Patrick Roy Praises Captain Gabriel Landeskog


“I’m encouraged by the way the captain showed up tonight.”- Patrick Roy

Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy is naturally not satisfied with the team’s place in the standings. However, he can still find aspects of their play to praise. One of those aspects is the leadership being displayed by Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog.

Landeskog is the youngest captain in the NHL at 22, and he was the youngest player to ever be named an NHL captain when he was 19. Since then, Landeskog has presided over challenging times — the lockout-shortened season, the Olympic season and the Avalanche’s disappointing New Age season. In other words, Landeskog’s induction as an NHL captain has been a trial by fire.

Coach Roy, though, likes what he’s seeing from the young man. Indeed, after the disappointing loss to the New York Rangers, Roy said during a post-game presser:

"“I was very proud of our captain. I thought he showed great urgency in the second, especially when he scored his goal. Even before [the Rangers] took that penalty to make it a 5-on-3, he made a great effort. I thought it was great leadership from him.”"

Indeed, Landeskog — as well as center Matt Duchene — seemed fired up from the beginning of the game. Duchene took five shots on net — that’s right, a full five shots on goal — and Landeskog stayed in his range, recording three. More than that, they jumped into the play and worked the corners on every shift.

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This is true even during that disastrous 5-on-3 power play. Landeskog spent a large chunk of time parked in front of the Rangers net, taking cross checks to the kidneys, waiting for a pass that never came. Duchene fired off a desperate shot after being knocked flat on the ice.

Coach Roy believes Landeskog is displaying strong leadership qualities. The Colorado Avalanche were down 2-0 in the second period when Landeskog scored through sheer hard work. His tally culminated a stellar shift that was easily the Avalanche’s best of the entire night.

Coach Roy sees how the team can take their cues from Landeskog:

"“It was a performance that his teammates can look at and say, ‘This is how we have to work if we want to have some success.'”"

Even veteran Jarome Iginla (speaking to Altitude TV’s Julie Browman) appreciated what he saw by the young captain:

"“Landy’s goal was a huge goal to get some momentum back after they were up 2-0.”"

Landeskog was typically humble about his goal, just saying, “We get one, we make it a 2-1 game.”

Naturally the captain was disappointed by the outcome of the game:

"“We scratched our way back to tie the game with 10 minutes to go. Especially at home — the crowd was so loud at that point. The whole building is rocking, and the team’s feeling good — we’d just tied it up. You have to be able to ride that momentum wave and be able to play with that momentum for the rest of the game.”"

Despite the fact that one of the male reporters interrupted him to further ask a question, Landeskog finished his commentary on the upbeat note he likely wanted all along:

"“We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve got to think about this one tonight and move on tomorrow.”"

It’s an unfortunate reality that, in Landeskog’s young tenure as a captain, the Colorado Avalanche have had only one good season, the 2013-14 campaign. It’s certainly not his fault. However, he’s learning the tools to deal with adversity — and it shows.

Note on attribution: All of the quotes in this post come from the post-game presser and locker room talk posted on the Colorado Avalanche website. The above is true of all posts unless specifically linked to an exclusive article.

Next: Gabriel Landeskog's Captain Battle