Happy Thanksgiving, Avs Nation! And welcome to our annual thankfulness post about the Colorado Avalanche.
It’s a little tough being a Colorado Avalanche fan sometimes — for example, on Saturday when the team got spanked by the Washington Capitals. However, I’m not a fairweather fan, so I’m going to keep supporting my team even when they let me down.
No, the 2015-16 season didn’t get off to as strong a start as we all hoped. However, there’s still a lot to be thankful about being in Avs Nation and not, say, Wild Territory (if that’s even a thing).
Here are some of the reasons I celebrate my team.
#1. We have an NHL team.
This was #1 on my thank list last year, and it still holds true. I remember very vividly being a hockey fan in the early 1990s and not having a local NHL team to support.
Not only that, but the team is pretty approachable. All practices are free and open to the public. The players often stop and give autographs afterward. It’s not that hard to score reasonably priced tickets to Avalanche games. All in all, this is still a good thank.
#2: We have a history.
Get into an argument with a Minnesota Wild fan, and it always comes down to the same argument — they ousted us in the 2014 playoffs and spanked us pretty good last season. We have two Stanley Cups.
It’s not just that the Colorado Avalanche have two Stanley Cups — and that historic period between when they dominated the NHL. The Avs also had that legendary rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings — a rivalry so epic it’s still considered one of the classics in modern sports.
#3: We’re Getting a Stadium Series Game
Outdoor hockey is coming to Colorado. Come late February, they’re going to freeze over Coors Field. Alumni from both the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings are going to take to the ice one more time.
The following night the two current teams are going to play their regular season game. It’s a continuation of the 20-year history, the past and present of our great team. (And I’m going to the game!)
#4: Our Stadium Series sweater is pretty good.
When the design for the Colorado Avalanche’s Stadium Series jersey came out in September, we weren’t so sure about it. The design seemed rather… plain. The C on the front wasn’t the Avalanche logo but the logo from the state flag (in Avalanche colors). There were big stripes on the sleeves and ginormous numbers that defenseman Erik Johnson observed were as big as Gabriel Landeskog’s head.
However, the other three teams participating in Stadium Series games — including our opponent Red Wings — have since released their designs. Our sweater speaks to the team’s 20-year history, the tradition within the state and pays homage to the modern era. What’s more, the simple graphics and huge numbers will be easier to see from afar, as during the Stadium Series game.
#5: The New Thirds are Pretty Sweet
Avs Nation really doesn’t like change, and we hated the new third sweaters — dubbed “Rockies” — when they were first leaked in August. However, the team debuted the uniform in its entirety, and the overall ensemble is very attractive.
Nov 6, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) is congratulated for his power play goal by center Carl Soderberg (34) and defenseman Tyson Barrie (4) and left wing Alex Tanguay (40) and right wing Jarome Iginla (12) in the first period agains the New York Rangers at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Unfortunately, the “Rockies” haven’t been as much of a good luck charm as the old “blueberries” were. However, the dark color, sharp shingles on the shoulders and Colorado logo really makes for a good-looking team on the ice.
#6: They seem like good guys.
I don’t know the players personally. However, judging from interviews, social media and, especially, their actions, they seem like good people. I’m sure they have their moments of arrogance or conceit, but, hey, so do I, and I don’t have thousands of people cheering for me on a regular basis.
All the players — and Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic — have excellent reputations within the community. I’ve never heard it said of them that they’re too “rock star” to take time out for the fans. That’s important. It’s not every team that has a stable of good guys playing great hockey.
#7: Twenty years.
Twenty years — I’m thankful for every single one. Yes, the Stanley Cup years were the most exciting, and even those epic years in between.
However, I’ve seen this current team more times than I ever saw that storied roster. I was present for Matt Duchene’s, Gabriel Landeskog’s and Nathan MacKinnon’s NHL debuts. I remember when Erik Johnson got traded here.
But I also remember watching Patrick Roy stop everything that came near him. I remember Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg working their magic on the ice.
Some of those years in between — those were tough. But they were Colorado Avalanche hockey. As I stated before, I support my team through thick and thin.
What about you, Avs Nation? What makes you thankful for when it comes to the Colorado Avalanche?
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