewee players, dangled one and scored a sweet goal.

EJ’s a solid two-way defenseman, though, not an offensive defenseman like T-Bear. As such, his celebrations are not as elaborate. He tends to fist pump for the most part. However, his tendency is to then stand off to the side with his huge wingspan spread to welcome his teammates, hockey smile beaming. The following hockey celly is from the game-winning goal he scored upon his return from suspension:

So, Avs Nation. Do you think one of the players above will score first? Ryan O’Reilly or Jarome Iginla? An outlier?