Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog had a busy week. He started out by kicking some Minnesota Wild butt — specifically captain Mikko Koivu‘s butt. He got fined $5,000 for that butt-kicking because the NHL doesn’t like players to reach across dividers to punch each other.
Landeskog then had a great night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, scoring a goal and two assists to help lift the team to victory. He then re-christened the Avalanche season from “Avs New Age” to “Balls Out All the Way.”
So, in honor of Landy’s busy week as the Avalanche captain, let’s look at his first goal as the captain.
When Landeskog was named captain before the 2012-13 season, he was the youngest player to ever receive that honor. Unfortunately, due to the lockout, he didn’t appear in his first game as the captain until January 19, 2013, a 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild. (Doesn’t it seem the evil Wild feature as the antagonists in so many Avalanche stories?)
Anyway, Landeskog’s first goal as the Colorado Avalanche captain came on January 22, 2013 during a 3-1 win over the Los Angels Kings. The Kings went up first, during the first period. There was no scoring again until the first minute of the third period.
The Avalanche were on the offensive. Defenseman Jan Hejda unleashed a slap shot from the point. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick made the save but gave up the rebound. Landeskog was in perfect position to tuck it in behind Quick to tie the game.
One of my favorite parts of the moment is how gleeful Landeskog looks as fellow youngster Matt Duchene knocks him to the ground in celebration.
Interestingly, that first captain goal bears some resemblance to the goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The score in that game was 3-1 for the Avalanche as well, the Landy’s goal was the third, not first, for the Avs. It came in the third period. Landeskog was the first star of the night back then, and he was the first star of the night last night.
The team’s last game was also against the (hated) Wild.
Gabriel Landeskog is currently second on the team in points, tied with winger Jarome Iginla at 43 but with three fewer goals. This from a young man who started the season so slowly and who was snake-bitten for all of January. Yet from his first moment as the Colorado Avalanche captain until now, he’s maintained his poise and has shown leadership beyond his years.