Colorado Avalanche Captain Gabriel Landeskog Feeling Confident in Series

DENVER, CO - APRIL 16: Gabriel Landeskog
DENVER, CO - APRIL 16: Gabriel Landeskog /

Colorado Avalanche’s captain, Gabriel Landeskog, believes in his team and knows they can skate even with the Presidents’ Trophy winners.

Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog has confidence in his team to not only stick to their game plan but to hold their own against a more playoff-savvy Nashville Predators team.

During a post-practice presser, Landeskog remarked on his appreciation for how well the teams have started in each game. In fact, in the first period of the three playoff games, they’ve scored a total of five goals on Vezina finalist goalie Pekka Rinne. However, Landeskog isn’t satisfied to stop there:

"“You just want to keep going. The first two games, obviously, we did a good job of getting the first one, but we didn’t find a way to stay aggressive. Last night we did a way better job of forechecking and staying on the gas, and making it tougher for them for a longer period of time.”"

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I’ve been harping about the forecheck for a while. For some reason, that’s the first thing that goes out of the Avalanche’s game. Maddeningly, they’ll just dump the puck in and go for the change. There was still some of that in Game 3, but forechecking in general was a lot more deliberate.

During his presser, Landeskog alludes to the fact that, while the Avalanche scored that all-important first goal, they didn’t maintain the pressure. They went on to lose Games 1 and 2.

The plan for the Avalanche moving forward into Game 4 is to have a good start to the game and keep going. However, Landeskog cautions against focusing too much on that first goal:

"“Even if we don’t get that first one, we’ve just got to keep going and stick to the game plan. Obviously we’ve done a good job of coming out hot. We’ve got to make sure either way, whether we get that first one or not, we keep going and stick to the game plan.”"

There were definitely times in the third period of both games that the Avs players did not appear to be sticking to a game plan, and certainly not the system. As they made mistakes, they tried to overdo plays, which led to more mistakes.

However, that mentality changed in Game 3. As Landeskog points out, “a big key to why we won [Game 3] is we stuck to our game plan the whole way.”

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Ultimately, the Avs captain knows they have to put it all on the ice tonight. He said about practice and this game:

"“It’s time to reset and get ready for another work day here today and watch some video and things we can get better at and move on for tomorrow. Last night doesn’t mean much if we don’t win tomorrow. It’s a big one again.”"

The #17 team in the NHL, the youngest team in the NHL, and probably one of the smallest teams in the NHL, the Colorado Avalanche is giving the Stanley Cup favorite Nashville Predators fits and starts in this playoffs. They’ve shown they can skate with anyone. And Landeskog is confident they can keep it up.