Gabriel Landeskog knew. A change in the cultural fabric in Colorado is something the Avalanche had talked about for a couple seasons, and something that hadn’t happened. The warning signs for the 25-year-old captain of the Avs were abundant, including a treasure trove of terrible that attached itself to a historically brutal season in 2016-17. Like the natural phenomena they’re named after, those problems finally broke free early last season for the Avs. Unable to be controlled, they tore down the Colorado Rockies, only coming to a halt at the end of the season at rock bottom. “You take it pretty personal,” Landeskog said on Saturday in Winnipeg, hours before his team would lose 3-0 to the Winnipeg Jets, a fourth loss in their past five games since winning 10 straight. It was a far cry from the days of Forsberg, Sakic and Roy, when the team was dominating the Western Conference, not wallowing as the team others trampled over at will. That winning culture was gone, replaced with mediocrity in recent years and then utter failure after last season. Nothing looked quite like last year. Colorado’s 48 points was a franchise worst. They lost 56 games. They were last or close to last in numerous statistical categories. “You’re not supposed to take it home with you, but I would,” Landeskog said. “This is our job, this is what we do. It’s something that is hard to put behind you, going home and trying not to think about the fact that you just lost six in a row.” The Avs needed a core leadership group to emerge to start those changes. Landeskog said himself, Tyson Barrie, Erik Johnson, Nathan MacKinnon and Blake Comeau came together to figure out how to begin to mend their ailing team. “It was really embarrassing for us,” Barrie said of the 2016-17 campaign.
How an attitude adjustment has slowly begun to turn the Colorado Avalanche around
Pro Hockey Talk | Feb 5