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On The Road: Game Day In New York

The Avalanche opens the season at Madison Square Garden

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

The Colorado Avalanche opens the 2017-18 season on the road in the New York Metropolitan Area, taking on the New York Rangers and then the New Jersey Devils. Colorado closes the road trip with a matinee at the Boston Bruins on Monday. is writing about the trip.

Thursday, Oct. 6, 2017

9:45 a.m.: The Avalanche's team bus departs from the its midtown Manhattan hotel and heads to Madison Square Garden for morning skate.

Nearly all the players were on the bus well before its departure time, but there were a few that cut it close. Still all 22 players were accounted for when the bus left.

10:10 a.m.: It took the Avs bus nearly a half an hour to maneuver its way through the busy New York City streets, but it finally made it to MSG, with no accidents along the way.

Around Madison Square Garden was especially busy with people and vehicles, as it is in the heart of the city and is right above Penn Station, one of the transportation hubs for trains in and out of the area.

When the bus arrives, it parks just outside the arena at the loading dock. All members of the team had to go through a security checkpoint and then walk up a long ramp to ice level. It's a walk nearly every player, musician and animal--when the circus is in town--has to make to reach Madison Square Garden's event floor.

Once the players get to the locker room, they quickly change out of their suits and into athletic wear as they prepare for morning skate. The Avs stretch, tape their sticks and go over a video before starting practice.

11:30 a.m.: The Avalanche's first morning skate of the regular season officially begins, and the players seemed to have a little more energy as they went through drills. That shouldn't be a surprise with it being opening night and playing at such an historic venue like Madison Square Garden.

The official practice lasts for 30 minutes, and the players begin to trickle off. When they make it to the locker room, they're greeted by a throng of New York media, who will get their only chance to talk to the players in a casual environment this season.

The Avs steadily get dressed before rushing down the ramp to catch the team bus.

12:35 p.m.: Colorado's bus leaves Madison Square Garden and meanders its way through the city to get back to the club's midtown hotel. The Avs make it back at 1:05 p.m., and the players immediately head to a meeting room where they eat their pre-game meal.

The next several hours include the Avs taking a short nap, gathering their belongings and preparing themselves for that evening's game.

3:45 p.m.: Colorado's first of two buses departs from the hotel and journeys to Madison Square Garden. With it taking 30 minutes to get from point A to point B, a lot of the players took the first trip.

Once again, the team's charter bus traverses through the city and gets to the arena at 4:17 p.m. The team's second bus departed the hotel at 4:15 p.m. and makes the same trip to MSG.

At the rink, the players go through their usual warmup in preparation for the first game of the season. With it being the Rangers' home opener, the start time was pushed back to accommodate the pregame ceremonies.

7:20 p.m.: The puck drops and the regular season is finally underway.

Matt Duchene and Mikko Rantanen scored two early goals, but New York battled back to tie the contest at 2-2 going into the first intermission.

The score would stay that way until Tyson Barrie tallied with 2:10 left in the middle stanza. Colorado held onto the lead with Semyon Varlamov making 37 saves and Gabriel Landeskog registering a third-period, empty-net goal to seal the victory.

9:47 p.m.: The final horn sounds, and the Avs leave the ice with a 4-2 victory.

After media obligations and post-game recovery, the players grab a quick dinner that has been provided for them at the rink before heading back to the team bus.

10:48 p.m.: Colorado's buses depart Madison Square Garden and travel to the club's new hotel in New Jersey. With it being the middle night, there isn't much traffic and it's a fairly quick trip to the hotel as the team gets in before 11:30 p.m.

Once the team arrives, the players are given their keys and head to their rooms to get some rest before a practice the next day.

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