Opening night last year marked Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog’s 200th career NHL contest. It also was the beginning of another season in which the 22-year-old captain played all 82 games, making him the team's current ironman after appearing in 162 consecutive contests.
Over the course of the year, Landeskog collected 23 goals and 36 assists and shared the team scoring lead with 59 points. The Stockholm, Sweden, native was one of only four NHL players that had at least 59 points and 165 hits during the 2014-15 season.
From Feb. 12-20, Landeskog had a five-game goal streak, setting a career high and making him the first Avs player to score in five straight contests since Milan Hejduk in March 2007. The Swede's goalscoring spree helped spur the Avs on a second-half push in the playoff race with the team going 17-9-1 in its last 27 games.
“We’ve been getting better every game, and we feel like we’ve been creating scoring chances and creating opportunities to score,” Landeskog reflected during the second half of the year. "We have been focusing on some things every night, and going out there and trying to accomplish these things and just check them off as you go along."
Landeskog led by example at a time when the team needed a jump-start in its season, and head coach Patrick Roy was happy with how his captain stepped up as a player on the ice and as a leader in the locker room.
“I was very proud of our captain," Roy said after the team's game on Feb. 12 against the New York Rangers. "I thought it was great leadership by him and it was a performance that I think his teammates could look at and say, ‘This is how we have to work if we want to have some success.’”
When the calendar turned from February to March, Landeskog continued to etch his name on the scoresheet on a nightly basis. He had a career-best 15 points (six goals and nine assists in 13 games) in the month, which began with a three-point performance (one goal and two assists) against the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 4.
It was the first time Landeskog scored three points in a game since March 25, 2014 and helped the club begin a three-game winning streak.
“You always want to help out offensively, and I think for us it is just a matter of anybody helping right now and stepping up," he said after the game versus the Penguins.
Just like the team, Landeskog finished the season strong with 28 points (13 goals and 15 assists) in the last 28 contests.
Although he had three fewer goals and seven fewer points than in the 2013-14 campaign, Landeskog once again proved himself to be a vital asset to the club. He and his teammates plan to take what they learned last season and improve on it in 2015-16.
“We learned a lot over this season," Landeskog said after the last game of the year. "It is something that…we will sit down and reflect and think about. I need to make sure I learn for next year.”