A couple of months ago, Jeremy Lambert had to list his favorite Nashville Predators after the Preds defeated his Colorado Avalanche. It was inevitable with all the injuries to Nashville’s best players that eventually the Avs would get revenge for their two defeats at the hands of the Predators during the 2016-17 season. I thought for sure it would happen today, as most of the best Nashville Predators are out with injury. But somehow, someway, the Preds pulled out the 3-2 victory on the road with an awesome faceoff goal by Filip Forsberg. I watched it, and I don’t know how this happened. What I do know is that Avalanche fans need some cheering up, and I’m going to do so by listing my 5 favorite Avs.
I’ll admit, it’s not the easiest thing for me to do. I’m still early on in my hockey fandom and I don’t know a lot about all the various franchises. I know a bit about the Avalanche because they’re a division rival and they were good back when ESPN covered hockey during SportsCenter, but I’m sure there are tons of qualified players that won’t make the cut here simply because I don’t know them. I can’t even name any of my favorite fantasy Avs because Gabriel Landeskog was a bust the two years that I had him and I don’t currently have any.
In any event, here’s the list!
5. Ray Bourque
I remember all the hype Bourque got when he got traded from the Boston Bruins to the Avalanche so he could chase a Cup. In other sports this ring-chasing business is somewhat frowned upon by most fans, but it’s seen as acceptable to hockey fans. At least it is when the guy’s played for over fifteen years, anyway. Even Boston fans wanted Bourque to go somewhere else so he could be part of a Cup-winning team.
Remember when Boston didn’t win everything always? Those were the days.
4. Cody McLeod
McLeod was traded from the Avs to the Predators the day before Saturday’s game. I think the Preds did this because most of their top players are on the shelf with various injuries right now and McLeod was the most likely member of the Avalanche to add somebody else to that list. Another reason is probably the fact that other teams don’t seem to respect anybody on the Predators now that Shea Weber is gone. When Weber was around, people thought twice about taking cheap shots on Predator players because they knew the Captain would be up in their face sooner rather than later to issue a receipt. P.K. Subban is a stud of a hockey player, but he doesn’t intimidate people like Weber does. McLeod’s main purpose in hockey is fighting, and I imagine that will be his role on the Preds going forward.
And apparently he scores goals sometime too? Talk about a bonus! I love this guy!
3. Lauren Gardner
OK, Lauren’s technically not a member of the Avalanche hockey team, but she joined the Avalanche broadcast team this season & immediately improved the appeal of that side of the product. She was in the top 25 of my Sports Media Hot 100 a couple of years back because of two reasons:
-she’s married to one of my favorite Cincinnati Reds of the 2010s
-I love gingers
Needless to say, I’m pretty jealous of you Avs fans getting to see her all the time. In addition to her high level of attractiveness, she’s the most relaxed member of sports media I follow on the Twitter. LG & the Preds’ Lyndsay Rowley are the only two I can think of off the top of my head that don’t spend most of their time on Twitter complaining about the people that disagree with them. Maybe it’s a hockey thing.
2. Patrick Roy
Roy’s another one of those players I actually remember from the 1990s because he got a lot of press, but I’m not listing him here because of his goaltending skills. There’s no questioning his Hall of Fame-level talent, but Roy became one of my favorite hockey people ever during his first few months as Avalanche head coach. Dude was crazy! Who doesn’t love a coach that tries to start fights with other coaches?
To me, he’s like the Rex Ryan or Jim Mora Sr. of hockey. He needs to have a coaching job somewhere because he’s immensely entertaining & creates so much conversation. Even the way he left the Avs was so bizarre that it was interesting.
1. Peter Forsberg
He was Jeremy’s #1 because he’s his favorite hockey player of all time. He’s my #1 because he was the first Nashville Predator to make the Hockey Hall of Fame. Sure, he only played 17 games with the Preds and that playoff run was pretty forgettable, but we’ll take what we can get & he’s still our only Hall of Famer.
There you have it…the best of the Colorado Avalanche! Fear not, Avs fans. Times might be tough right now, but you’ve got a rich tradition and times ahead are sure to be better!