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Avalanche True or False #1: Gabe Landeskog

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Complements of our generous overlords at SBN, we took our annual MHH staff retreat last week to beautiful Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Between days of sailing catamarans and exploring volcanoes and nights filled with street festivals and copious amounts of iced rum & simple syrup, El Jefe Ryan insisted we get a little work done for the site. Each evening before dinner we got together in the billiard room of our luxurious spa accommodations and shot the breeze on a single topic.

It was decided to take a simple statement and each staffer would say 'True' or 'False' and elaborate. I was tasked to collect the responses and put them forth for you, our beloved MHH posters.

Statement #1:

True or False: Gabe Landeskog is criminally overlooked by the mainstream hockey media.

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ProfessorOak:

True: Landeskog, in my opinion, is one of the quietest performers in the NHL and I think many Avs fans may overlook him as well.  For almost anyone, it's hard to remember that he's only 22, and that is mostly because he came into the league as the most NHL-ready prospect both physically and in terms of style of play, so he already came in as a man.  Furthering that, he was named the youngest captain in the history of the league.  Furthering the perception of his maturity.
In terms of his play, there is nothing flashy about his game at all, which is why I believe he is overlooked.  He is a jack of all trades player.  He isn't fast like MacKinnon, super slick like Dutchy, or a huge power forward like Lucic.  He drives possession, but in a sports community that is still struggling to embrace fancy stats, it's hard to look at his numbers and be like "wow".  But you look at his play style, his possession numbers, his quietly solid stats and you all of a sudden realize he's the whole package.  I also think the lack of Avs national coverage, and Western Conference bias hurts him as well, but I suspect, especially with the outdoor game this year, that will all change.



misterfish1:

True. I don't think there are very many people who don't religiously follow the Avs that have a sense of how much Gabe brings to the Avs. Landeskog is one of few young hockey players out there who is as good of a player as he is an enforcer. I could select any number of highlight reel hockey plays Landeskog has had since he joined the Avalanche, but the thing that always stands out to me is how such a young talent is also an incredible aggravator. You really get the sense when the Avs play a team they don't like, such as Minnesota, Anaheim, or St. Louis, that Landeskog just pisses them all off. He mouths off to his opponents, can deliver a devastatingly hard but clean hit, and still give the opposition problems both with his offensive and defensive ability.

We should truly feel fortunate that we captured a captain, MUCH LESS ONE IN HIS EARLY 20's like him who we will hopefully have for his entire NHL career. The man signed a long-term contract that in truth, probably is less money than what he really is worth, when the Avs were at their low point as a team having just come off the train wreck that was the 2013 season. He loves being apart of the Avalanche and I think loves his teammates as much as anyone. The dude mentors these guys like he's about ready to retire when he actually just started his career in the NHL.

It's a tragedy how overlooked Gabe is by the hockey media. He means much more to Colorado than the general public realizes. If he played in a bigger market like New York, Chicago, or Toronto, he'd get the national respect and admiration of someone like Jonathan Toews, regardless of the fact Landy has 3 less championship rings. Here's hoping that the Avalanche bounce back this season, not just so that we have a good, exciting, contending team to watch, but also so that Landeskog can begin to get the praise across the land he deserves.

Oh, and balls to the wall.

Ryan Murphy:

True.

With twelve nationally televised games this season, the NHL and its larger media outlets are going to get a heavy dose of Gabe Landeskog -- and not just his overwhelmingly endearing personality, but the subtle effectiveness of his game. We also might see the 22-year old take another step forward in his fifth season. Instead of his steady 24 goals per season, could we suddenly see a leap to 28 or 30? He would have a hard time staying off the national radar with that kind of production.


SteveHouse:

I'm going to call this one true even though I'm maybe not the best source of an answer here, since my exposure to mainstream hockey media is basically "twitter" and the stats community loves Landeskog. Writers like James Mirtle who at one point during his struggles called him the unluckiest good player in the NHL. Apart from your old xenophobes who can't believe COLORADA GAVE THA C TO A SWEDE LET ALONE SUCH A YOUNG KED it seems to be everybody kind of knows he's pretty good. So maybe the only thing to disagree with here is the "criminally" part. The part to take issue with is that he isn't pretty good. He's a great player. Tony the Tiger dot gif. But like I said I pay attention to a lot more stats types than mainstream people, where he's very much appreciated already, so this is an awkward answer.


earl06:


True! When MSHM is actually being positive about the Avs you get some "ZOMG MacKinnon!!!" and a little "Matt Duchene is FAAAAST!" but very little about anyone else now that Donut Boy hangs his hat in Buffalo. I agree with Steve that the stats-savvy writers are all in on Landy but it really seems that most others have no idea what he brings or how important he is to the team.

I think this is a bit of a symptom of why the Avs don't get the love of say, Dallas or Minnesota, in the Central Division. The media looks at some poor stats and some players they aren't familiar with and write the team off. Optimistically the Avs turn the corner soon and a few guys like Landy and EJ and Barrie (and all the youngsters that will kick ass in the future) start getting placed where they deserve in the minds of folks on the East Coast.

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What do you think, dear reader? True or False?