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The Official Site of the Colorado Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche Mailbag: February 20

by - Official Site of the Colorado Avalanche / Colorado Avalanche
We’re back for another season of the Colorado Avalanche Mailbag, where players respond to fan questions.  This installment features Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly

As always, your questions are in bold. If we feel the need to provide some additional commentary or clarification, it will come in italics before the player gives his answer.

Now, on to the Q&A:

What would you say is the most memorable game you’ve played? - Kyla, Highlands Ranch, CO.
Probably all the playoff games (in 2010). Playing in the playoffs, there is nothing like it. When we won in overtime (Game 3) and I got credit for the OT goal. That whole series, it was the most intense games, so much fun.

Ryan, what songs do you listen to, to get you pumped up for a game? - Christina, Denver, CO.
Depends on my mood. Sometimes I listen to City and Colour, which is more rock. Or I listen to dance music.

How did the nickname “Factor” come about? - Sara, Burlington, ON.
My first year, I think it was John-Michael Liles. He starting calling me ‘the Factor’ because of the Bill O’Reilly show.  Everyone started calling me that and it stuck from there.

Where is your favorite arena/city to play in other than the Pepsi Center? - Tanner, Winnipeg, MB.
Definitely like playing in Chicago. The anthem they have there is one of the coolest things you experience with everyone cheering and screaming. And to top that off it’s a great city with a lot of friendly people.

Why do you have the hook on the toe of your stick? And where did you come up with the idea? - Brett, Fort Collins, CO.
I came up with it mid-way through my first year. I use a long blade and I use the full part of the blade. So I thought it would give me an advantage and I think it has. It helped on faceoffs. It helped pulling the puck in and I don’t have to lift my stick fully over; just use the toe and pull it in. If the pass bounces off my stick, it usually bounces off to a place I can reach it.

How did you lose your front tooth? - Katherine, Berkshire, England.
My second year of junior, playing against the Owen Sound Attack. A guy went to stick-lift me when I had the puck and ended up hitting me right in the mouth. It broke both my teeth. There was blood everywhere. Luckily they saved one of them. One they could fix, the other had to go.

If you weren’t playing hockey, what would you be doing? What would you study in college or university? - Natalie, Jerusalem, Israel.
I think I’d try to be a musician, if I could.  If I went to school, I would probably do something like what my parents did. Social work, a career of helping people.

What’s your favorite thing to do on your days off? - Natalii, Montrose, CO.
Got a few things. Playing music or playing video games; Call of Duty.

Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions before a game? - Becky, Richmond, UT.
I try not to say superstitions, but there are things I like to do. I have a bunch of handshakes I do with the boys before we go out on ice. Hot tub and cold tub before. I usually tape four sticks. My Yoga routine, I usually do that.

You always seem to have a great sense of style (off the ice).  Where are your go-to places to shop? - Laura, Aspen, CO.
Hugo Boss for more dress clothes, like suits. For more casual, John Varvatos.

Ryan, what is the most important characteristic to have as a professional hockey player? - Kelsey, Saint George, UT.
Cooperation. Being able to work with others.

Ryan, is there a musical instrument that you know how to play? If not, what instrument did you wish you knew how to play? - Dylan, Tilbury, ON.
I can play the guitar. Not great, but I can play. I’m probably going to start learning to play the piano. I played a bit as a kid and I want to get back into it.
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