Colorado Avalanche: Excitement Building for Stadium Series

Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. Photo credit: Nadia Archuleta
Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. Photo credit: Nadia Archuleta /

The Colorado Avalanche host the once-rival Detroit Red Wings in a Stadium Series game that’s much anticipated by fans.

For Colorado Avalanche fans, the road to the Stadium Series weekend is filled with as much anticipation as the month leading up to Christmas. Maybe more. We’ve been dreaming about this since the Why Not Us season when then-new GM Joe Sakic started talking about bringing outdoor hockey to Colorado.

Personally, I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about the weekend — it’s been like that for a couple weeks now. I told my bosses that I needed the weekend off all the way back in May when the date was announced — no joke.

Also no joke, I started getting my attire ready for the Stadium Series game a couple months ago. It started with the buying of my Erik Johnson Stadium Series jersey. However, I also acquired long underwear, thermal fleece sweatpants and a Colorado Avalanche blanket to sit on. I even got hand warmers in my Christmas stocking — my family knows me so well.

I’m undaunted by the fact that the weather forecast is for a warm and sunny weekend. This is Colorado — not only can the weather change in minutes, it’s always cold at night. It’s best to be prepared. (Plus, I get cold at regular Pepsi Center hockey games — I’ve already been wearing my long underwear.)

I asked my fellow Mile High Sticking writers to share some of their excitement about the Stadium Series Game.

First, let’s hear from Will Radke:

“Well I only get to see one or two Avalanche games in person a year, and I haven’t been to the Pepsi center in over 10 years! (I know I still won’t be, but it’s a home game). In addition the Alumni game is going to be awesome, did you see what Forsberg and Roy are already doing? (It’s hidden down near he bottom.) Lastly, I’m excited to spend time with my Pops and walk around in all Avs gear without being accosted by dumb Wild fans. It’s going to be a blast!”

Here’s what Mark Kettelson had to say:

“I prayed for a stadium game for years and now that I look back, I am happy that we didn’t get one until now. 

 “This is going to be a great games to watch, both for the sake of nostalgia and because this game will actually matter.  Simply put we need the two points this game could net us.  The tight race for the wildcard spots will only add to the intensity of this game. 

 “And for that I am thankful we never got a Stadium Series game under Sacco.  I couldn’t imagine a worse scenario where we had an outdoor game that simply didn’t matter.”

Next let’s hear from Ross Sellers:

“I will not have a voice come Sunday morning, because the guttural upheaval of my fiery passion for the Colorado Avalanche will ring throughout Coors Field, so that all will hear my YAWP, as Walt Whitman would say:

"“I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”"

“That will be the only phrase possibly conjured in lieu of my screams for the Avalanche on Friday and Saturday.

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“To say that I am excited is an understatement because I will be a part of history, along with 50,444 other fans of hockey. I am trembling with nail-biting, beer-drinking, foot-stomping glee, and if any fan would like to join in this celebration with me, then let me know in the comment section.  We will facilitate a meeting point at Coors Field where all levels of fanaticism can take place in an occult response to the whole ordeal, while drinking the life-blood juice of foamy, delicious liquid. Essentially, if any of you fans want to meet up at the game and have a raucous good time, then don’t hesitate to inform me in the comment section.

“Go Avs go! And, let all bear witness to a momentous historical moment!

Let’s finish up with Kevin Marland:

“If the blood in your veins is quickened by ice hockey, how can you NOT be excited about the Stadium Series? It brings a national focus to a rivalry that has burned on for decades, and most importantly, has real standings implications for both teams. It’s like the opposite of the All-Star game.

“Plus, you take a look at that alumni game roster, and see those old jersey numbers… You start to recount all of the passion and sporting animosity between those players and their clubs. It’s going to be epic!

“Games like these are pretty special, and the hype that each franchise goes through collectively – from the extra media around the team, to the hype among fans – it’s something to be ravenously consumed in the moment, all at once. An Avalanche victory would be cause for dancing in the streets.

“My body is ready.”

A naive me asked a friend a couple years ago, while we were watching that epic, blizzard-covered Stadium Series game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins, what was so special about these games. She pointed to the snowy field and said simply, “Because anything can happen.”

Anything can happen — last week the anticipation had grown so strong in me that, as soon as I heard the ice was being prepared on Coors Field, I called up to reserve a tour so I could check it out.

Yet this week I have found myself wanting to dig my heels in. As the day gets closer, I want to savor every second leading up to the Colorado Avalanche’s Stadium Series event. I don’t want Sunday to come.

Next: Avs-Wings Rivalry Revisited

The Alumni Game is tomorrow, and I’m going to be the proverbial kid on Christmas Eve tonight, unable to sleep because of the excitement. To see all the greats on the ice a last time, the names I chanted years ago… Go, Foppa! Smokin’ Joe! Ozo! Ozo! Save by Roy!