Former Colorado Avalanche winger and alternate captain Cody McLeod is heading to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Watching former Colorado Avalanche alternate captain Cody McLeod go the Stanley Cup Finals is a little like watching your ex get married — you’re happy for him, but there’s a little pang of jealousy as well.
We all know the Avalanche are a long way from reaching Stanley Cup contention again. I’ve more or less made my peace with that. I’ve long fantasized about the euphoria on captain Gabriel Landeskog‘s face as he hands the Stanley Cup to Matt Duchene. However, I acknowledge our young captain will likely be grizzled by then, and Duchene will likely be long gone.
Until then, let’s content ourselves with this expression of Landeskog’s euphoria:
Ok, maybe I haven’t entirely made peace with how low the Colorado Avalanche have sunk. However, Cody Mac, the Highlander, old Double Nickels was ever a fan favorite here in Colorado. And as long as he was an Avalanche, his heart beat burgundy and blue.
Let’s look at how he and his new flame, the Nashville Predators, got the the Stanley Cup Finals and then explore whether our ex might actually lift Lord Stanley’s Cup this summer.
Nashville Predators’ March to the Stanley Cup Finals
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Goalie Pekka Rinne has only allowed 25 goals through 16 games. That’s huge for the Nashville Predators. As conventional wisdom states, when your goalie gets hot in the playoffs, he can take you all the way to the Cup.
A hot goalie alone won’t take you to the Stanley Cup Finals. A team also has to do some scoring of its own. Well, the Predators have been getting some goals — and not just from the big names, either. Youngster Colton Sissons scored a hat trick in the clinching game against the Anaheim Ducks, helped along by fellow youngster Pontus Aberg (2 assists).
That’s scoring depth. When it’s not enough for a team to shut down your top two lines, you’ve got a good chance of moving forward.
It doesn’t hurt when you’ve got two of the best scoring defensemen in the NHL in Roman Josi and, of course, P.K. Subban. Both have played all 16 games. Josi leads all defensemen for scoring with 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists). Subban is right behind with two goals and eight assists.
Indeed, of the players who’ve skated in at least half of the playoff games, only one has no goals. That man is defenseman Yannick Weber. The Predators are dressing scorers on every line and in defense every single night.
And they have that hot goalie.
Cody McLeod’s Contributions
You’ll notice Cody McLeod’s not the Pred who hasn’t scored a goal in the playoffs. He’s played in every game of the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks series, though he sat out the Chicago Blackhawks series. Still, that’s 12 games.
And Cody McLeod got a goal against the St. Louis Blues:
It’s his only point of the playoffs. On the flip side, he has 23 penalty minutes in 12 games.
Believe it or not, in only one of those games were the penalty minutes because of fighting.
And he answered to Cody McLeod:
"Cody: Hello! Remember me?Jared: Dammit, I thought you were still with the Colorado Avalanche."
McLeod was ever the energy player for the Avalanche, the guy who would come in to defend his teammates at every turn. It’s thought there’s no role for players like that anymore in the modern NHL.
I think there’s always room for the heart players. They bring chemistry to the team. And I daresay, as the Nashville Predators prepare for their first-ever Stanley Cup appearance, they agree.
Good luck to Cody McLeod, even if he’s no longer with the Colorado Avalanche.
Here are the dates for the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals:
Game 1: Monday, May 29
Game 2: Wednesday, May 31
Game 3: Saturday, June 3, at Nashville
Game 4: Monday, June 5, at Nashville
Game 5: Thursday, June 8 (if necessary)
Game 6: Sunday, June 11, at Nashville (if necessary)
Game 7: Wednesday, June 14 (if necessary)