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Morning Flurries: Gabriel Landeskog’s imminent return

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Anaheim Ducks v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

He’s baaaaaack!

It’s been a long and painful November, with the Avalanche limping through injury after injury to key players in the lineup.

But first they got Mikko Rantanen back, then — during a nice, leisurely stretch between games to kick off December — they got even more good news:

Of course, the hockey gods only giveth when the hockey gods are also preparing to taketh away — so Colin Wilson is out long-term, and Andre Burakovsky is a maybe to even join the team on the road.

But even with Burakovsky’s more-than-satisfactory offense this year, let’s get real. This isn’t exactly a one-for-one swap on either injury front.

Outside of the world of the Avalanche, there’s also a reckoning on the way — and it’s starting with Mike Babcock.

First, Babcock’s dismissal from the Leafs was followed up by a story about him emotionally mistreating a rookie in his early years with the team, later confirmed to be Mitch Marner. Now, we’re getting more stories from Detroit — and they aren’t pretty:

These come in the wake of the revelations about ousted Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters, who was flagged for using a racial slur directed at a player of color during his tenure with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs and for kicking players with the Carolina Hurricanes. And now, the Chicago Blackhawks are dealing with a reckoning of their own:

Additionally, the reckonings have taken place in minor hockey, too:

There will be more time later to get into why all of this is so necessary, but it’s worth saying it anyway: this is all so necessary.

Finally, in the weirdest news you’ll see all week:

Fans won’t pick up on it when it happens, but goaltenders occasionally swap gloves in-game. It’s rare, but it’s definitely happened before.

What doesn’t typically happen, though, is a leg pad switch in-game — and what definitely doesn’t happen is a pad switch from one brand to another one entirely.

Crawford has worn the CCM Premier line for eons, so it’s entirely likely that he just wanted to move back into a pair he’s comfortable with. Maybe the Bauers were uncomfortable, or he didn’t like the weight distribution. Who knows, really; the Blackhawks dropped the game 4-0 on Monday night and fell to a 10-12-5 record, so it’s not exactly like anyone was going to start digging for equipment details.

But if Crawford — a tried and true CCM guy — was willing to not only test out a different pad brand mid-season, but do it in a game, that’s a harrowing sign that he’s not particularly happy with the way that things are going this year. And for a team that’s already in a tailspin, that doesn’t bode well for him potentially not being all that worried about the season’s outcome.