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Rolling Avalanche

As far as sports towns go, there are the big ones – Boston, New York, Chicago, and Detroit – and then there’s everyone else. But how does a city get on that list? Is there a governing board with the sole purpose of determining which city’s fans are rabid enough? If so, it should really give Denver another interview. Those Rocky Mountain dudes and dudettes are mighty passionate about all their teams, from the Broncos on down to the Avalanche. And they should be. The Avalanche and Detroit have a long-running rivalry, and the Avalanche has been the only team able to stop the Wings in past playoffs with regularity. Like any feud, it has helped get Denver fans hyped up for Avalanche games.

This year, though, Denver’s skating boys have to worry about getting to the playoffs in the first place before facing Detroit (who will be there). Fortunately the team has found a remedy to this season’s rash of inconsistent scoring: Rookie left wing Cody McLeod. The young forward was just activated on December 20, but since then has managed to score on nearly 25 percent of all his attempted shots and give a playoff twinkle back to his teammates’ eyes. Look for McLeod to get some serious playing time when the Avalanche faces off against the Florida Panthers at 5 p.m. Sunday at BankAtlantic Center (1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise). Tickets start at $17. Call 954-835-8000, or visit
Sun., Jan. 13, 5 p.m., 2008

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John Linn