Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog has made quite a name for himself as he currently is tied for the NHL lead in goals scored with 11. That’s quite a feat for a player, who has averaged 20 goals a season for the past seven seasons, a number he could surpass before Thanksgiving. Regardless, Landeskog says most of his success comes from a combination of playing with the top line of Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, as well as his growing skills and confidence on the ice, according to Sean Keeler of the Denver Post.
“It’s just a combination of luck and hard work and confidence, and being in the right place at the right time,” Landeskog said. “I think, right now, I don’t think there’s a reason maybe other than our line’s played really well and has been able to create some scoring chances. Together with those two guys, yeah, I’ve been able to put some in the back of the net.”
While Landeskog’s game could easily drop back to earth at any time, many feel that the 25-year-old, a former second-overall pick back in 2011, may just have finally found his game.
“I think he’s worked on (his shooting), he’s worked on his touch around the net,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said. “He’s getting into those areas more, and he’s coming up with rebounds and loose pucks. And part of that is his teammates being able to move the puck into those areas on a more consistent basis.”
- The Athletic’s Adam Vingan reports that one potential problem that could come with Pekka Rinne’s new two-year extension that he signed earlier today would be that there could be some expansion ramifications for the Nashville Predators. The scribe notes that since Rinne will have the same no-movement clause in his next contract, the Predators could be forced to protect Rinne and have to expose Juuse Saros to the Seattle expansion franchise in a couple of years. However, Rinne could opt to waive the no-movement clause as well and allow himself to be taken by Seattle like Marc-Andre Fleury did in Pittsburgh. Regardless, it’s too early to speculate, especially since the Seattle team hasn’t been formally approved.
- After being scratched Thursday night, Chicago Blackhawks center Nick Schmaltz feels that he has learned his lesson after picking up just one assist in the last five games, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus. “I don’t think I was playing as good as I can — especially in Vancouver, I didn’t think I had a very good game,” said Schmaltz. “Take it as a learning lesson and move on from it and make sure that I’m playing to stick in the lineup every night.”