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Erik Johnson, 2013 White Game Worn Jersey

You had me at “multiple team repairs…”

As mentioned in a previous AHP jersey post, besides the 2013 season being lockout-shortened, it wasn’t the best season to be a Colorado Avalanche player or fan.  Second from the basement in the NHL is no fun no matter how we slice things.

But also, as mentioned in that same previous post, games (no matter how few) lead to game worn jerseys which lead to jersey history.  I like jersey history and I enjoy sharing my passion for jerseys via this blog.  All I needed was the description of the wear on this jersey and it was as good as sold.

Erik Johnson 2013 White set 2

Erik Johnson 2013 White set 2 back

This is Erik Johnson’s white set two jersey worn on the road during the last part of the 2013 season.  He didn’t do anything particularly special while wearing it except for beat it up real bad.  That’s why I really like that it’s now part of my Avalanche jersey collection.

Johnson played in seven games and recorded zero points while wearing this jersey.  He left the seventh game against the Kings in Los Angeles on April 11, 2013 after just three minutes and 56 seconds of ice time after suffering a hand injury.  Johnson didn’t return to the Avalanche lineup until the final game of the season on April 27 at Pepsi Center against the Wild.  This jersey was extremely well-worn for one that had only seen action in six games and change.  EJ was playing hard even though the team was struggling.  I/we like that a lot.

The official description from the listing from my friends at The MeiGray Group read, “This jersey has 2 team repairs on the left sleeve and 7 team repairs on the right sleeve.”  That led me to photo match the jersey (details below) before I even purchased it.  That’s fun.  Here’s the left elbow with two+ team repairs.

Erik Johnson 2013 White set 2 left sleeve

And here’s the right elbow.  To use a jersey term, it’s hammered.  Seven+ team repairs make it wonderful.

Erik Johnson 2013 White set 2 right sleeve

As per my usual workflow, I made my way to Getty Images to find pictures of Johnson wearing this jersey.  The game against the Ducks on April 10, 2013 in Anaheim had the best two examples showing the damage to the right sleeve of EJ’s jersey.  Here’s one image.

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 10:  Erik Johnson #6 of the Colorado Avalanche pins Corey Perry #10 of the Anaheim Ducks against the glass in the second period April 10, 2013 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 10: Erik Johnson #6 of the Colorado Avalanche pins Corey Perry #10 of the Anaheim Ducks against the glass in the second period April 10, 2013 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

And the zoom on the right elbow.

EJ_Photo_Match_Zoom_1

Here’s one other image including a great shot of the right elbow.

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 10: Corey Perry #10 of the Anaheim Ducks looks to steal the puck from Erik Johnson #6 of the Colorado Avalanche April 10, 2013 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 10: Corey Perry #10 of the Anaheim Ducks looks to steal the puck from Erik Johnson #6 of the Colorado Avalanche April 10, 2013 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

And one more zoom.

EJ_Photo_Match_Zoom_2

This jersey lacks the history that many of the jerseys in my collection possess, but that doesn’t mean I like it any less.  The wear on this thing is as defined as any jersey I have acquired.  Big history or not, it still tells a story and I’m still proud it’s mine.

So, second to last place or not, Let’s Go Avs.

Milan Hejduk, 2013 Game Worn Burgundy Jersey

At one point (at least when I wrote this blog post a few years ago) I was pretty sure I had one of Milan Hejduk’s final game worn jerseys.  His career was definitely winding down and there was considerable buzz that 23 would retire after the 2011-2012 season.  Turns out, I had to wait until a few seasons after Hejduk actually retired to acquire one of his final game worn jerseys.  In the end, everything still worked out.

The lockout-shortened 2013 season was a tough one for the Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club and their fans.  The Avalanche had 16 victories in 48 games played and finished second to last in the league.  It can be said that perhaps the best thing about that campaign was the Avalanche winning the draft lottery following the season and being able to select Nathan MacKinnon in the June draft.  Ouch.

Even in shortened seasons though, there are jerseys.  Jerseys with history and with stories to tell.  The jersey below has a great story to tell.

Hejduk 2013 Burgundy Set 2

Hejduk 2013 Burgundy Set 2 back

This is Milan Hejduk’s burgundy set 2 worn from March 18, 2013 to April 21, 2013.  That was a span of seven home games, minus the games they wore their alternate jerseys at Pepsi Center and minus the games Hejduk missed due to injury (more on that later).  The jersey above is one of the last jerseys Milan Hejduk wore during his NHL career and if the documentation is correct as far as when the jerseys were worn, this is the jersey Hejduk was wearing when he scored his 375th and final Avalanche/National Hockey League goal.

Let’s go back to March 18, 2013.  This was the very first game the burgundy set two jerseys were worn.  Hejduk decided to break in his crisp new sweater in style beginning at 1:55 of the video below.

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Long-time Colorado Avalanche faithful know classic Hejduk when we see it.  That was classic Hejduk.  Now let’s go to the bench and get some love.

DENVER, CO - MARCH 18: Milan Hejduk #23 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Pepsi Center on March 18, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 18: Milan Hejduk #23 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Pepsi Center on March 18, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

I love that shot.

That goal was the only point Hejduk recorded while wearing this jersey on the ice.  Overall, this particular jersey saw action in just three Avalanche games.  Hejduk missed four other games where it would have been worn after suffering a shoulder injury midway through the first period during the March 30 game against the Predators at Pepsi Center.  Hejduk returned to action after missing nine games on April 19.

Here’s another great image of this jersey (before the shoulder injury) during pre-game skate on March 20, 2013.

DENVER, CO - MARCH 20: Milan Hejduk #23 of the Colorado Avalanche skates prior to the game against the Dallas Stars at the Pepsi Center on March 20, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 20: Milan Hejduk #23 of the Colorado Avalanche skates prior to the game against the Dallas Stars at the Pepsi Center on March 20, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

This jersey has some history, but because of its limited action it has literally no game use on it.  There is this mark just to the right of the nameplate, but I have no pictures to match the mark with.

Hejduk_Photomatch

So no photo match.  That happens and that’s okay.  We’ll just need to go with the documentation.

While I have you here, let’s discuss big picture matters as well.  I’ve made this clear on numerous occasions on Twitter, a banner with the number 23 should hang from the rafters at Pepsi Center.  23 should be the sixth number the Colorado Avalanche retire.  Here are just a few reasons why:

  • 14 years with the organization.
  • 1020 games in an Avalanche jersey (most in Avalanche franchise history, 150 more games in an Avalanche jersey than Joe Sakic)
  • 375 goals (second most in franchise history behind only Joe Sakic (391).  Hejduk has 172 more goals than Peter Forsberg who is third on the Avalanche’s all-time list)
  • 430 assists (third in Avs history behind Sakic and Forsberg)
  • 805 points (behind only Joe Sakic in Avalanche history)

Joe Sakic is the greatest Nordique/Avalanche of all-time.  That’s a given.  Don’t argue.  Milan Hejduk has a pretty strong case for second on that list based on the statistics and his longevity with the team.  Heck, he was even a Quebec Nordique draft pick.  The numbers and history pretty much speak for themselves.

As for me, I’m already looking forward to the patches, the festivities, and the chance to honor a great Av on Milan Hejduk night.  I won’t be wearing this jersey to that game as it’s too small for me to wear, but there are plenty other Avs jerseys with number 23 on them in my collection that I have to choose from.  I can’t wait.

Let’s Go Avs.

***Special thanks to Avalanchedb.com for their game logs and easy to access all-time Avs stats.  It’s a GREAT Avalanche research site.  Be sure to check it out.

Adam Foote Night Game Worn Jerseys

November 2, 2013 was a special night in Avs history.  It was the night the Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club retired its fifth jersey number, the number 52 of Adam Foote.

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On nights like that teams have the opportunity to wear jerseys with unique patches.  Thankfully, that night was no different.  The Avalanche wore a one-game set of jerseys with commemorative patches on them.  Here’s that good looking patch.

AdamFooteNightPatch

In the past, I had arrived at Pepsi Center early for Joe Sakic’s and Peter Forsberg’s retirement ceremonies in hopes of purchasing loose jersey patches that I could put on blank jerseys later.  I had no such luck on Adam Foote night.  The rumor was the patches sold out quickly and there were only about 60 patches available for purchase by the public at Altitude Authentics, the main retail store at Pepsi Center.  It looked like the only way that I was going to acquire a patch was to get a game worn jersey from that night.  I could do that.

The game worn jerseys were auctioned off soon after the game and, as expected, they went for a fair amount of money.  I passed on getting into the auction action in hopes of finding a jersey (or two) down the road from a winning bidder.  It took a while, but it finally happened as I had hoped it would.  Here are the newest additions to my Avalanche jersey collection.

SarichAdamFooteNight

SarichAdamFooteNightback

GueninAdamFooteNight

GueninAdamFooteNightback

Cory Sarich and Nate Guenin have never been near the top of my favorite Avalanche players list, but when it comes to patched jerseys worn in one game I decided to not be too picky.

As with any game worn jersey I acquire, it was time to look for photo matches.  Jerseys with patches worn in one game are a little simpler when it comes to the photo matching process; simply look for the patch.  Here are the game highlights for your viewing pleasure.  I wanted to give you the chance to see these exact jerseys in action.

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According to the official stat sheet from that night’s contest, Nate Guenin logged 19 minutes and 39 seconds of ice time.  He had one shot on net and recorded two hits.  Cory Sarich played 17 minutes and 44 seconds.  He also had one shot and was credited with five hits.  Those numbers aren’t too bad at all, but they still didn’t amount to much (if any) game wear on the jerseys.  Upon close review all I could find is this faint mark on the crest of Sarich’s jersey:

SarichFooteNightCrestMark

And this small burn on the lower left sleeve of Guenin’s jersey.

GueninFooteNighLeftSleeve

Either way, no problem, these jerseys are well-documented one way or another.

As always, I went through Getty Images to find images of the players wearing these jerseys on the ice at Pepsi Center.  That’s a fun part of the documentation (and storytelling) process.  Here is the only picture captured of Guenin during the game.

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 2: Nate Guenin #5 of the Colorado Avalanche controls the puck as Max Pacioretty #67 of the Montreal Canadiens reaches over his shoulder at the Pepsi Center on November 2, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 2: Nate Guenin #5 of the Colorado Avalanche controls the puck as Max Pacioretty #67 of the Montreal Canadiens reaches over his shoulder at the Pepsi Center on November 2, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s a REAL long shot, but maybe the burn on the left sleeve happened during this exact play.  A guy can dream, right?

And after the Sarich was offered to me this image made it even tougher to turn down the offer I had to add it to my jersey collection.

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 02:  Cory Sarich #16 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Montreal Canadiens at Pepsi Center on November 2, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 02: Cory Sarich #16 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Montreal Canadiens at Pepsi Center on November 2, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

I was even able to match the mark on the crest when I zoomed in on the image from Getty.  Bonus!  (It’s tough to see, but trust me, it’s there.)

Sarich_Photo_Match

The Avalanche made Adam Foote night a little more memorable by defeating the Montreal Canadiens 4-1.  These jerseys got a chance to celebrate that evening and that’s a very good thing.

So until my next game worn post(s), which will be soon, take care and Let’s Go Avs.

***A very special shout out to Ben Ho for giving me the opportunity to add these jerseys to my collection.  Thanks very much, Ben!

The Avs Hockey Podcast, Episode #95

In this show, James “Tapeleg” Gralian and Jay discuss the 2014-2015 Colorado Avalanche season, our highlights, lowlights, MVPs, and LVPs, Ryan O’Reilly’s future with the team, and how the Avs match up against current NHL playoff teams.  Those topics and much more Avalanche and hockey stuff coming at you in episode #95 of The Avs Hockey Podcast.  Thank you for joining us Avs fans.  We hope you enjoy the show.

Useful Internet linkage from the show:

The Avs announced their new AHL affiliate on April 17th.  Details here.

How about a few highlights from the season?

Daniel Briere’s 300th career goal on October 13, 2014 was a last-second game-winner in Boston.

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The Avs scored two goals in nine seconds twice this season.

First, it was Cody McLeod and Matt Duchene on February 16, 2015.

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Then it was Jarome Iginla and Ryan O’Reilly on April 7, 2015.  These two goals are showcased at 2 minutes and 10 seconds of this highlight video.

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Speaking of Avs/Preds on April 7, 2015, check out Joey Hishon’s first career NHL goal at 4 minutes and 5 seconds of the video.

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The Captain celebrates Hishon’s goal in style with a water bottle shower for 38.  Good hockey stuff here.

Nathan MacKinnon’s first career hat trick against the Lightning at Pepsi Center on February 22, 2015.

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Erik Johnson, 2014-2015 Game Worn Burgundy Jersey

Not too long ago Erik Johnson had a career/all-star year going and then it ended way too quickly.  The Avalanche hung in there without him, but his absence definitely didn’t help the cause at all.  Even though E.J. missed the last 33 games of the 2014-2015 season (as well as the all-star game) with a knee injury, he was still able to set a career high in goals scored.  That’s pretty impressive considering he missed just short of half of the season and that’s also one of the reasons why I added this to my collection when I had the opportunity.
2014-2015 Erik Johnson Burgundy Set 1

2014-2015 Erik Johnson Burgundy Set 1 back

Even though Erik Johnson did a lot of things in this jersey there isn’t a lot to photo match on it.  That made me sad.  There is a team repair and some wear near the left elbow.

2014-2015 Erik Johnson Burgundy Set 1 left sleeve

And there are some faint stick marks just below the crest as well.

2014-2015 Erik Johnson Burgundy Set 1 below crest

Overall though, for as much action as this jersey saw, I’ve had a hard time finding a definitive match.  The closest I have gotten is a thread pull off the six on the number on the back and another couple pulls on E.J.’s right sleeve number.  Here’s a shot of him scoring his second goal of the game against the St. Louis Blues on December 13, 2014 at Pepsi Center.  This was his first career two-goal game.

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 13:  Erik Johnson #6 of the Colorado Avalanche shoots and scores his second goal of the night against the St. Louis Blues to tie the score 2-2 in the second period at Pepsi Center on December 13, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 13: Erik Johnson #6 of the Colorado Avalanche shoots and scores his second goal of the night against the St. Louis Blues to tie the score 2-2 in the second period at Pepsi Center on December 13, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Let’s zoom in on the thread pulls and get a closer look.

2014-2015_Erik_Johnson_Burgundy_Set_1_thread_pulls

Here is Johnson getting some love from the bench after that tally.  Well done, E.J.

December 13 2014:  Members of the Avalanche congratulate Colorado Avalanche defenseman, Erik Johnson (6) on his second goal of the night during a regular season NHL hockey game between the Colorado Avalanche and the visiting St. Louis Blues at the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO. (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

December 13 2014: Members of the Avalanche congratulate Colorado Avalanche defenseman, Erik Johnson (6) on his second goal of the night during a regular season NHL hockey game between the Colorado Avalanche and the visiting St. Louis Blues at the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO. (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

In the photo matching game sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.  It may not be a stick mark, a burn, an unrepaired hole, or a team repair, it may be something as simple as a pull or a hanging thread.  In the end, it ALL counts.

By the way, here is some video from the goal pictured above.  Tap the stick, let it rip, and pump the fist.  Beautiful.

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In a related jersey note, the Avalanche are now auctioning off their game worn jerseys rather than going through The MeiGray Group.  For us long-time jersey collectors this has been a transition, but things are still okay.  Here’s the new tagging that lets collectors know this jersey is an authentic game-worn Avalanche jersey.

2014-2015 Erik Johnson Burgundy Set 1 set tag

According to the Avs, and assuming my math is correct (which is always a stretch), Erik Johnson wore this jersey in 13 games at Pepsi Center (minus the home games when the team wore their blue alternate jerseys.)  He recorded five goals and three assists in those 13 games.  Here are the other four goals he scored (in addition to the video linked earlier in this post.)

October 30, 2014 against the Islanders.  This rocket gave the Avs a 5-0 lead in the third period.  Icing on the cake time.

November 22, 2014 against the Hurricanes.  This wicked wrister scored just after the power play ended got the Avs within a goal of the Canes in the second period.  Watch Johnson change the angle (Milan Hejduk style) just before he shoots it.  Spectacular.

In mid-December Johnson really started to heat up beginning with a two-goal effort against his former team.  The second goal is already linked above.  Here’s the first goal he scored on the power play on December 13, 2014 which gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead later in the first period.  This time E.J. goes with the big slap shot.

The final goal Erik Johnson scored while wearing this jersey capped a four-game goal streak (the first four-game goal streak by an Avs defenseman since Sandis Ozolinsh did it in 1996) and a stretch where Johnson scored six goals in six games.  This was on December 27, 2014 against the Blackhawks and gave the Avs a 2-1 lead about halfway through the first period.  He joined a potential rush and almost ended up giving up on that rush and getting back on defense.  Then, thankfully, Johnson noticed that Ryan O’Reilly had the puck and some space.  The rush was back on.  It’s always cool watching hockey IQ at work.  Watch this highlight once and check out O’Reilly’s work to gain the puck.  Watch it again and check out Erik Johnson’s feet.  That’s hockey!

So there’s much of the journey of this jersey.  Plenty of highlights in a career first-half (plus a few games more) of a season.  I’m sure I speak for many of you when I say that I wish I could have seen the rest of Erik Johnson’s 2014-2015 season.  Sometimes things just aren’t meant to be.

Either way, here’s to hoping that Erik Johnson’s best hockey with the Avalanche is yet to be played.

Let’s Go E.J. and Let’s Go Avs.

***Special thanks to my friends at Avalanche.nhl.com for the statistics, videos, and details.  Creating this post was much simpler (and fun) because of the work you do.

Steve Konowalchuk, 2005-2006 Game Worn Burgundy Jersey

It has been a little while since I shared an Avalanche jersey here.  I figured it was time.  Here is one of the latest additions to my jersey collection.

Steve Konowalchuk played just shy of 100 regular season games for the Colorado Avalanche.  His stay included 13 playoff games as well.  “Kono” became an Avs player via a trade with the Washington Capitals on October 22, 2003.  His career came to an abrupt halt just before the 2006-2007 when a heart condition forced him to end his NHL career.  Although we wasn’t with the team very long he still is remembered and respected for his style of play and his leadership.  Those are just a couple of the many reasons why I jumped on this jersey when I had the chance.

2005-2006 Burgundy Kono

2005-2006 Burgundy Kono Back

Steve Konowalchuk #22 of the Colorado Avalanche during the game against the Los Angeles Kings on October 19, 2005 at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NHLImages)

Steve Konowalchuk #22 of the Colorado Avalanche during the game against the Los Angeles Kings on October 19, 2005 at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NHLImages)

For those of you that know me well you know my passion for photo matching jerseys.  It’s the “game within the jersey game.”  I had this jersey matched literally moments after I knew it was mine and way before I had the chance to see it in person.  That was fun.  There are two distinct stick marks on the crest of the jersey.  They were all I needed.  Here’s my picture of the crest.

2005-2006_Burgundy_Kono_Crest_Matches

And here’s a closer look at the above image from Getty Images.

2005-2006_Burgundy_Kono_Crest_Matches_001

Matched.

The jersey lover in me really enjoys the name plate on this jersey.  It makes me appreciate the art of making the back of these jerseys balanced and symmetrical.  Denver Athletic had to do some work to make this jersey look good.  They’re fortunate that Konowalchuk wore a larger size 58 jersey.  That fact definitely helped with some much-needed real estate for the extra long name plate.  It’s very pretty.

2005-2006 Burgundy Kono Nameplate

And a jersey with a commemorative patch?  Done deal.  I love jerseys with patches.

One more cool quirk.  The original MeiGray tag on this jersey had the 2004-2005 season on it.  That season never happened due to a labor dispute between NHL owners and the player’s union.  Instead of retagging everything the Avs/MeiGray decided to simply add a small 2005-2006 patch to the left of the 2004-2005 patch.  Check it out.

2005-2006 Burgundy Kono MeiGray

This jersey was from the first set of burgundy jerseys the Avalanche wore during the 2005-2006 season.  They were worn from the preseason through December 12, 2005.  Konowalchuk only played in 21 games overall for the Avs that season.  If my math is correct it looks like this jersey saw action in nine regular season home games.  There were three other home games when the team wore their burgundy alternate jerseys at Pepsi Center.  Unfortunately, the video of goals scored during the 2005-2006 season is no longer available on any NHL.com network site.  I was still lucky enough to find a meaningful clip on YouTube though.  This is a shorthanded goal Konowalchuk scored against the Nashville Predators on October 12, 2005.  It was one of the four goals Konowalchuk scored while wearing this jersey.

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Special thanks to my man, Jake Dubin, for helping to make this jersey a part of my Avs collection.  Game worn, photo matched, patched, and size 58 jerseys are ALWAYS welcome in my closet.

More jerseys coming soon.  Just doing my part to help you (and me) get through the long off-season.  Stay tuned Avs fans.

#AvsTwitterPsychic: 7,000+ Thank Yous!

It all started with a few tweets a little over two years ago.

And then it became kind of a thing.

Let’s review a quick history of #AvsTwitterPsychic and how we’ve gotten from there to here.

Late in the 2012-2013 season I began calling goals before games.  Just having some fun and hoping things would work out.  A few of my picks ended up being correct and @AvsPodcast followers began to notice.  I can track where the hashtag started down to the actual tweet.  It was during this conversation with @MattyHernAvs in early January of 2013.

 

ATP Star

A game was born.

We went through the rest of that season playing some ATP during overtimes.  Just having some fun.

Then, at the beginning of the 2013-2014 season, we kicked it up a notch.  Choose who scores the first good hockey goal for the Avalanche and get a retweet after the game.  Simple and easy.  The game within the game.  Just a way for people to enjoy Avalanche hockey a little more (whether our team won or lost) as well as a way for Avs fans to get connected with other Avs fans.

I honestly never thought we would get to where we are.

We played for a season and things went great.  Many people played, shared, spread the word, and grew the game.  I wasn’t tracking the hashtag last season at all.  A pilot season for ATP, if you will.

Even though it took the Avalanche until their third game to score a good hockey goal this season, we still played and had a good time.  That’s what it’s all about.

And then, on December 13, 2014, just after I posted a morning tweet about playing #AvsTwitterPsychic for that night’s Avs/Blues game things got serious.

Whoa.  I never thought that would happen.  Ever.

My buddy Tedd summed things up quite well just after the tweet from the Avalanche’s Twitter feed.  

Some games later the Avs made another #AvsTwitterPsychic pick and chose Nathan Mackinnon.  29 just happened to score the first good hockey goal for the Avalanche that game.  The Avs, on their own, then contacted five other people who also chose 29 and sent them Nathan MacKinnon signed pucks.  How cool is that?

Fast forward to now.

During the 2014-2015 season the #AvsTwitterPsychic hashtag was used on Twitter almost 7,300 times.  That’s a little less than 100 posts a game.  More and more people are playing, including the Avalanche’s Twitter feed every once in a while, and more and more Avs fans are connecting with one another.  (There are some fans that know about the game and don’t play for superstitious reasons.  I get that.  They’re still connected though and that’s all that matters.)

In case you’re curious, here are the official ATP stats for the season.  I was nervous for a while that <Curse Word> (also known as a shutout) was going to be the season leader, but then Jarome Iginla heated up and got this team going on more than a few nights.

2014-15 ATP Results

 

Overall, it was an amazing season for our game.  Thanks to all of you for making #AvsTwitterPsychic a part of your Avs game day experience this season and thanks for telling other Avalanche fans you know about ATP.  Those of you that play (and spread the word) are the heart and soul of ATP.  The game wouldn’t be what it is without you.  I hope you had as much fun playing as I did seeing all your tweets each and every game.

Let’s keep things rolling next season and keep growing the game.  I’m kind of biased, but in my opinion it’s way too much fun not to.  I kind of feel like we’re just getting started.

Let’s Go Avs!

The Avs Hockey Podcast, Episode #94

 This episode of The AHP is brought to you by the number 94.

Ryan Smyth, 2008-09 white set 2 game worn jersey.

Ryan Smyth, 2008-09 white set 2 game worn jersey. Photo courtesy of MeiGray.com.

In this show, my co-host James “Tapeleg” Gralian and I talk about a big old pile of Avalanche injuries, slim playoff chances, Iggy’s one-timer, our hope for Avalanche goaltender Reto Berra, and the line of Alex Tanguay, Ryan O’Reilly, and Gabriel Landeskog hockeying like bosses.  Those topic and a bunch more Avalanche and hockey stuff coming at you in episode #94 of The Avs Hockey Podcast.  Thank you for joining us Avalanche fans!

Links for your clicking pleasure:

From The Denver Post’s Terry Frei: The Avalanche will report to camp a year older and a year wiser next season.

Visit Avalanchedb.com for more Avalanche information than you can shake a hockey stick at.

Visit nhlnumbers.com for useful salary and cap information.

The Avs Hockey Podcast, Episode #93

In this podcast James “Tapeleg” Gralian and Jay break down Varly’s record-setting performance against the Blackhawks on January 6, we discuss Reto Berra scoring a goal for the Lake Erie Monsters, we talk about James and his adventures in Florida, and we encourage all Avalanche fans to mark February 27, 2016 on their calendars.  Those topics and much more in episode #93 of The AHP.  Thanks for joining us!

Links and videos for your clicking pleasure:

Semyon Varlamov sets the records during the Avalanche’s 2-0 win against the Blackhawks in Chicago on January 6, 2015.  54 saves.  Not too shabby.

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Matt Duchene’s third period goal against the Stars on January 10th here:

…brought back great memories for many long-time Avalanche fans.  Jay wrote about it here:

http://www.avshockeypodcast.com/2015/01/matt-duchene-from-peter-forsberg/

James made a guest appearance on the Canes Weekly Podcast before the Avs faced the Carolina Hurricanes on January 13.  Listen to the show here:

http://canesweeklypodcast.podomatic.com/entry/2015-01-11T10_37_36-08_00

James went to the Avalanche/Panthers game in Sunrise, Florida on January 15. This happened:

Reto Berra was sent to Lake Erie for conditioning on January 10.  He made his first start against the Chicago Wolves on January 16.  Then this happened.  Well done 20/30.

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GoPro and the NHL.  A good combination.

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Avs/Red Wings.  Coors Field.  February 27, 2016.  Be there.

Matt Duchene from Peter Forsberg

Matt Duchene’s eventual game-winning early third period goal against the Dallas Stars brought back some happy memories for some long-time Colorado Avalanche fans yesterday afternoon.  Duchene had tried this move many, many times before.  This was the first time it was successful (at least that I can remember.)

Here’s Duchene’s tally:

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Every time he’s tried that move I think of someone else though….

If we asked Duchene about his strategy there (knowing he was a fan of the Avalanche growing up) I’m sure he would eventually bring up the name of a recent Hockey Hall of Fame inductee we Avs fans are pretty fond of.  He actually does just that here.  Check out the similarities, including the bottom hand off the stick to protect the puck.  Peter Forsberg, take it away.

Goal against the Oilers: http://safeshare.tv/w/fPyIfIfwMQ

Goal against the Wild: http://safeshare.tv/w/UvNnTiYISI

Good to know I’m not the only one who thinks this way when we see Duchene try this move too:

Great minds think (and tweet) alike Dario.  Nice.

So ultimately an assist can’t officially be given to Peter Forsberg on Matt Duchene’s goal, but it was plenty close enough.

Let’s Go Avs.

***Links to the original YouTube videos linked above are here and here.  Watch both in their entirety.  They are glorious.

The Avs Hockey Podcast, Episode #92

We’re back in your ear holes!  It’s the Gabriel Landeskog edition of The Avs Hockey Podcast, Your Home for Almost Everything Avalanche.

Landeskog Blue Alternate back

In this show, James “Tapeleg” Gralian and and Jay discuss the 2014-2015 Avalanche season thus far, how injuries have impacted this season, our MVPs, our biggest surprises, and a whole lot more hockey and Avs stuff.  Thanks for your patience between shows.  It has been just a while and it’s great to be back.

Happy New Year Avs fans!

Some highlights for your viewing pleasure:

Question: What’s better than a Matt Duchene shootout goal?  Answer: Watching a Matt Duchene shootout goal in slow-motion.  Here is his backhand finish on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec on December 11, 2014.

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Alex Tanguay is patient with the puck.  Case in point, his shootout-ending goal against Edmonton Oiler goaltender Ben Scrivens on January 2, 2015.  This is pretty.

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Video credit for both of these goals to Vince Talavera.  He has great seats for shootouts at Pepsi Center.  Thank you for sharing the love Vince!

Ryan O’Reilly, 2013-2014 Game Worn White Jersey

It has been a little slow in the recent past when it comes to new jerseys joining my collection.  As time goes by it is getting more difficult to track down classic blank jerseys, affordable game worn Avalanche jerseys, and current blank jerseys as well.  The Avalanche playing better hockey means more popularity and higher prices too.  I get that.  It makes sense.

With that being said, here the latest addition to my closet.

Last season I pre-ordered Ryan O’Reilly’s set two white jersey during the season.  The price was affordable for a player of O’Reilly’s caliber.  That’s always a plus.  Check it out.

Ryan O'Reilly 2013-2014 White Set II

Ryan O'Reilly 2013-2014 White Set II back

As I watched the jersey in action it was really tough to identify any game use, marks, holes, etc.  Watching the jersey on television and being limited as far as context in pictures posted after the games was a challenge too.  Why doesn’t Ryan O’Reilly ever stand still?  That’s rude.  Sometimes it’s much easier to do the work once the jersey is in your hands.  This was one of those times.  As is usually the case, there were plenty of details to find and match.  For example, there were a few team repairs on the left sleeve just below the elbow that I was able to match from the game in Long Island against the Islanders on February 8, 2014 as well as the game versus the Flyers in Philadelphia on February 6, 2014.

Ryan O'Reilly 2013-2014 White Set II left sleeve

There were a few stick marks just below the crest here:

Ryan O'Reilly 2013-2014 White Set II marks front

…that I matched to the February 3, 2014 game against the Devils in New Jersey.

There was also a mark behind the left shoulder here:

Ryan O'Reilly 2013-2014 White Set II MeiGray Tag back left shoulder

…which I matched to that same game against the Devils in New Jersey on February 2, 2014.

And while we’re speaking about the Devils game, O’Reilly scored the game-winning goal in overtime wearing this jersey as well.  Drag ahead to 2:42 if you want to see the overtime winner by itself.  Watch the whole thing if you like late Avs equalizers.

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The great thing about these jerseys and the way they’re documented is that it’s much simpler (and entertaining) to track the action they’ve been a part of. This jersey was worn during 15 road games between December 21, 2013 and March 6, 2014.  Overall, O’Reilly scored seven goals and recorded ten assists wearing it.

Here are the games:

ROR_Set_2_Games

And here is the game log for that period of time.  There was no way to sort this by home and away games.  Sorry for the scrolling.

ROR_Set_2_Game_Log

Some other highlights featuring the jersey above:

Two goals against the Minnesota Wild on January 11, 2014.  A power play goal in the second period that gave the Avalanche a 2-0 lead and the eventual game-winner in the third period.  Backhand top shelf snipe anyone?

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An early goal as well as the primary assist on Jamie McGinn’s eventual game-winning goal on January 24, 2014 against the Panthers in Florida.

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An early third period beauty on a break and the secondary assist on Tyson Barrie’s eventual game-winner against the Blackhawks in Chicago on March 4, 2014.

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Highlights and history surround this jersey worn during the middle of Ryan O’Reilly’s 2013-2014 Lady Byng award-winning season.  Having the jersey in my collection is one thing.  Matching it to pictures and video makes me appreciate it even more.  Hope you enjoyed the ride as much as I enjoyed creating the ride for you.

Until the next jersey, and as always, Let’s Go Avs.