There are many stories surrounding the Colorado Avalanche’s trip to Sweden for the Global Series games. Here are some of the best.
The Colorado Avalanche are in Sweden. So are the Ottawa Senators. So is Matt Duchene, but with a new team. That’s just one of many stories taking place surrounding the SAP NHL Global Series.
The Global Series is the NHL’s way of promoting hockey across the world. (The 2018 Olympic Games in Korea are not, but that’s another story.) The Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators are set to face each other in back to back games on Friday, November 10, and Saturday, November 11. That’s the reason for the four-day gap between games both before and after this weekend. About the other four-day, non-bye-week gaps? No idea.
The Avalanche headed straight to Sweden after that strange, strange game that saw Matt Duchene traded, not just in the middle of the game or the middle of a period but in the middle of his shift!
Even stranger, while Duchene boarded a charter flight for his new hometown, he shortly thereafter boarded a flight for Sweden. Because, of course, his new team was the one playing the Avalanche in the Global Series.
The only thing that would have been weirder would be if he got traded to the Islanders, whom the Avs were playing. He could have changed uniforms in the home locker room and been skating against his former teammates by the second period.
Anyway, if you’d like to read more about that bizarre night, told first-hand, here’s a story from our own Thomas Janz: Reflections on a Strange Night in Brooklyn.
One more little tidbit. Watch this clip of Duchene leaving the ice right after an injured Blake Comeau:
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Look at the reflection in the glass as Duchene passes by — it’s Altitude reporter Kyle Keefe. The pathos on his face, that look of confusion and dismay, is one I think a lot of us felt on our faces that night.
Also, I get the feeling Blake Comeau was telling the trainer and teammate Carl Soderberg that he didn’t need such an elaborate entourage to the training room. It almost feels like the trainer is saying, “But we need to get Duchene off the ice, and this is the smokescreen.”
Anyway, moving on. The Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators aren’t natural rivals. You’ve got to think at least part of the reason those two teams were chosen for this Global Series games in Sweden is because they both have Swedish captain.
Swedish captain, spoke to the media after the team’s practice at Globe Arena:
A highlight, besides Landeskog’s unusually wonky hair, is his rueful story of how his teammates reacted to his catalog of the buildings they were passing by on the bus.
Erik Karlsson, their Swedish captain, held a similar post-practice presser:
He looks bored. Also, no suit — Gabe respectfully wears a suit. Hard to tell about his hair game since it’s under a hat.
A more interesting bit the Senators put out was this tour of Stockholm that Ottawa defenseman Fredrik Claesson:
Swedish-born, Claesson took the media on a tour of Stockholm — props for mentioning Landeskog’s fame.
As cute as that was, nothing beats the Sweden Fly Away game show the Colorado Avalanche hosted. Gabriel Landeskog asked questions of two of his defensemen, Erik Johnson and Tyson Barrie. Fans got to vote for who would win, with one fan winning tickets to Sweden and the Global Series games:
If you only have time to watch one segment, watch the first — it’s hilarious. Erik is one hell of a competitor and Barrie… well, he’s like a little mouse sometimes.
In case you’d like to learn how to score a goal up close while wearing a suit, here are the instructions:
Well, hopefully you speak Swedish.
In case you’d like to know how Avalanche players feel about Swedish furniture store Ikea:
Spoiler alert: Despite his mad Swedish language skills, Erik Johnson is “over it.”
By the way, Landeskog had a point that his teammates are over hearing about Sweden:
Fellow fan bloggers over at Mile High Hockey wrote an interesting article about how Sweden — or Swedish players, anyway — have impacted the Colorado Avalanche: Sweden’s Impact on the Colorado Avalanche.
I also really like this article by Ron Knabenbauer og the Avalanche’s PR team — especially his chronicle of the team dinner. Arrival in Sweden
Because the games are on European time, they’re getting played during the daytime. Here’s how to enjoy the games:
Game time: November, 10 1:00 pm MT
TV Networks: Altitude TV (Avs feed), TSN5 (Sens’ feed), NHLN-US, RDS
Radio: Altitude Radio (AM 950)
Game time: November, 11 11:00 am MT
TV Networks: Altitude TV (Avs feed), TSN5 (Sens’ feed), SN, RDS
Radio: Altitude Radio (AM 950)