Over at Mile High Hockey, we're very grateful you fine folks at Purple Row are letting us borrow Coors Field for the Colorado Avalanche's first ever outdoor game in franchise history. We'd reciprocate by having the Rockies over on the ice at the Pepsi Center, but that's probably not practical. So after discussing thank-you gifts amongst the Mile High Hockey staff, we decided we could write you guys an article about how great this Stadium Series game really is.
I know what you guys are thinking: "We're letting a bunch of Canadians take over the stadium where America's favorite pastime is celebrated in Denver? What is this crap?! Laying a sheet of ice over the diamond and letting these canucks smack at a black piece of rubber with barbaric limber?! Blasphemy! This is worse than the Party Deck!"
Yeah, we know. All of that is true and cannot be denied. But you guys should watch! No sporting event has taken place at Coors Field since September, and the Rockies' home opener versus the Padres is still more than month off. What are you going to do? Search (futilely) for Kyle Kendrick highlights? Think about Troy "Tulowizki" home runs with a Costco supply of Kleenex at your side?
Might as well get a good look at the old ballpark again and watch a Denver sports team play a meaningful regular season game, because, well, let's face it: We know as Rockies fans, they have as much of a chance of playing important home baseball there this year as there is of seeing a leprechaun ride a unicorn.
Without further ado, here's the Dummy's Guide to the Avalanche's Stadium Series game!
What? The second Stadium Series game of the '15-'16 season. The NHL began playing annual outdoor games on New Year's in 2008 as a promotional stunt. A few years ago, NHL commissioner and descendent of evil Gary Bettman decided it would be cool to have more games outside, risking the idea of "less is more." Alongside the annual Winter Classic played on New Year's, two or three "Stadium Series" events would be held in the late winter or early spring to generate more interest in a few regular season games. And more importantly to the league, dollar signs!
Coors Field will join Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, Citizens Bank Park, Nationals Park, Dodgers Stadium, and Yankee Stadium as baseball fields to play host to an outdoor NHL game.
Who? The Colorado Avalanche will host former division rival the Detroit Red Wings for the main event. In addition, many of the best players from each team during the late-90s early-00s (ten Hall of Famers!) will play an exhibition match, harking back to when the two teams were the best in the league and bitter enemies - easily as famous as the Yankees-Sox, Dodgers-Giants, or Cardinals-Cubs in baseball today. Oh, and there will be a collegiate hockey game at Coors as well! The Denver Pioneers will have warmed up the ice (that makes no sense but go with it) with the Tigers of Colorado College a week before the retirees and professionals have at it.
Where? Coors Field, in the greatest city, Denver, in the greatest state, Colorado, in the greatest country, the US of A, on the greatest planet, Earth.
When? Colorado College-Denver took place back on the 20th at 6:10 p.m. MT on ROOT Sports, the alumni game is on the 26th at 5:00 p.m. on Altitude 2, and the main event between the Avs and Wings is on February 27th at 6:00 p.m. on NBC.
1.) This is the most unique sporting event in Colorado this year, and possibly ever. Football and baseball? Both designed to be played outdoors, though a few teams are dumb and play indoors. Basketball? Pretty much required to play indoors because of weather. Hardwood floors and condensation don't mix! Hockey? Almost always played indoors, because that's easiest, but when it is played outdoors, it's AWESOME. Colorado has never gotten an outdoor hockey game at any level before, so this will be historic and thus unique. You only get to see something take place for the first time once (because otherwise that would make no sense), so watch!
2.) Also, it should be a good game! Both teams currently sit in playoff spots and are playing competitive hockey. Moreover, the hated Detroit Red Wings are the scum of the earth and deserve to lose every game they play for all eternity. If the Avs inflict defeat upon those bastards on a national stage, it'd be pretty badass. And most importantly, after rebuilding the last five years, the Avs are young, exciting, and getting better all the time. Right now, they already have their version of Jon Gray, Brendan Rogers, Ryan McMahon, Ramiel Tapia, et al., and they're all about to enter their prime.
3.) Or then how about Gabe Landeskog's gorgeous flowing locks? The Avalanche captain has hair spawned from an angel. There is no other logical explanation. We're talking multitudes of Josh Rutledge here. This coif, when not concealed by a helmet, is like peering into heaven. Rox fans, if you're looking for beautiful dude follicles, make sure to tune in.
4.) What else do you have to do? The Rockies' regular season doesn't start for a little while. The Nuggets, while better, are still by no means a playoff contender in the NBA. The Broncos, always Denver's greatest hope, don't begin their quest for a second straight championship for another six months, so tell me what you're planning to do instead of the fastest and hardest-hitting game in all of sports. Unless you're getting dragged to dance recitals, or you're going to watch The Force Awakens for the umpteenth time, there's no valid excuse.
Go Avs and Go Rockies!
Editor's note: Special thanks to Ryan Murphy, the man leading Mile High Hockey, for giving us this preview of the Avs-Wings game taking place at Coors Field tomorrow night. Hockey!