Colorado Avalanche: Expectations for Gabriel Landeskog

Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is expected to fulfill all his roles for the team, including leadership, heart, and points.

The Colorado Avalanche will be taking to the ice in just a few short days. There will not be any fans in the stands — and after the COVID-positive situation that went down in Dallas, that’s not a bad thing — but we’ll have Avs hockey once again.

All eyes are going to be on the big guy, Nathan MacKinnon, and our super-sophomore Cale Makar. However, our captain is going to be expected to contribute, too.

Gabriel Landeskog is in his 10th year with the Avalanche, ninth as the captain. The 28-year-old has spent his entire career with Colorado.

Landeskog’s two main roles on the team have never been about being a high scoring forward. A second-overall draft pick, he’s naturally expected to make contributions points-wise. He’s only cracked the 30-goal mark once, in his career-best season of 2018-19. That year, he earned 34 goals and 41 assists for 75 points.

That said, six of Landeskog’s other eight seasons have seen him score 20+ goals. Besides the 75-point season, he’s had two 60+ point seasons and an additional three 50+ point seasons.

Nonetheless, Landeskog’s second main role on the team is as a power forward. He can be a rough player who’s pesky and gets under opponents’ skin. He’s also never been one to shy away from dropping the gloves.

His main role, naturally, is as a leader. And he is, indeed, a natural leader. He took over the captaincy at the tender age of 19. Of course, he had to grow into his captaincy, and grow he did. He’s that natural leader, and he was groomed from childhood to be a hockey captain.

So, what are our expectations for Gabriel Landeskog this season? Well, he’s made clear what his expectations are for the whole team:

“Our expectations are real high and we expect to take a run at this thing and we expect excellence from ourselves every day when we come to the rink and part of that is having that championship mentality.”

The team has a championship mentality. The culture of a team always starts with the captain, and that’s certainly been the case with Landeskog and the Avalanche.

As we can see, Landeskog is ready to go:

That’s such typical Landeskog. It’s funny to see such a good-natured man then get enraged on the ice, but that’s his style.

Will we see the power forward again this season? He did take a step back last season. He had a couple injuries, and they seemed to keep him from going quite as tough as before.

Landeskog worriesomely also missed the first few training camp days. Hopefully he’s not suffering from any lingering injuries. Injuries have cost the Avs too much already in the last couple seasons.

What can we expect from him concerning offensive production? Well, injuries kept Landeskog out of the lineup for 16 games. In 54 games he managed 21 goals and 23 assists for 44 points. Not stellar numbers, but not too shabby.

Of course, that not-shabby season came on the heels of his stellar, 75-point season that saw him nominated to the All Star team. Our captain is 28, in his prime still.

I’d say we’ll see typical Landeskog. He’ll probably be in the neighborhood of 20+ goals and 60+ points again — if he’s healthy. That’s the biggest question for the team this season.

The Colorado Avalanche will be playing within the week, COVID willing. Landeskog has been at practices recently, so we’re sure to see a preview of what’s to come this year.