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Avs' Stastny, Galiardi make for unlikely roommates

by Todd Kimberley

"I know how 'Footy' took in 'Duch,' and 'Tucks' took in O'Reilly, but it's pretty funny how the guys talk about how Paulie took me in, when we're only two years apart."
-- T.J. Galiardi

CALGARY  -- Quite the big-hearted chaps, those Colorado Avalanche veterans.

Captain Adam Foote has opened up his home to rookie sensation Matt Duchene.

Forward Darcy Tucker has a new boarder in Ryan O'Reilly, another Avs newcomer who's barely old enough to vote in the Centennial State.

And then there's that 23-year-old greybeard ... what was his name again?

"Oh yeah, Old Man Stastny," grins T.J. Galiardi, 21, who's boarding this season in the Washington Park home of Paul Stastny, right in downtown Denver. "I know how 'Footy' took in 'Duch,' and 'Tucks' took in O'Reilly, but it's pretty funny how the guys talk about how Paulie took me in, when we're only two years apart."

The Avalanche, written off by just about every preseason prognosticator, are off to a torrid start this winter, with a 9-1-2 mark over their first 12 games -- the majority of those on the road.

All is copacetic, too, at Chez Stastny, which the two Avs forwards share with Stastny's sister, an event planner who's out of town as often as they are.

"We're pretty good buddies, too, so it helps out," Galiardi said. "We've got a pretty good setup there."

Yes, but inquiring minds want to know -- what are these guys like as roommates?

Galiardi "gets up at the last possible minute," laughs Stastny, son of Hockey Hall of Famer Peter Stastny. "Sleeps as long as he can, gets up right away. His breakfast is about two minutes long, but he gets it down and gets right to the rink.

"Loves his antioxidants, too. Better put that one in there."

Counters Galiardi: "He makes some pretty good white rice. His brown rice is not so hot."

If you're thinking this is not exactly your prototypical bachelor pad, you're right. Stastny and Galiardi both admit to being pretty low-key individuals -- in other words, no house-wrecking parties, no pizza boxes piled to the ceiling.

"Hey, I did my background check. I didn't want to live with a slob," guffaws Stastny. "He makes his bed every morning. He'll do laundry. And we'll switch off on the dishes.

"I guess we're kind of similar. We like to stay in. Do some grocery shopping, or play video games, or cook because we're bored."

Adds Galiardi: "Yeah, we do a lot of cooking. We don't eat out much, which is surprising for young hockey players. I would probably call him a neat freak, but I'm the same way. So it works out well."

The winter of 2008-09 was pretty much a lost season for the Avs, and Stastny was not immune, missing nearly half the season with a broken forearm and a broken foot and ending up with 36 points, well short of his customary output.

And after going through an unproductive stretch in the middle portion of October, the 6-foot, 205-pound center has heated up with six points in three games, heading into Wednesday's meeting with the Flames in Calgary. Instead of feeling the offensive weight of the club on his shoulders, Stastny (4-8-12) was one of four Avs with 10 points or more prior to Wednesday, alongside Wojtek Wolski (7-5-12), Milan Hejduk (5-6-11) and O'Reilly (2-8-10).

"We've had different guys step up at different times, and our special teams have been helping us win some games, and stay in games," Stastny said.

Galiardi broke in with the Avs at the tail end of last season, and the former member of the Dartmouth Big Green (ECAC) and Calgary Hitmen (WHL) has helped Colorado's penalty killing unit pull up its socks, from 21st  last season to fifth at present.

"I started the year in a defensive role, which is a little different for me, but that's fine," said Galiardi, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound left winger from Calgary. "I've been able to pitch in and help offensively a bit, too.

"Our scoring on our team is pretty spread out. Everybody things something different to the table, and I think that's why we're successful."

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