Possibly nobody in the NHL knows their role better then Cody McLeod of the Colorado Avalanche. In a game against the Dallas Stars on Saturday McLeod had a game that is a microcosm of his career. McLeod ended the night with zero points, 30 penalty minutes, under nine minutes of ice time and a game misconduct.
The unusual part of the game was when McLeod was named the first star of the game in which the Avalanche won 4 1 and had to do the post game interview in his street clothes. The second star was defenseman Brad Stuart and the third star was up and comer Dennis Everberg. These are not the names that jump off the Avalanche roster in the skill department but any NHL team likes having key depth players.
In the third period McLeod did what he has done time and time again driving a man away from the net and finishing a check. Jason Demers and McLeod went into the end wall and Demers would be cut by a shot to the face by McLeod . No call on the ice lead to Demers attacking McLeod during the TV timeout and a scrum broke out near both benches. Only McLeod was ejected from the game despite Demers being the aggressor during the timeout.
Most importantly the Avalanche ended the night securing two points in the standings against a division opponent and keeping the thin hope of a playoff appearance this season alive. McLeod will continue to be a thorn in the side of any team the Avalanche plays against and the avalanche organization is lucky to have a guy like this who gives it all he has night in and night out. The Avalanche return to action tonight against the Arizona Coyotes.
I am a University of New Mexico journalism student who has been watching NHL hockey since 1996 and I started playing hockey myself in 2003. I have covered both college soccer and volleyball in the past and I also contribute to a NASCAR news website.