I was one of thew few who thought the Avs were going to come crashing back to Earth last year after the surprise playoff appearance in the season previous. To be honest, I didn't expect them to crash, transform into the Boneshaker (from Cherie Priest's awesome novel of the same name), drill the center of the earth, fill the hole behind them, and lie down after putting two bits on their closed eyes. I just expected a double-digit rank in the tough Western Conference. I belly-ached all season about the optimistic body language of some and the unsustainable shooting percentages of others. In the end, it didn't help me feel better about Colorado's season or increase the likelihood that I could look my hockey buddies in the eye whilst wearing my team colors. To be honest, it sucked and it wore me out. So this year, I'm gonna try something different. No more waiting for the other shoe concussion to drop. No more deep sighs and slowly shaking heads. This year I'm gonna be focused on enjoying NHL hockey as much as possible, Avalanche hockey in particular. I imagine it will be tough at times, but I intend to be firmly rooted in the moment with a bent (slightly to the right) toward optimism. How will I do this?
- I'm not going to worry about Peter Mueller's head possibly exploding during a game. He's a professional athlete who plays for my favorite team and I expect him to give 100% every night and produce on a line with Matt Duchene and the immortal Milan Hejduk. I'll enjoy every minute he's on the ice.
- Speaking of Hejduk, it shan't enter my mind that this could be the last season I get to see his sweet, scrumtrelescent wrist shot causing a goalie to cry.
- Segueing to goalies, I fully expect Semyon Varlamov to be at the 2012 NHL draft at Colorado's table. When the Caps get up to make Colorado's pick somewhere in the late teens/early 20's, he'll stand up and make eye contact with George McPhee and grin.
- Every time I see a Jean-Sebastien Giguere glove save, I'll do this.
- I don't intend on bringing up rebound control a single time this season. I've copied a link to my definition for easy posting this time.
- I won't be waiting for David Jones to prove anybody wrong. He did that last year.
- I will cackle like a demented former senator-turned-space emperor every time Erik Johnson brings the pain. I'll still call him out if he does something dangerous and hurts another player in a decidedly non-gentlemanly manner.
- I pledge to attend every Lake Erie game when they visit the OC in 2011. I fully expect to see the awesome version of Brandon Yip.
- I will funnel all my hatred toward opponents, not my own team, coaching staff, management or fans. Especially Toddy Bertuzzi.
- I'm not going to stat-watch on Paul Stastny or Matt Duchene. I just wanna see them play good hockey. I'll worry about point-per-game paces later.
- Every time I start to feel down about the Avs, I'll force myself to watch 5 to 10 minutes of a Wild game broadcast by their own announcing crew. Assuming I don't commit seppuku as a result, that should drive the Avalanche-related depression out of me.
- No Arby's trips immediately after/before Avalanche games.
Anybody else have any good suggestions?