Last night I had a dream that we traded Landeskog, and MacKinnon was our new captain. In the opening game of the season, MacKinnon looked like a lost child on the ice making one sloppy mistake after another. I vividly remember a feeling of dread and panic over losing our captain, Landy, and awoke relieved it was a figure of my imagination. I think my dream says it all. Landeskog is a vital part of the Avalanche team, and while he may not have the highest points or showiest goals, he is key figure for our franchise.
MHH Survey Grade: 69.0%
With a failing grade of 69% by our MMH Staff Grade, people clearly were not impressed with Landeskog’s performance this year. I’d agree with this grade, if it was a weighted AP grade and actually counts as a C+ on the transcripts. Landeskog racked up 53 points (20 goals and 33 assists), compared to the previous season’s 59 -- it was a rather typical year statistically speaking. However, there was a seven game point drought midseason, where his play was more of a Blandeskog style, rather than the Mandeskog we all love.
Speaking of Mandeskog, Landeskog gave his nickname some merit with serving two separate multi-game suspensions. The first coming against Bruin’s Brad Marchand in November, where he was suspended for two games, and the second one in March for inflicting some physicality upon the Duck’s Simon Despres, resulting in a three game suspension. It might be my fan’s impulse to defend Landeskog in those hits and say they were unintentional or that he didn’t deserve them, but I still believe those hits didn’t warrant a suspension. Both of Landeskog’s hits were mid-ice, while the puck was in play, and both were a product of playing the game. While I understand the league’s mission to protect the players from unnecessary hits that could have serious personal and/or career impacts, in a sport where speed and physicality is paramount, there are bound to be on-ice collisions that have harmful repercussions.
Landeskog signed a $39 million contract in 2013, establishing himself as a prominent Av, and with that being said, as captain, he needs to become more of key player. It’s difficult to make comparisons when were accustomed to Sakic as our captain, but Sakic was in his own class. What we need to see from our captain in the coming seasons is making key plays as key moments, not being suspended at the end of March when we are still within playoff contention. That being said, what were you doing when you were 23?