A native from Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Marc-Andre Cliche (pronounced KLEESH) was picked up on waivers by the Avalanche during the preseason and has appeared in 37 games for Colorado this season. He was selected in the second round (56th overall) of the 2005 Entry Draft by the New York Rangers and had been a captain of the Manchester Monarchs in the American Hockey League. Since arriving in Denver, Cliche has played an important role on the penalty kill as he leads all forwards in short-handed ice time. He recently sat down with ColoradoAvalanche.com.
Do you have a favorite pregame meal?
“Yeah, it’s at Piatti. Chicken, spaghetti with rose sauce, caesar salad.”
Do you have any superstitions on game days?
“Oh, I have so many. It goes from handshakes with the boys to what I do in the time I get to the rink to the way I tape my stick, I put it upside down once it’s taped. A bunch of stuff like that.”
Who was your favorite player growing up?
“Guy Carbonneau believe it or not. Growing up I was a big Habs fan. When he won the Stanley Cup there as a captain, it was great. He was just my favorite player.”
When you’re not on the ice, what do you do for entertainment?
“Just like everyone else: shop, golf, hang out, and play video games—a lot of video games.”
How do you like Denver so far?
“It’s been unbelievable. Every single day I’ve enjoyed it. The weather is unbelievable, I can’t believe the weather, one day it can be a snowstorm and the next day it is sunny. It’s awesome.”
What were your first thoughts when you heard that the Avalanche had claimed you off waivers?
“At first I didn’t believe it when Patrick called me. I was just in shock because you don’t expect to be picked up on waivers in training camp. I was so grateful, and I'm still grateful to this day.”
What’s the best advice to sticking in the NHL?
“You have to work on your defensive game. I think you have to gain the coaches' trust and try to play defensively. If you play well defensively and don’t get scored on, I think the coach will put you out there more and more.”
Maxime Talbot and you seem to get raves reviews from coach Roy quite often for your penalty killing. Can you talk a little about the chemistry the two of you have with each other?
“It’s been awesome. Before every game we talk, have a little meeting about the PK. When I get the puck, I know where he is. We just wish we could score a few more goals, because that one short-handed goal we scored was awesome.”