The Pepsi Center at -5 below zero

In furtherance of my continuing quest to visit all 30 NHL arenas, I went to an Avalanche game last night. They won 4-1 over Boston. The area is nice, but, like most of this place, decidedly generic. It lacks the charms of my favorite arena (Philadelphia), but is cleaner and more convenient than, say, New Jersey or Chicago. It’s filled with generica like Quizno’s, and, even though it’s technically local, I have a hard time counting Coors as something with local charm.

People in Colorado love drinking their own Kool-Aid about how special their place is, and the hockey fans are no different: no one on their team’s shit stinks (the polar opposite being New Jersey, where even Martin Brodeur gets booed). It shocks me that most of the fans around me hadn’t noticed until I pointed it out that Joe Sakic had a career year suddenly before his first big UFA contract, that Rob Blake hasn’t been dominant, or even better than “solid” since that same contract year, and that Patrick Roy retired shortly thereafter.

Anyway, I’m no fan of the Avs, but they have skills.