hello. my name is Bryan. im 27 years old, i live in Lakewood Colorado, and i am a FISH HEAD.
if you live in the Mile High area and you love hockey and havent gone to see the Denver Cutthroats in action yet, youd better be A: too broke to pay the 15 dollars at the door or B: youre a fool, youre a damned fool.
in these harsh times of big league hockey (and their players) taking myself and others like me for granted, i am at the very least blessed unlike many others undergoing these same hardships... the hockey gods have generously bestowed upon my local demographic with an all new team. not only are they one of three CHL teams with NHL parents, but they play in MY TOWN for MY 'LANCHES!!!! for the first time EVER, Avs fans can watch our own prospects play professional games in our own city.
obviously, the Fish make the lockout suck less. for the past 17 years, the Colorado Avalanche has pretty much been the focal point of most of my passion and attention. there was literally NOTHING for me to pay attention to hockeywise over the last lockout. but i was 20 years old. i must have intoxicated the pain away. i did alot of mushrooms that year. other than the mushrooms intake, this year is different. ive avidly been following the Fish as well as our AHL affiliate this season. between the Cutthroats and the Monsters, im like, who gives a shit about the lockout anymore?? i cant see any Lake Erie Monsters games but i read all about em, and the only Denver Cutthroats games i can see are live at the Coliseum. i read about every game regardless.
now, my review slash critique slash commentary on my first Cutthroats game: OCT 20th DEN v MIZ (L) 5-8
despite my first experience in the fish bowl being the franchise's first loss in history (their second game overall), i thoroughly enjoyed the show with Wes, my twin brother who's equally obsessed with the Avs. there were a couple bad ass fights, thirteen goals scored overall, the Prodigal Son and Detroit Red Wings' Kyle Quincey's first goal as a Cutthroat, A.J. Gale scored the first hat trick in franchise history... if we didnt fall apart in the third and let a nice lead evaporate, Millan might not have gotten pulled and we wouldve had a chance! nonetheless, the game was a very entertaining loss against the Missouri Mavericks; our first official rivals, splitting the opening two games of the season series at one-one.
the beers were seven dollars. i repeat; the beers were seven fucking dollars. here's a tip: smuggle a responsible quantity of alcohol in your stomach before the game. the parking lot had next to ZERO security. drinking and smoking reefer in said parking lot is and was totally do-able. after our pregame ceremony, we approached the box office to purchase our seats when amazingly, a very kind lady turned around and offered us two tickets for nothing!!! apparently the rest of her party was unable to make it to the game, so she paid it forward in my direction! sky high, we accepted her offer and proceeded inside the Coliseum.
i was impressed at all the cool stuff they had at the merch section. tshirts, hoodies, stickers, pennants, key chains, jerseys (all they had were white ones, i for sure wouldve bought a green one if they had em) and all sorts of cool Cutthroats shit. my brother bought a foam puck and a ministick, i snagged a real sharp shot glass and a ministick as well. after paying an arm and a leg for nachos (decent) and a couple banquet beers we hobbled our way to our free seats that turned out to be very very good seats!!!! we were on the goalie side, (seeing Millan in the first period and Patterson for in the third after a deserved change in net) near side corner just two rows back from the VIP level. we ended up seated just a couple rows behind/above our Colorado State Governor John Hickenlooper!! he was there for the Fish's inaugural weekend and dropped the puck for the ceremonial face-off earlier that night.
all in all, it was a very fun night and the Cutthroats definitely made a couple of new fans. a few more notes about the team and venue that i can recall...
- the jumbo screen at the Denver Coliseum is obviously better than that of the Pepsi Center's.
- being just a couple rows segregated from it, the VIP section looks very fun. servers are constantly checking in on you to see if you need anything plus there's accessibility anywhere right up against the glass. ive checked and the price isnt bad either if youre feeling particularly bully in the wallet and wanna feel like a big shot like we all need to from time to time (ive spent as much on cocaine and transsexual prostitutes in some of my darker days, CHL hockey is alot safer).
- for those who are unfamiliar with minor league hockey, i would describe a Cutthroats game... like the NHL cranked down from 11 to like a 6 or 7 even. if you are familiar with bush hockey, its pretty much what we all remember from the Denver Grizzlies days.
- goal scorers have no problem at all shining at this level, and thats how its supposed to be. its the positions that need the most time to perfect and sharpen their craft thats most fun slash interesting slash painful to observe. of course i speak of defense and goaltending. watching those guys learn from every little mistake along the way while the point getters light em up is like watching some kung-fu shit. it's a battle hardened warrior's tale of learning how to defend your zone in the game of ice hockey. the fluidity in passing and skill level at D and G are by far the biggest difference between the N and C brand of HL's.
- A.J. Gale is my boy. by far my favorite Fish. he scored the first goal in franchise history and first franchise hatty in the first two games. he currently leads the CHL in scoring! Troy Schwab and Gabe Gauthier and Brad Smyth are great guys too.
- Jamie MacQueen, Luke Fulghum, Brett Lutes, Phil Tesoriero, all character guys that make this club fun to get into. not to mention Avs prospects Gabriel Beaupre and Joel Chouinard.
however, the most interesting aspect of this team this season in the fish bowl is also the most obvious... the civil competition between the other two prized Colorado Avalance prospects in netmynders Kieran Millan and Kent Patterson for starter in the crease. this intrasquad contest looks to be one of the more entertaining stories to unfold this season for the Fish.
my next Cutthroats game with be next sunday, the 25th against Rapid City where we'll get a chance to get our heads above water .500-wise and i cant wait! its not NHL, but its good hockey, and its what i love, and im for sure a lifelong fan of the Denver Cutthroats baby!! I certainly hope the Cutthroats' activity lasts longer than the typical minor league sports franchise... im sure theyll catch on more as the season progresses. especially with no big league puck on the horizon. but thats a horse of a different color...
i suppose the main point of this article is the Denver Cutthroats are awesome and are already a fun club to watch, and if you havent, you should go check out a Fish game soon. you'll wanna come back for more if you do. i might see you there. i'll smoke you up madcore in the parking lot before the game if you find me. just use the password "soggy scrotums" so i know youre cool.