Detroit Red Wings Villains: 2015 Colorado Avalanche


Over the next 30 days, Octopus Thrower profiles every Detroit Red Wings “villain” in the NHL. Today we take a closer look at the Colorado Avalanche. I’ve been waiting for this one since this series started. I got help from Nadia Archuleta who is one of the two editors at Mile High Sticking.

Team Name:

Colorado Avalanche



FanSided Foe:

Mile High Sticking

Games Against Them:


February 12th


February 27 (Stadium Series game)

Last Year’s Results:

The Red Wings were 1-1 last season against the Avs.

Head Coach:

Patrick Roy

Watch out for these guys:

Nadia told us to watch out for these guys;

  • Matt Duchene: The Avalanche’s franchise player is due for a breakout season. Playing on a line with two veterans (Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay) could give him the mental boost he needs to finally realize his potential.
  • Gabriel Landeskog: He’s just now striding into his prime. After a terrible start last season, he still came back to earn the #2 spot on the team for scoring — and penalty minutes. By the way, watch Gabe because he’s a power forward and aggressive as hell on the ice.
  • Erik Johnson: He WAS having a career season, scoring as a defenseman when not even the forwards were getting the puck in net. He was sidelined with knee surgery, but he is a finesse two-way defenseman with a mean streak. Big, too.
  • Nikita Zadorov: Speaking of big, our new D-man is 6’5″ 230 pounds of mean Russian who likes to hit things. I think he’ll be a protector for the finesse players like Tyson Barrie and Matt Duchene. *Russian accent: “You touch Dutchy, you get Big Z.”

Farmhands worth Noting:

She also gave us three farmhands to watch.

  • Mikko Rantanen: The Avs’ #10 draft pick (a forward) has been playing in the Finnish elite men’s league. He might make the team at some point next season.
  • Joey Hishon: He’s an elite forward who was sidelined by a terrible concussion. But he’s got mad skills, and everyone’s pulling for the kid to make the team at some point.
  • Chris Bigras: The defenseman had a career year in major juniors last year. He’s a dependable defenseman, and he’s slated to be the San Antonio Rampage’s top defenseman. (Avs AHL affiliate.)


“Semyon Varlomov is the starting Avs’ goalie.”

Sieve or Savior?

Savior. Her reasoning; “When he’s on his game, he’s a brick wall. He literally gets better the more shots he faces — which is good considering how many shots the Avs let get to him. He’s a typical goalie in that he’d rather see a shot and stop it clean than have a player screen him in the process of trying to stop the shot. He had a groin injury off and on all last season which took his play a step down. Yet he showed flashes of being the dominant goalie we’ve come to depend on.”

However she did also make note of who she thinks is the real Colorado Avalanche savior is;

“You didn’t ask, but I have to note that one of the Colorado Avalanche’s not so secret weapons is head coach Patrick Roy. When you ask who our team’s savior is, I have to say it’s Roy. He did it as a player, and we all expect him to do it as a coach. He is WIDELY loved among the fan base and media. He’s known as a player’s coach, and his players have said they’ll go through a brick wall for him. (In fact, I once likened him to a cult leader — and I wasn’t joking.) He’s also known as having one of the sharpest hockey minds in the world and can change plays on the fly like a coach with 10 times his experience. (He’s only entering his 3rd year as an NHL coach and has already won the Jack Adams Award.)”

8 Quick Thoughts about the Avalanche (PLEASE stop taking these seriously) 

4 Things We Respect About You:

  1. Getting to watch Patrick Roy coach (he looks like he might kill someone).
  2. Games against you are always fun to watch.
  3. We got a cool Stadium Series game with you this season due to our hating one another.
  4. You made the 90’s even better with us.

4 Things We Hate About You:

  1. You’re the Colorado Flipping Avalanche.
  2. Patrick Roy.
  3. Claude Lemieux.
  4. That we don’t play as much anymore.

Playoff Threat Level (1-10, 1 being minimal)

We wouldn’t see them until a Stanley Cup Final and so like most Western Conference teams it isn’t high, maybe 1-2.

Final Thoughts

I have a secret love for this teams players, they are great guys and all that, but, I really hate this team with a burning passion in my stomach. I can’t wait for the Stadium Series game, and I hope they turn it around this season because they like a lot of teams in the Central are fun to watch.

Next: What does Darren Helms injury mean to the Red Wings?

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