PITTSBURGH -- The Colorado Avalanche kicked off the season in style on Saturday, rolling the Dallas Stars in a 6-5 barn burner at Pepsi Center. After a brief glimpse of what the team looked like a home, the players hit the road for the first trip of the year.
The initial stop on the four-game swing was in Pittsburgh at the house that Sidney Crosby built. Once known as CONSOL Energy Center, the building was rebranded this month as PPG Paints Arena.
The team flew into Pennsylvania on Sunday afternoon, which gave the boys a chance to get some rest, eat some grub and have some time to bond ahead of Monday's game. They dispersed throughout the city to enjoy a little downtime.
Pittsburgh was warm but somewhat downtrodden, as the Steelers had lost earlier that day and many were about to find out that starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would need knee surgery for a torn meniscus. The news effectively puts the season in jeopardy in a city that loves the black and yellow club, and the dreary weather on Monday morning was somewhat fitting for the circumstances.
Captain Gabriel Landeskog took note of the quarterback situation and immediately made it known to his teammates that wide receiver Antonio Brown would be on his fantasy football league's trading block, if anyone like Calvin Pickard might be interested. The goaltender wasn't.
The Steelers news followed that of the other black and yellow team in the area, which had seen its captain and arguably one of the best players in the league, Sidney Crosby, sidelined with a concussion just two days before the Avs arrived.
Although Crosby skated before the Penguins held their typical morning skate, the superstar forward didn't participate in Monday's contest.
For Colorado, the excitement was palpable ahead of the game as it offered the players a chance to compare themselves to the defending Stanley Cup champions. Naturally, the Avalanche pulled even two separate times after falling down on the scoreboard and eventually won 22 seconds into overtime, providing quite the confidence boost for this team.