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The Privilege That is Being an Avs Fan

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This season isn't going as anyone had hoped, but the season is not lost. If I've learned anything, it's how much I believe in this team. And isn't that what being a fan is all about?

Doug Pensinger

Ok, so the past couple weeks have sucked.  I mean, hell, how many times can you say, “it’s early” or “it’s only one game”?  It doesn’t help you spent all summer arguing with analytics experts (by which I mean your buddy who read an article on Puck Daddy), telling them that this exact outcome wasn’t inevitable.  When you look to Roy, he says it was a one game slip up.  The brutal honesty that people loved in his interviews, has been replaced with Jon Fox-ian talk for thirty minutes, yet say nothing at all.

This isn’t to say, mind you, the playoffs are out of reach, no one is going to cancel next season, and Tony Granato won’t return for round three.  That's the good news, in case you've all been as starved for it as I have.  This season has yet to be lost.

Rather, the long painful rebuild is finally feeling like it.  Last year was an apparition, that’s what made it so fun.  This year guys are maturing, it’s one thing to endure a loss in a sea of unending losses, but to lose with expectations is different.  That’s why each loss sucks so much more this year than in years past. 

But because each word of each article makes you sick doesn’t mean you should stop reading.  Because every shift of Nate Guenin makes your whole body clinch, doesn’t mean you should turn off the game.  The best part about the next playoff trip will be how excited you are to pull up MHH, click the new links, and engage in a process that made you dreaded during the losing streak.

Whether you ooze optimism or negativity, you won't effect the Av's decision making.  Patrick Roy will continue to roll the lines he sees fit, regardless of your opinion.  So I choose to look at the positives.  John Mitchell's deadly wrister against Vancouver has been looping in my head ever since.  I love being an Avs fan, it's so incredible you can feel physically ill when you read the recap of last game.  How amazing will it be when you're reading about clinching a playoff berth, be it this season or next?

And if you want to rip on our fourth line or our draft picks, go right ahead.  You've earned the right as a fan to be upset with what is happening to your team.  There are few times within which I dislike an Av's player.  Nate Guenin, for example, goes out and fights every minute he's on the ice.  He doesn't blow anyone away with his ability, but he blocks shots, takes hits, and most importantly wears an Av's sweater night in and night out.  He isn't David Jones, who squanders talent, but rather someone who takes pride in the Av's logo like I do.  Now, if Roy not playing Redmond or a call up over Nate makes you angry, criticize it ten ways to Sunday.  He is capable of taking criticism (he played in Montreal for Christ's sake), so don't think that by criticizing him he'll leave, or that by doing so you're saying he isn't the right fit for the team.  He needs to pick up his team and adjust, as a fan you can scream yourself hoarse begging for change.  It's part of the fan experience, and should be treasured just like cheering for a goal.

The point is, be a fan the way you want to, but continue to be a fan.  It isn't always easy, but if you care enough about the Avs, you owe yourself the experience.  You'll always pride yourself on never giving up when the wins start coming, and you won't regret not caring come July when all you want is to watch some hockey.