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Landeskog, 20, captains a young team into a short season
Michael Sgarbossa and the Colorado Avalanche will charge into the strike-shortened NHL season against the Wild at 7 p.m. today in Minnesota. For a young Avalanche squad, an abbreviated season might play to its advantage.
A lot of the Colorado Avalanche’s success in 2013 will depend on their goaltending. While games will come fast and furious in a strike-shortened 48-game regular season, Semyon Varlamov will represent the Avs’ youth in goal, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere will provide the veteran presence.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had a captain that young; I guess no one has,” defenseman Erik Johnson said of Gabriel Landeskog. “But it doesn’t change anything. Your captain is usually your best player. He doesn’t have to be Mr. Vocal in the locker room; we have a lot of other guys for that.”
Gabriel Landeskog inherited the “C” on his sweater from Milan Hejduk, who came back for another season but told the team he wanted to relinquish his role and be an assistant captain along with Paul Stastny.
Colorado Avalanche

Last Season: 41-35-6, 88 points. Missed postseason.

Coach: Joe Sacco, 4th season with Avalanche, 114-109-23.

Added: RW P.A. Parenteau, C John Mitchell, D Greg Zanon.

Lost: C Peter Mueller, C Jay McClement, C Joakim Lindstrom.

Player to Watch: Gabriel Landeskog, the historic 20-year-old captain who is coming off a stellar season in which he won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie.

Outlook: The Avs will have plenty of scoring punch – even more if they can sign restricted free agent center Ryan O’Reilly – but to return to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons largely will depend on the play of goaltender Semyon Varlamov. He had a 2.59 goals-against average in his first season in Colorado after being acquired from Washington for a first-round pick.



Associated Press

Follow the leader

Michael Sgarbossa and the Colorado Avalanche will charge into the strike-shortened NHL season against the Wild at 7 p.m. today in Minnesota. For a young Avalanche squad, an abbreviated season might play to its advantage.
A lot of the Colorado Avalanche’s success in 2013 will depend on their goaltending. While games will come fast and furious in a strike-shortened 48-game regular season, Semyon Varlamov will represent the Avs’ youth in goal, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere will provide the veteran presence.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had a captain that young; I guess no one has,” defenseman Erik Johnson said of Gabriel Landeskog. “But it doesn’t change anything. Your captain is usually your best player. He doesn’t have to be Mr. Vocal in the locker room; we have a lot of other guys for that.”
Gabriel Landeskog inherited the “C” on his sweater from Milan Hejduk, who came back for another season but told the team he wanted to relinquish his role and be an assistant captain along with Paul Stastny.
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