The questions poured in, now Andrew Brunette provides the answers in this week's edition of "Ask an Av".
I was wondering what it felt like to not only beat Colorado in Game 7 in 2003 after being down 3-1, but scoring the last goal ever on Patrick Roy? Lee from Memphis, Tennessee AB: It felt unbelievable, especially at the time with the group of guys we had, being down 3-1 and not being given much of a chance to win that series. It didn’t matter who the goal was on, because it was a huge goal. But when you look back and see it was the last goal ever scored on arguably the greatest goalie to ever play, it was pretty special. You are an amazing hockey player and are somewhat underrated. Who do you think is the most underrated player you’ve played with in your career? Jade from Richmond, British Columbia AB: That’s a great question, Jade. There are so many great players that go unrecognized. I think Adam Oates was one of the best players I ever played with. He’s rarely mentioned in the same sentence with some of the other great players, especially in that generation. He was such a good passer, was so easy to play with and was great on faceoffs. Another guy that just went into the Hall of Fame, so I don’t know if you can say he’s underrated, was Ron Francis. For the amount of points he put up during his career he’s not usually mentioned in the same breath as some of the great players. Also, Steve Konowalchuk, who I played with here, was really undervalued.
What was the most exciting game you ever played in? It can be at any level; NHL, juniors, etc. Abby from Glen Rock, Pennsylvania AB: It was either the Game 7 against Colorado or the next series, Game 7 against Vancouver. Game 7’s always have something special about them. I’ve been fortunate enough that every Game 7 has been really exciting for me. I’ve noticed during warm-ups that you are almost always the player who digs pucks out of the net and feeds them to the other players. You always look really happy when you’re performing this task. Is this something you like to do, or is it part of your job? Stacey from Boulder, Colorado AB: I’ve always been one of the guys that does that. Looking back on your career, warm-ups and the time spent before the game are some of the most fun times. It’s just something I do; it’s not part of the job. I guess it’s a habit more than anything, and habit is a big part of warm-ups.
If you could make a dream line to play on (1 goalie, 2 defensemen, 2 forwards and yourself), who would be on it? James from Brampton, Ontario AB: Great question, James. The goalie would probably have to be Patrick Roy. On defense, Ray Bourque and Bobby Orr. I’d say Wayne Gretzky, Joe Sakic and myself up front.
Who is the hardest goaltender in the league for you to match-up against? Jared from Thornton, Colorado AB: Miikka Kiprusoff always seems to have my number, but I’d have to say Roberto Luongo. He’s one guy that just changes the game.
After you retire, hopefully many years down the road, do you think you will get into coaching? Betty from Colorado Springs, Colorado AB: Thanks for your question, Betty. Hopefully it’s still a little ways away. I would like to stay in hockey and think I might be coaching, but I just don’t know at which level. It might be my kids, it might be juniors, but I think I’ll be doing something in hockey.
How have you adjusted your game over the years, from playing for expansion teams such as Atlanta, Nashville and Minnesota – to a Stanley Cup contender such as Colorado in 2007? Frank from Curitiba, Brazil AB: Personally, I don’t think I’ve had to adjust my own game. I just do the same things I’ve done in all my previous stops. Although, playing for a team like Colorado with the tradition they have and being a Stanley Cup contender this season is really exciting. It keeps you motivated to play at a high level when you know you have the chance to win a Stanley Cup.
I want to say thank you to everyone who sent in their questions. It’s always great to hear from Avalanche fans!