T-minus one hour till puck drop from Ball Arena. The Colorado Avalanche take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in a potential Cup-clinching Game 5 at 6 p.m. The Fans were ready much earlier than that – and there is a potpourri of emotion among the faithful. But, most of it, publicly anyway, is optimistic.
At 3:30 p.m. the inflatable rink was still getting blown up, there was no media food served and, yet, the fans were in the parking lot tailgating and lining up at the front entrance. Avalanche fans are ready to go. Fans are feeling confident as they found their way to their seats. Just ask the Brandon brothers. Lorin Brandon predicts a 4-2 victory for the home team, Logan Brandon thinks it’ll be 6-3 good guys and Zach Brandon feels a 5-1 smacking head the Lightnings way. Could this be the last game at Ball Arena? We’ll find out in a little under 3 hours? Pending overtime of course.
Hockey is a sport of superstitions and we touched base with Avalanche fans to see if they were wearing the same shirt from Wednesdays victory, their lucky pair of socks or whatever else wild superstition they may have.
“Playoff beard, definitely gotta keep that in check,” said Zach Brandon. ” Sometimes you gotta paint it a little bit to make sure it’s appropriate for the attire.”
The Avalanche will have the opportunity to hoist the Stanley Cup for the first time in 21 years and, in front of their home crowd. Just the cherry on top, to what could be an end cap to a historic playoff run.
“Just the energy in the city when that happens is insane,” said Zach Brandon, “I remember back in 2001 when Ray Bourque lifted the Cup and I was like 8 years old at the time, it was just insane.
“To see Landeskog, MacKinnon, Makar and Kadri, all those get it, it would be the coolest thing ever.”
Though the fans aren’t the ones on the ice, they feel apart of the team. Through thick and thin, Avalanche fans have endured a couple of crushing defeats in recent years and tonight could be the night that the pain, is no more.
“To be here in person, if it happened tonight, I don’t even know what I would do,” said Logan Brandon, “I think I might just cry, I might pass out, maybe all of the above.”
Puck drop is coming up and we’ll see if Denver is celebrating it’s third Stanley Cup or if this band is headed back to Tampa for a Game 6.