Here's an article in the Swedish press Aftonbladet which includes an interview of Gabriel Landeskog after the game last night. I had a real live Swedish person Malin translate this for me. (But if you want to use Google translate, it hilariously translates Landeskog as "Country Forest".)Landeskog with the Inside Track of Winning the Calder Trophy
Per Bjurman, NEWARK.
Peter Forsberg and Daniel Alfredsson are the only Swedes who managed to do it before. But it's starting to look like Gabriel Landeskog can win the Calder Trophy this year. After two new points last night, he shares the first place in goal scoring lead for rookies and second place in the league in points.
"Of course it would be really cool, but that's nothing I'm thinking about right now. I just want to help my team win," says the 19 year old after Colorado shutout Columbus.
Mats Sundin couldn't do it, neither could Nicklas Bäckström nor the Sedin brothers.
But Gabriel Landeskog has a good chance of becoming only the third Swede in NHL history to take home the trophy which is awarded annually to the rookie of the year, and if he does, he would be the first Swede in sixteen years to do so.
16 Goals and counting
The 19-year-old Stockholm native scored another goal last night when Colorado beat Columbus 5-0. The goal was his sixteenth of the season, and the only rookie with more goals on the season is Philadelphia's Matt Read and Vancouver's Cody Hodgson.
Since he also added an assist, Gabriel climbed over Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the points lead for rookies and is now in second place with a total of 36 points, four fewer than Adam Henrique from New Jersey.
In addition, the Swede is the best among rookies when it comes to the plus / minus statistic.
So you do not need to have an overly vivid imagination to imagine Gabriel Landeskog on stage at the Wynn during the NHL Awards in June.
Of course he would not even consider the idea.
Two Points Behind the Playoff Race
"Of course it would be really cool, but that's not something I'm thinking about right now. After the season ends we will see what will happen, but right now I just want to focus on helping my team win. That is all that matters to me right now," he says when we reach him after the Columbus match.
Yes, the Avalanche is very much involved in the race for the last playoff spots in the West. After last night triumph they are the eleventh team in the standings, but they are just two points behind Dallas.
"It will be a tough fight all the way to the finish line, that is one thing you can be sure of. The competition in our conference is extremely hard," says Gabriel.
Healthy and Ready to Go
Now begins the toughest part of the season, when five months of hard work have just been completed and the intensity of the schedule just get more intense by the day. Many rookies fall short, but Colorado's new star still has some more gas left in the tank.
"There are of course days when you don't feel all that good, it is tough times right now. But I make sure to get the rest I need both mentally and physically. Above all, it's still so much fun to play in the NHL," he says.
That is the way potential Calder Trophy winner speaks.