The Colorado Avalanche got a much-needed win on Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators. The Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog scored two goals, an assist and also netted the winner in the shootout.
Landeskog, who is one of the youngest captains in the NHL, looked like the Avs’ best player on the ice. The center is becoming what the Avs hoped he would be when they drafted him second overall in 2011 NHL draft. He is the a leader and deserves that “C” on his jersey.
He doesn’t lead the team in goals, Ryan O’Reilly has 26, or points as Matt Duchene has the most with 68. Landeskog does own a +/- of 19 which is tied for the top spot on the team with rookie Nathan MacKinnon.
Landeskog showed his leadership and knack for coming up big in Tuesday’s win. The Avs have lost three in a row and were being dominated in the first period by the Predators. Nashville was already up 2-0 and had 13 of the first 16 shots on goal.
The center from Sweden scored on Colorado’s third and final shot of the first period. The Avs like where they were at 2-1 especially with the way they played.
“We were in a tough hole in the first, but we stuck with the plan and here we are,” Landeskog told The Denver Post.
The Avs have yet to clinch a playoff spot in the Western Conference but still at 96 points which is a far cry from the struggles of last season. Two more wins would help Colorado reach the 100-point plateau which would clinch it a berth.
Landeskog is not flashy. He scores goals but is also not afraid to mix it up in the corner. Several times this season he has been involved in shoving matches and even fights. He is just a gritty but great hockey player and the perfect to be captain on this team.
The Avs have better players in Duchene and MacKinnon but Landeskog could be the most balanced player on the ice. Colorado has a good young nucleus and is building towards something great. Landeskog is the right man to lead the Avs to where they want to go.
Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisSchmaedeke