The Colorado Avalanche Mailbag is back and the players are ready to respond to fan questions. This installment features Avalanche left wing Cody McLeod.
As always, your questions are in bold. If we feel the need to provide some additional commentary or clarification, it will come in italics.
Now, on to the Q&A:
Hi Cody McLeod, I wanted to know what game days are like for you during the season? Also, what does you schedule consist of when you have an off day? – Syona, Washington State
We have morning skate at usually 9 o’clock, so we do that, go eat a pregame meal, go home and sleep and do the same routine every time. That’s basically it, and then go to the rink around 4 o’clock and start getting ready for the game. On off days, I usually lie around the house and hang out with the kid and just sleep. Mostly I just take it easy, watch TV.
What do you do to pass time on the plane to and from road games? – Kyla, Denver, Colo.
Poker. From the moment we step on the bird, there’s about eight or nine of us [that] play poker on the plane, Texas Hold ‘em.
What is your most memorable moment of your first five seasons with the Colorado Avalanche? – Zach, Airdrie, Alberta
Probably my first year when we went to the second round of the playoffs. We played Detroit, we lost [the series] 4-0, but we beat Minnesota in the first round so that was pretty cool. It was just a great atmosphere at Pepsi Center. It was packed every night and it was a lot of fun.
Mr. McLeod, what do you consider to be the most important aspect of your game? Also, what do you focus on when you get free practice time? – David, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Just to bring energy, play physical, and make sure I work as hard as I possibly can every time I am out there on the ice. Just provide energy for this team. I work on all aspects of the game. Shooting on the goalies after practice or working on plays, getting pucks out, stuff like that. Just basic hockey stuff.
You've definitely dropped the gloves a few times in your NHL career! What is your most memorable fight? – Joey, Westminster, Colo.
I don’t know if I really have a memorable one but I fought a couple of my ex-teammates. Brandon Dubinsky was my first NHL fight; he was with the Rangers. Then Matt Hendricks when he played for the Capitals. He used to play here so it was a good scrap. (McLeod and Hendricks are good friends).
Hey Cody, I've noticed your game offensively has opened up just a bit this year. Does that have something to do with Patrick Bordeleau coming in and helping with the enforcer duties? Or is it something else that you've been working on. Thanks and good luck with the rest of the season! – Phillip, Centennial, Colo.
Yeah definitely. He (Bordeleau} can help out in that department and he’s a bigger guy so he can take on the guys who are a bit bigger. It’s nice having him in the lineup.
Who were some of the players you followed when you were playing hockey as a young boy? – Bill, Westminster, Colo.
I always liked Cam Neely when I was watching him play. He’s a tough guy and can play the game too, which is really nice so I always enjoyed watching him play.
Who is the person you thank the most for helping develop your game to the NHL level? – Lance, Binscarth, Manitoba
Probably my coaches through junior hockey and then all the way up to the minors. My parents played a big part in getting me to the NHL and then all my friends and family from back home in Binscarth.
Cody, do you feel confident the Avs can make the playoffs? Do you like the challenge of playing the penalty kill? As a veteran player with the Avs, has your role as a leader in the dressing room changed? – Ed, Binscarth, Manitoba
Yeah, we just have to get on a winning streak here to make the playoffs. It’s going to definitely be a challenge but we got the guys in here to do it. We just have to get on a roll here and start winning a few games. I enjoy doing the penalty kill this year, its nice. I enjoy it and it’s definitely a challenge. Yeah, I have been around a few years now so I don’t think there are too many guys. I know Staz (Paul Stastny) and Hedgie (Milan Hejduk) have been here for a long time, but yeah you consider yourself a leader just because you have been here for a few years now. You take that role on and try to lead from example and go on from there.