Avalanche Roundtable - Who Will be the Avalanche's Biggest Rival? - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Avalanche Roundtable - Who Will be the Avalanche's Biggest Rival?

It's time! The 2nd annual Avalanche blogger roundtable starts today with a question on rivalries.

There's a lot to read so let's get right into it.

Question: Who will be the Avalanche's biggest rival this season?

Jay Vean - Avs Hockey Podcast: Your typical Avs fan will want to continue to say the Wings, but forget it, that's been over for while and we all know it. If I was to choose one team for this season, I think it may be the Wild. You can always count on a tight checking, slow-paced, grinding game with them, and with the likes of Derek Boogaard and Chris Simon you never know how chippy things may get, especially if the Wild are losing. Last year's match-up in the playoffs had a little bit of everything and was entertaining to watch, including some nastiness from some players you wouldn't expect, i.e. Stephane Veilleux. It will be interesting to see if that type of play carries over to this year's regular season.

Jibblescribbits: I have no qualms with anointing the Wild as our official rival right now, but even after a playoff series with them there's a level of contempt that's missing. Wild fans left the series upset, but more upset at Marion Gaborik than the Avs.

Now there is a place where I can feel the hate, and it's been steadily rising. The Flames have earned my Ire. First you start off with Iron Mike Keenan, who is pretty loathsome as a coach. Then you have the whiny bitch-ass coward that is Dion Phaneuf, then they brought in the guy who is public enemy #1, And soon to be Steve Moore's provider, Bertuzzi. It's only three players, but there's a whole lot to hate right there.

Mike - Mile High Hockey: With the exception of Kipper and Iggy, there isn't a single redeeming quality associated with the Calgary Flames. I see another good battle in the Northwest between Colorado, Calgary, Edmonton, and Minnesota. Minny is always right in there. Edmonton had a great stretch run last season and improved with free agents and trades. That means Calgary needs to be put down like a sick animal and I look forrward to seeing Phadouche, Big Bird, and Mike "Never Met a Goalscorer I Couldn't Stifle" Keenan on the golf course early. $%@& Calgary. We're coming for ya, bitches!

Justin - Avalanche Guild: Let's be honest, it's pretty hard to stoke the flames of the Red Wings - Avalanche rivalry when one team sweeps the other in the Western Semifinals. But place this question in its true context; who is the big rival for THIS season? The Edmonton Oilers.

Edmonton brings the fastest, most dynamic and up-tempo offense in the division. Look across the board and you will actually see a lot of similarities. They had similar late-season runs (in successive seasons), both teams have a ton of youth and the head coaches are former NHL'ers. Most importantly, Garon and Budaj are the two goalies in the division fighting to erase the stigma of being un-proven starters.

Ultimately, Edmonton will be Colorado's biggest rival this year due to their similarities

DD - In the Cheap Seats: Despite Stephane Veilleux's Adventures in Idiocy during the playoffs, I think the team to hate is still the Calgary Flames. The Flames regularly have one of the best teams in the Northwest and have three of the most asinine eggheads in Dion Phaneuf, Todd Bertuzzi and Mike Keenan. There have also been some contentious moments - like Ossi Vaananen boarding David Moss, Craig Conroy injuring Wojtek Wolski with a cheap shot or Scott Parker pummeling Eric Godard to spark a dramatic comeback. And good teams + hated players and coaches + a bit of drama = a great rivalry. In recent years, games against Calgary always have seemed to have that extra spark, and this year should bring more of the same.

GEO - The Avslova Factor: When determining who a team’s rival is, you have to consider competitiveness between the two teams and whether there is any bad blood. With the Calgary Flames, you have both.

The Avs won the season series with the Flames by a slim 5-3 margin. Two of those games went to overtime and five games saw 5+ goals scored between the two teams. Competitiveness shouldn’t be an issue this year, as both teams boast elite players and solid defensive units.

Set aside that they have one of the most obnoxious coaches in the NHL, as well as Dion Phadouche, the Flames now have Todd Bertuzzi.

With the additions of Darcy Tucker and Per Ledin, along with Cody McLeod and Ian Laperriere, sparks will fly and a rivalry will be born.

Jori - Avs Prospects: It's hard to call a team a rival when they consistently beat you to a pulp (Detroit). The games between Colorado and Vancouver had that heated feeling when Bertuzzi was still a Canuck. The Avs currently lack a bitter rival, but I'd say the games with Calgary and Minnesota are the most passionate. However, I can see the rivalry between the Avs and Stars picking up with the addition of Sean Avery to the Dallas lineup. We know that Ian Laperriere isn't too fond of Mr. Avery. Also, the Avs look to have a lot of sand paper in their lineup with the aforementioned Laperriere, Darcy Tucker, Per Ledin, Scott Parker, Cody McCormick and Cody McLeod.

Shane - Avs Talk: It's easily the Calgary Flames.

The moment Phaneuf took off the Team Canada jersey and put on a Flames jersey, started hating his attitude, his scowl and his cheapshots. Add in my odd distaste for Jarome Iginla, the acquisition of Big Bird, and their horrifically homerific announcers, and you've got a team that I despise.

Oh, we're looking for the Avalanche's rival?

The demise of the Wings rivalry leaves a large gap to fill but I think the Flames are stepping in nicely.

There are already some unforgettable moments between the two including Lappy's beatdown of Phaneuf after a typical Phaneuf cheapshot, Conroy concussing Wolski and the Flames making it to the 2nd round of the playoffs last season.

Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

This looks like a team that is going to be battling for an identity, especially if they are going for a fire wagon hockey style. After a few years of giving up leads and one goal losses, the Avs beat themselves as often as anyone else.

Dario - In the Cheap Seats: For my money rivalries are built in the playoffs. The worm has turned on the Red Wings. Besides getting steam-rolled of late, there's no one left to hate on the Red Wings anymore. Chelios and McCarty just can't carry that hate any further. I think the next great rivalry is either Dallas or Calgary. I have a feeling that Calgary just won't be that good and won't be able to maintain a rivalry beyond the regular season. With Avery, Ott and that smug goaltender Turco I have a feeling a playoff matchup will create a real hatred. Hockey players have long memories, and few of the Avs players forget their last meeting.

Joe - Mile High Hockey: Rivals matter only as much as both teams' fans are on the same page in the great book of sports hatred. If the ire is one-sided, it's not a real rivalry. As much as I desperately want the Calgary Flames to be the main rivals of the Avalanche, I just don't think Calgary fans really care. They're too busy hating the Oilers.
I suppose Minnesota will have to suffice. If the playoffs last season were any indication, drawing the ire of the Wild fan base won't be a problem. It's just tough to hate such a boring team from such a boring part of the country.

And the rivalry with the Red Wings is officially postponed until the Avs actually beat them in a game again.

Aaron - The Dog and Pony Show: Vancouver. I think Demitra will do better on that top line than any of the 36 guys they tried last year. This should give them more scoring, and if there is anything we didn't want Vancouver getting it was more scoring. All Luongo needs to succeed is a goal lead in any game. I think that with the Avs having to go pretty hard on offense to win games this season that we are in for some interesting matchups with the Canucks.

Outside of that, it would be interesting if Edmonton jumped up out of the weeds and surprised people. My hope is that that team doesn't decide to develop if the Avs are in the running for a playoff spot. Oh wait, they could just throw out Arnason the Destroyer to take down the Oil since that is the only team he scores against!

Final body count:
Calgary - 4
Minnesota - 2
Dallas - 2
Edmonton - 1
Vancouver - 1
Colorado - 1

Well there you have it, we've picked the Calgary Flames as the next big rival. Will the Avs surpass the Oilers in the Flames hate-o-meter? Probably not. Are we collectively a group of idiots for thinking it could happen? Probably. Will we hate Dion Phaneuf with a passion no matter what? Undoubtedly.

The train keeps rolling tomorrow - sorry again - at In the Cheap Seats with a question on where the holes in the Avalanche lie. If they even have any holes.

Mile High Hockey will contain the table of contents for the whole roundtable so check back there every day to make sure you don't miss a post.

And a special thanks to Mike for organizing us procrastinators again!


Jibblescribbits said...

Actually the "holes" question will be at In the Cheap Seats tomorrow...

Bob in Boulder said...

For me, based on sheer hatred and a long, long history of said hatred, it is still the Wings. I hate the logo, the team, the city, the fans .... oh how I hate the fans. And they still have hate-worthy players. Lots of them. Mr. Goalie Interference and whiny ass face, Thomas Holmstrom. Chelios and McAsshole. Divinator junior, Osgood. Leave my feet on every other check Kronwall. Poster boy for boarding yet I'm a dirtly little boarding puke Draper. Cheap shot from behind then hide behind my shield Maltby. Oh, how I hate those bastards. Sorry guys, but THE TWO games that still go one and two in my ticket draft every year are still the two wing games. And by acknowledging their dominance as a reason it isn't a rivalry anymore you are only feeding their egotistical asshole fans. When the Avs rise up again and slap them down once more it will make me whole again. That is what a real rivalry is. It will stand the test of time. And we'll get through this little period.

As if you didn't think I'd chime in on this one. ;)

GEO said...

I think you're right in a few ways. Yes, they still have a bunch of guys we hate. Holmstrom, Chelios, "McAsshole," etc. However, I think if they the question was "Who will be the fans' biggest rival, you'd be right on"

As for the players, the only ones on the Avs who I think really, really care are Sakic (and how much did he actually do during the rivalry years), Foote (he hasn't been here for their few years of dominance), and I guess McLeod? For the octopus? Maybe?

Maybe if we can lure Claude Lemieux out of retirement, we'll have a chance at re-fueling the fire :P

Shane Giroux said...

Not sure why I thought it was you, jib. You were the latest response in that thread so I'll use that as the reason ;)

Shane Giroux said...

bob, it is hard to have to say they essentially won the rivalry due to their dominance but it does feel that way.

And I hope you're right that it will stand the test of time. But it just doesn't feel like a rivalry when the competitiveness between the teams isn't there.

That being said, there's no reason to stop hating on Wings fans ;)

Drakenlot said...

As much as I'd loved to see some Wings get their face rearranged,
I have to agree with the panel that the rivalry just isn't the same as it was.

Yes, it still is a rivalry, it's just gone quiet the last couple years.

My next choice for rivalry would be The Mild. I never liked their style of play, but the playoff series showed how much hatred there could be.

All it needs is Boods/Razor joining in, though that'll never happen.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I agree with Calgary. There's a lot to hate about that team. Although I have to agree with Bob, I don't think I'll ever stop hating the Wings. But the only way we'll resume our fierce rivalry with them is if Claude Lemieux comes back (which actually has a small chance of happening). The Wild make for a good rival too. Both teams are in similar areas/cities, both teams are some of the more popular American NHL teams, and youth hockey and college hockey is very popular in both states. But there's just something missing with the Wild, it's like that team just doesn't bring out that passionate hatred, it's more like 'Mild' hatred.

Jibblescribbits said...

I thin k hating a team and having it be a rivalry is different. The RedWings aren't a rivalry anymore because the competition between the two teams aren't there. The hatred is still there though.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about that Jib. Yeah the Wings have had our number for a while on the ice but I could see a couple of regular season home wins by the Avs (read beatings) and a playoff series reigniting the rivalry. I don't think the rivalry is dead, it's just dormant; much to the chagrin of Avs fans and pleasure of Wings fans. If the rivalry was truly dead, the Wings trolls from A2Y would have left us alone during the playoffs. Jackasses. Joe should have whipped out the ban hammer on the "Cheif". Gah. Are BiB and I the only Wings haters left in this town?


Post a Comment