Playoff overtime goals are kind of a big deal. Ask any Avalanche fan about Joe Sakic’s heroics throughout the years. His eight overtime game winning goals in the playoffs are a record for a career and that’s two more than the next player in NHL history. That’s why Sakic’s name and the word clutch end up in the same sentence so often.
The Avalanche had another clutch player that played here in Denver for a few seasons and his name was Andrew Brunette. He has two playoff game winners that I can easily remember off the top of my head. Here’s one. (Avalanche fans, I apologize in advance for bringing back memories like the one in the video below.)
That was April 22, 2003, game seven of the Stanley Cup Quarterfinals against the Minnesota Wild, otherwise known as Patrick Roy’s final game in the NHL. And as my man Forrest Gump would say, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
Fast forward through the 2003-2004 season and the 2004-2005 season that didn’t exist because of the strike and Andrew Brunette is now a member of the Colorado Avalanche. Brunette played in all 82 regular season games for the Avs that season and recorded 24 goals and 39 assists for a strong season of 63 points. He finished third on the team in points for the regular season behind Joe Sakic (87 points) and Alex Tanguay (78 points.) The Avs entered the playoffs as a seven seed and played the second seed Dallas Stars in the first round. The series went five games. The Avalanche won three of those games in overtime including the fifth and deciding game at 13:55 of the first overtime period. Andrew Brunette scored the series clinching goal and he was wearing this jersey while he did it.
Just before the shot…
(Photo courtesy of AP/USA Today)
Just after the shot…
(AP Photo/ Donna McWilliam)
This video will show you how to get to the highlights of game five through the Avs’ main site. The embed functions on the highlight page aren’t working like they should, so we’ll go the long way. Just open up another window and follow my lead! Game five was on April 30, 2006, just for reference.
The Avs were swept by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the next round so this was the final time that Avalanche fans were able to celebrate a win that playoff season.
Now let’s get to the jersey specifics. It has a patch. That’s always a good thing in my book. Just adds to the story.
This jersey is what collectors like to call hammered. In non-jersey collector terms that simply means that it’s very easy to tell that it was used during a game. Here are a few pics that detail that game use.
The back left side of the jersey. Sticks marks all over the place. I especially like the one just left of the “B” in Brunette. It continues on to the nameplate.
Here’s the front of the jersey which includes a mark on the Avalanche crest.
And check out the mark/burn/snot just below the “5” on the left sleeve.
That mark looks very similar to the mark that’s on my alternate that Brunette wore during the same season. I still haven’t figured out how marks like that get on a jersey, but I do know they add some character and that’s a good thing. The rest of the marks are from sticks and pucks. Holes are always a nice touch too. The evidence of game use represents the way Brunette plays the game as well. He’s never been afraid to enter those high traffic areas on the ice and pay the price to make things happen. I’ve always respected that about Bruno. He was a pleasure to watch when he played here for sure.
So overall it’s pretty clear what Andrew Brunette does in the Stanley Cup playoffs, he prefers to score series-ending overtime goals. I remember one of those goals like it was yesterday. As far as that other goal, me, along with pretty much any other long-term Avalanche fan, we’re just trying to forget that one. I’m obviously very happy that I now have the actual jersey from the good memory in my collection.