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Cody McLeod Answers Your Questions

by - Official Site of the Colorado Avalanche / Colorado Avalanche
You sent in the questions, and now Cody McLeod provides the answers in the latest edition of “Ask an Av.”

The second-year forward has recorded five goals through the first 31 games of the 2008-09 campaign, which already tops his goal total from a season ago (four goals in 49 games).

McLeod sat down recently to answer a few of your questions, which ranged from his missing teeth to his now infamous octopus-throwing incident in Detroit during the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Your five goals this season have surpassed your total from all of last year. Now tell me, what has accounted for your recent goal scoring uproar?
Patrick from Armstrong, British Columbia

“Just going to the net hard, and that hard work paying off. I guess getting a little lucky around the net too. Getting some rebounds and stuff like that. But I’d say hard work is the main thing.”

How'd you lose your two front teeth?
Brian from Broomfield, Colorado   

“The first time was on a trampoline in middle school and then I’ve had them knocked out a couple times in hockey from sticks, pucks and fists. After the trampoline incident, I got them re-built, but over the years they’ve been knocked out three or four times at least. I lost my bottom five teeth in the front too. It’s pretty tough, but part of the game, I guess. Most of the guys have fake teeth.”

When you retire from the NHL, what would you want to be known for?
An from Westminster, Colorado

“Just a hard-working player and someone who stuck up for his teammates. Someone who played the game hard and played it honest.”

What are some of your favorite things to do during offseason, other than hockey?
Dora from Ile-a-la Crosse, Saskatchewan

“I like to golf quite a bit in the summer. I’m not too good, but I like to get out there and whack the ball around. Also, I like to hang out with friends and family and just relax.”

For you, what was the most difficult aspect of being a hockey player and your road to the NHL and how did you overcome it? Thanks!
Ryan from Thornton, Colorado

“I’ve always wanted to play in the NHL and was going to do whatever it took to get here. It was a lot of battling and grinding down in the minors, but it was definitely worth it. When you’re in the East Coast League, there are times when you wonder if you really want to be playing down there. It’s kind of tough because you’re riding the bus quite a bit. You get down some times, but you have to keep working through it. So far it’s worked out pretty good.”

Cody- I am from Michigan and a huge Avs fan.  I think your biggest rival in the NHL is the Red Wings because of the past match-ups that the two teams have had.  Each game between the two teams is always rough with a lot of intensity.  So, throughout your experience in the NHL, who do you think is the Avs biggest rival this year and why?  Thanks, and Go Avs.
Adam, from Kalamazoo, MI

“Well Adam, I’d probably say Detroit too. They had some good games and great brawls back in the day. But we’re building some rivalries in our own division now too. I’d say Vancouver is getting up there. But the Detroit/Colorado rivalry is still there. You saw it last year in the regular season and the playoffs.”

What was the reaction to you throwing the octopus back to the Detroit fans during last season's playoffs?  I watch a LOT of Avs hockey, and that's my favorite moment in all of 2007-08.  Would you do it again?
 Elaine from Estes Park, Colorado

“Haha. I don’t know if I’d do it again. I was kind of getting sick of hearing the crowd and seeing them throw the octopus out there. Maybe I wasn’t thinking too much when I did that, because the adrenaline just takes over sometimes in big games. I don’t know if you’ll see that again. I just wanted to get our team riled up a little bit.”

If you could fight anyone in the NHL all-time, who would it be?
Scott from Broomfield, Colorado

“That’s a tough question. I can’t pick a heavyweight, because they might embarrass me. Maybe Kelly Buchberger or someone like that. He’s from my near my hometown. Jeff Odgers is another guy, a really tough kid. I don’t know if it would be an all-time great fight, but maybe it would be good to wrestle around with those guys for a while.”

Cody, you're a quintessential tough guy and a big boost to the Avs night in and night out in the fighting department.  When did you develop your tough guy attitude and was it difficult or did it come naturally?
Harrison from Colchester, Vermont

“Probably in the WHL with the Portland Winter Hawks. I knew that I would have to be a tougher player and stick up for my teammates if I wanted to have a career. I definitely took a lot of poundings in juniors before I got the hang of it. I still do, because you’re not going to win them all. It’s part of the game and I’ll just keep it going.”

When you're preparing for an upcoming season, an upcoming game, or just an upcoming shift, does fighting ever come into your preparation routines? Do you prepare in some ways, knowing that because the Avs will be playing (-insert rival team-) you may be called upon to rough some guy up, or get some guy off his game? Congrats on a great season thus far!
Chris from Lakewood, Colorado

“You have to know who you’re playing against, knowing there are other tough guys on the ice. But you also have to be ready for any situations that pop up. If there’s a dirty hit you have to stick up for your teammates, or if you’re put in a corner sometimes you have to be ready to stick up for yourself. I don’t think about it all the time, but it’s always in the back of your mind that you have to be ready to protect yourself or your teammates. Sometime me and Cody McCormick will wrestle around after practice and try out different grips and holds. That way, when we get out there we can protect ourselves a little better.”
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