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Colorado Avalanche Mailbag - Jan. 14

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
We’re back with another edition of the Colorado Avalanche Mailbag, a bi-weekly feature that allows fans to connect with their favorite players and ask them a question.

The questions poured in this week, so check below to see if yours made the cut.

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

Now, let’s get started with the Q&A:

Bonus Mailbag Question
To view a bonus question from this week's Avalanche Mailbag, check out the Avalanche's Official Facebook Page.

There, rookie center Matt Duchene discusses the ways in which he keeps up with the latest NHL news.

Previous Mailbags
This question is for Ryan O'Reilly. I have noticed that you and T.J. Galiardi do some sort of special handshake at the end of each game that the Avs win. Is Galiardi one of your closer friends on the team?
Laura from Colorado Springs, Colorado

“Thanks for sending in a question, Laura. Yeah, he’s definitely one of my closer buddies on the team. That handshake…I don’t know. One day we were just messing around and came up with it and it’s stuck with us since. We do it every time before we go on the ice and after we win.”

My question is for Kyle Cumiskey. In the “Five Quick Questions” with you, you had said that you liked Kanye West. Other than him what kind of music are you into? 
Christina from Lakewood, Colorado

In case you missed Kyle's "Five Quick Questions" feature, you can access that here.

“I like everything; Rock, punk, country and even techno. As for individual artists, I like Taylor Swift, David Guetta and Lil Wayne, just to name a few. I’m not really one of those guys that listens to music before a game. I just try to mentally focus.”

This is for Paul Stastny. How exactly did you lose your front teeth, and do you think you’ll ever replace them?
-Mike from Longueuil, Quebec

Get some popcorn and settle in for this one. Paul went into great detail and it’s actually a pretty funny story. A few of his teammates were listening in, and most of them had no idea how Paul got his gap-toothed grin.

“I lost them back when I was in seventh grade. We were playing baseball at school and it started raining so we went back inside. A little while later it turned into a light drizzle so we went back outside to keep playing. Me and my buddy were just standing behind this guy…I’m not going to say his name…but he swung as hard as he could. The bat came loose out of his fingers and the full barrel of the bat hit me in the face.

To this day, the school doesn’t use full-barrel baseball bats. I got it fixed, but it was only a matter of time before the root was going to die, so I had to get them pulled out. At that time I only had one pulled out.

Then, right before my sophomore year of college, I was skating with a few guys in St. Louis. Some guy tried putting the puck around me, but I got in his way and his stick went right into my mouth. Then they had to pull the other one out.

I’ll probably get them fixed at some point. I’ve had a couple of surgeries over the course of the summer, but I don’t do anything during the season.”

Hey Darcy Tucker: As most Avalanche fans know, you and your family took in Ryan O'Reilly to live with you. Because of this, I was wondering, does the job ever come home with you? Do you and Ryan ever talk about a game or what's going on with the team? Or when you get home do you become strictly Darcy the Family Man and not Darcy the Hockey Player?
Patrick from Armstrong, British Columbia

“Obviously we talk a little bit about hockey when we travel together. When we’re at home I’ll watch a little bit of hockey with my kids from time to time. But if he has a question for me he usually asks; he doesn’t need me to tell him too much. He’s a pretty mature kid and understands the game really well. We’re pretty much just a normal family at home. We have dinner and talk about other things in our lives, more so than a hockey game.”

Matt Duchene: I heard you like Green Day. What is your favorite song of all-time by Green Day? In a one-on-one interview you said you talked to Sidney Crosby. How often do you talk to him and get advice from him and all that jazz?
Jessica from Colorado

A little off topic, but dozens of questions came in this week asking Matt why he writes "BG H&H" on his sticks. Matt answered that question in an AvsCast interview on Jan. 7. Click here to listen to the audio feature.

“That’s a tough one, Jessica. For my favorite Green Day song I’d say Boulevard of Broken Dreams or their new one, 21st Century Breakdown. As for Sidney, we probably talk maybe once a month, usually by texting each other. I got to know him the last year or so and I know he’s a guy I can lean on if I ever need anything. So far I haven’t asked him too much. He’s got his own stuff to worry about so I don’t want to bug him too much.”

Hi, this question is for T.J. Galiardi. T.J., you have been playing really good this season and have a lot to offer to this team! My question is, other then your roommate Paul, who do you usually hang out with from the team? And what do you like to do on your "free" time? Keep up the great work and good luck the rest of the season.
Rhylee from Victoria, British Columbia

“I hang out on the road with Ryan O’Reilly. At home, it’s O’Reilly, Brandon Yip and Chris Stewart. On the road we go out for delicious dinners and watch movies in our room. That’s pretty much it.”

I have a loaded question for T.J. Galiardi: You were born and grew up in Calgary. You also attended the 2007 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp. Who will you be rooting for in the Olympics if it comes down to a USA-Canada gold medal match? (Yes, you'll have to tell your roommate, too).
Scott from Denver, Colorado

Very interesting question, Scott. I think T.J. knew where you were heading with this one, as he starting chuckling halfway through the question. A few of his teammates in the locker room were quick to share their opinions as well.

As for T.J., his mother is from Phoenix, so he has dual citizenship. He spent his formative years in Calgary, but is currently living with Paul Stastny, who will be playing for Team USA at the Olympics. Here’s what T.J. had to say after a few seconds of thinking it over:

“You know what? I’m going with the United States because of my boy Pauly. Straight up. That’s the only reason. I love Canada and I love the U.S., but I can’t root against Pauly. It’s not about going against anyone; it’s about going with my roommate.”

Hey Ryan O'Reilly. Defensively, you are arguably the best rookie forward in the NHL right now. You are said to just know the simple things of the game that are hard to teach and have earned Joe Sacco's trust by getting time on the PK. Who, or what, can you attest your great defensive play to? And did you always concentrate on that aspect of your game?
Patrick from Armstrong, British Columbia

“I think I’ve always concentrated on that part of the game. Maybe not quite as much as I do now, but I think it developed playing against my brother, Cal. He’s a really good offensive player, so in the summer I would learn how to control and contain him. I also think my coach in junior, Robbie Ftorek, really helped me. He was a great player and when he came to our team he really taught me the game.”
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