It seems like the Blues should have some sort of rivalry with Colorado. There was opportunity with the one meeting in the conference finals back in the old days when our team was good. But with their best players being fairly innocuous (has anyone ever actually heard Joe Sakic speak? Are we sure he's not a mute?) and the Blues' best players at the time being fairly quiet themselves (Scott Young and Pierre Turgeon once had a ‘no talking' contest. It's still going on.) nothing ever seemed to heat up between the two.
I wish that there was some sort of rivalry between these two, either past or present, because there's a lot of untapped material to hate these guys about. That name, for instance, is a joke. Much like the Carolina Hurricanes, I'll never understand why a team would pick a nickname based on a disaster that might actually someday kill members of their fanbase. When an actual avalanche sweeps your family off some shitty hillside, and you're left standing there with your stupid snowcapped ‘A' shirt and ‘bigfoot's foot' symbol on your hat, you're going to want to go on a shooting spree.
And speaking of their fans, that's probably the main reason we had some sort of rivalry with this team. I hate their fans. Not because they are uniformed and unfunny (they aren't Detroit fans, after all; they are plenty funny and informed). I hate them because they've never had to suffer. When Denver ripped off the Nordiques from Quebec, they grabbed the team at exactly the right moment. The ‘diques and their fans had done their suffering. They had gone through the dark days of bad teams, lots of losses and high drafting during the summer.
Upon their arrival in Colorado, the team was a powerhouse. They were full of good, young talent just coming into their prime. They swooped in and stole Patrick Roy from Montreal while he was still dominant. The Avalanches won the Stanley Cup in their first year in Denver. They enjoyed the longest sellout streak in the league due to the great teams that were iced year after year. In fact, Joel Quenneville, whose .578 winning percentage is the best in Blues history, had a virtually identical .579 winning percentage in Colorado. He was fired and his percentage is the lowest among all Colorado coaches in their history.
You know what, Colorado fans? I hate you. I hate you for the same reason that I hate the bandwagon Red Wing fans who have been "die hard since ‘96": you've never suffered.
But you're about to pass from the realm of sanctified hockey fans to the realm of real hockey fans. Because you're about to start suffering. Milan Hejduk just isn't Milan Hejduk anymore. Your goaltending is suspect with no ‘next Roy' in the pipeline. Marek Svatos and Wojtek Wolski have great names, but they don't exactly cost opposing coaches sleep like the names Sakic and Forsberg once did.
And worse yet, their luck is starting to change. Last year, Boy Wonder Paul Stastny broke his arm when he was leading the team in most offensive categories. Sakic had a karmic whip in luck, missing games with back pain. Then for a root canal. Then again for more back pain. Finally he had surgery on the back. While recovering at home, he decided to clear his clogged snowblower by hand. The torque snapped when he cleared it and broke a bunch of his fingers. After all of that, who wouldn't have retired? Doesn't that run of luck sound like he played for the Blues?
The Avs come into St. Louis tonight in an unfamiliar position: struggling for a second straight year and falling down the standings with a 3-8-3 run in their last 14 games.
Good. Time for some Avs fans to start paying the dues of being a hockey fan. At least they got to celebrate the fruits of someone else's pain already. Now they have to learn about the bad times. Welcome to the club.
Tonight's game is on FSN-Midwest and you can always check what the opposition is thinking by checking in with the kids over at Mile High Hockey. Abandon all hope, ye Avalanche fans who enter here, for this the Game Day Thread and there will be no mercy for those who have not paid the proper amount of hockey dues.