Colorado Avalanche Captain Gabriel Landeskog Earning Respect

DENVER, CO - MAY 06: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche waves to the crowd after the victory against the San Jose Sharks in Game Six of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Pepsi Center on May 6, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - MAY 06: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche waves to the crowd after the victory against the San Jose Sharks in Game Six of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Pepsi Center on May 6, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog has shown the measure of the man he is, and he’s starting to get his well-deserved respect.

Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is the best captain. No, really, I’m a homer, but our captain is such a class act.

And he’s finally starting to get that recognition.

Sports journalist Eliotte Friedman, spoke at length about Landeskog during his recent, 31 Thoughts: The Podcast. Friedman said of our cap:

"“Gabriel Landeskog is going to get every call for the rest of his career.”"

The catalyst, of course, is that dreadful overturned goal in Game 7. After describing controversial call, he talked about the Altitude broadcast team, particularly about Kyle Keefe and Mark Rycroft:

“They’re the Avalanche broadcast team. They’re there to defend their team.” He called the broadcast “riveting” remarking how much the two were going off. Jeff Marek remarked, “I can imagine Rycroft going banana sandwiches.”

Friedman countered, “Kyle Keefe, I saw his tweets, he was riled up, too.”

Here’s a sampling:

And the promised Altitude video:

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Eliotte Friedman didn’t mention John-Michael Liles, but he was so rattled, he couldn’t even talk at first. In fact, he later spoke with more passion than I’ve ever heard from him. And while I’d say Keefe was more banana sandwiches, Rycroft wasn’t exactly being the cooler head prevailing.

But, I digress. We all know it was the wrong call to make in a game of that magnitude. And it’s highly likely Gabe did, too.

He could have gotten on the camera after the game, when his emotions were at their highest, and echoed how Jonathan Marchessault ripped the referees for the call on the ice.

But he didn’t, because that’s now how our captain rolls. He’s not about reassigning blame. In fact, it’s well-known that Landeskog will encourage reporters to talk to other players after the Avs win, but he’ll always face the pressers when the Avs lose. That’s his responsibility as captain, and he takes it very seriously.

Even Friedman remarked that Landeskog would have been well-justified to complain about the disallowed goal:

"“Landeskog had every excuse in the world to say that’s a BS call, or that’s not what the rule is supposed to be. And he ate it. He stood up there, and he ate it.”"

He “ate it” — he owned up to his responsibility. He did say he was “just as surprised as anyone,” and that he didn’t think anything of the play. However, he was perplexed about why the puck didn’t drop.

"“It’s just a clumsy mistake. You know, get off the ice… If I could have done something different in that play, I would have jumped the boards a lot quicker.”"

It’s what comes afterward the Friedman identifies as the reason Gabe will be getting calls going his way — he expressed hope that the linesmen got the call right and added, “I don’t envy that position at all, to have to make a call like that in a Game 7.”

He went on again to take “full responsibility” for the play.

Here’s the video of our captain:

People notice those things — as Friedman and Marek remarked, he didn’t embarrass the officials or anyone involved, and people take notice.

For example:

Between the periods, Landeskog was seen having a cool conversation with the officials, and he patted one on the back.

People notice these things.

So I think Gabriel Landeksog won’t necessarily get all the calls going his way. But he might have some leeway now, a little leverage.

Next. Landeskog's Milestone Goal. dark

Throughout his captaincy — and it has been a long one for a 26-year-old — people have questioned his leadership. After the controversial call that went against the Colorado Avalanche captain, and his classy response, I don’t think people should be doubting him anymore. He’s earned the respect.