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9 Thoughts: Thankfulness is never out of fashion

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Seriously. There are reasons to be thankful!

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

I know this season has been rough for the Avalanche and its fans, but there are some things about this season for which we should give thanks. Here are a Dutchy of them.

1. Tyson Barrie: he's even more of a force this season than last, keeping up his scoring ways (to the tune of a 53-point season pace and sitting at 9th in NHL defensemen right now) and adding to that solid work in the Avs' end of the ice. He truly has broken out as a legit top-two defenseman this season.

2. Erik Johnson: another blueliner who is showing his talent, Johnson has proven that he is also a top-two defenseman. He's such an integral part of the Avs' success, and when he's playing well, the team plays well. He still has some of those moments, but he's living up to that first overall pick.

3. Matt Duchene: if there was one person on this team that you could point to and say, "He's never taken a shift off" it would be this guy. He is always working, always trying to propel the team to a win, often taking over games completely. He's a treat to watch, and not a game goes by when you can't say, "Why you so good, Dutchy?"

4. Nathan MacKinnon: electric, passionate, creative, intelligent, oh, yeah, and kinda fast. While it may seem like he's fallen into a bit of a sophomore slump, note that he's only .03% off of his scoring pace from last season when he won the Calder Trophy. He's quietly putting up the points, they're just coming from setting up the plays rather than hitting twine—and boy oh boy those passes.

5. Newbies: Zach Redmond has been sensational. Dennis Everberg was a force to be reckoned with until the injury. Daniel Briere—yes, even him—has provided those timely goals the team has needed to get 'er going or get 'er done. Calvin Pickard is a god right now, dominating the crease like a bad ass mother fucker.

6. Semyon Varlamov: His technique has become so locked in. He still uses his speed and athleticism, but his positioning is a thing of beauty now. Such a sight to behold when he is on his game. His numbers may have regressed some, but nagging injuries and an offense that forgot its D responsibilities didn't help.

7. Roy's interviews: If you're not listening to The Fan every Thursday morning at 8 a.m. MT, you're not doing it right. The honesty with which he answers questions is still so refreshing. Sometimes, he dodges questions the way coaches do, but other times, you get juicy tidbits of info that make you feel like an insider. He also has a wicked sense of humor, so you're in for at least a chuckle every time you listen.

8. Our new stuff at MHH: how about them new staffers, eh? We've had some insightful, interesting, and fun work hitting the wire since they've joined. It's great to have some fresh voices in the mix, and they've certainly lived up to the hype! The podcast has been a roaring success, as well. SteveHouse has done a wonderful job getting that up and running and making it a can't-miss feature.

9. You folks: we don't say it enough, but all of you are awesome and such a fantastic part of this site. You keep it moving and growing and getting better. Without you, we're nothing. So thank you, from all of the MHH staff, for being an amazing community!

I know there are ton more things for which we should be thankful. Add your thoughts in the comments so we can have a groovy gratitudefest.