Colorado Avalanche 10 Reasons to Attend Games: Player Warm-Ups

DENVER, CO - MARCH 7: Matt Duchene
DENVER, CO - MARCH 7: Matt Duchene /

Even if the Colorado Avalanche aren’t going to be contenders for the Stanley Cup next season, there are many reasons to attend games. One is to experience the warm-ups.

The Colorado Avalanche will begin the 2017-18 season with a shaky cast both on the ice and behind the bench. The team is in a full rebuild, but there doesn’t seem to be a clear direction.

Attendance at Avs games has been declining somewhat. It’s hard to keep supporting a team when they’re losing. Unfortunately, as I observed in the following post, the only reason the Pepsi Center isn’t half empty is because of opponent fans:

Now, even when the team isn’t putting the best product on the ice like, say, the reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, there is still reason to go to games at the Pepsi Center. In the following post, I talk about some of the good food options at the arena:

More from Mile High Sticking

But let’s get to talking about hockey — or some part of hockey anyway. When you go to Colorado Avalanche games at the Pepsi Center, they let you in one hour before the game begins. That’s enough time to enjoy some Pepsi Center food. But that’s also enough time to enjoy the warm-ups.

At about 20 minutes before the game begins, players from both teams take to the ice to warm up. The public is welcome to watch. At the Pepsi Center, a lot of people are still trying to get their snacks at that time, so it’s easy to get close to the ice, no matter where your seats are located.

In other words, it’s easy to see some part of hockey in action up close and personal even when your seats are nosebleeds.

I almost always get to the games early enough to watch warm-ups — I consider it a part of the whole experience. The warm-ups are actually pretty entertaining.

Here are the players coming onto the ice:

I just love the sirens going off — they’re warning you an avalanche is about to come down on you.

Here’s how it goes when the players actually get down to warming up:

Game 7 against the Minnesota Wild — let’s not focus too much on the outcome of that game.

As we know, defenseman Tyson Barrie and center Nathan MacKinnon are fast friends — you might even say they have an epic bromance. Well, that comes out during practices. Both players love to show off their stick work:

Nathan MacKinnon is really good at showing off his stick work:

That puck sure loves his stick.


Matt Duchene

sometimes shows off his stick work, too. What’s fun about his warm ups is that he’s one of the few players who still skates around without a helmet on:

Duchene is always the last one to leave the ice, too – he makes sure of that.

It’s also a lot of fun to watch goalie

Semyon Varlamov

warm up:

He is one limber man.

A couple more things about attending Colorado Avalanche warm-ups. One, if you’re a sign-maker, this is the best time for your signs to be read. A lot of the players give signs the old side-eye. Especially clever signs even make it up on Pepsi Vision.

Two, you might get a puck. This is especially true if you have a kid with you. However, if you have a special, player-centric sign, sometimes you can get a puck even as an adult.

Next: Avs Players on a Menu (Fun Day Post)

In the opening night game Colorado Avalanche versus the Minnesota Wild, 2014, I could have gotten a puck from (the evil) Matt Cooke. Why he wanted to give me a puck, I’ll never know. Because I just looked at our captain and pretended Satan didn’t exist. I get to go to heaven for that, right?