WINNIPEG -- Captain Gabriel Landeskog believes the Colorado Avalanche are good enough to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs without any additions prior to the NHL Trade Deadline.
The Avalanche (31-22-4, 66 points) are two points behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference after a 6-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday, and six points behind the St. Louis Blues for third place in the Central Division.
"I think for us, first and foremost, we're focused on winning hockey games," Landeskog said Friday. "The trade deadline is what it is. We're a team that's pushing to get in and we're just on the outside looking in right now and we're focused on winning games. I believe with the team we have, we're good enough to make the playoffs. We haven't been favored by too many people to make the playoffs, but as long as the guys in here believe, I think we can do it."
Landeskog said he doesn't think general manager Joe Sakic will jeopardize that situation for anything short-term before the deadline (3 p.m. ET on Feb. 26).
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"This is the first time in a long time that this organization has had some really young exciting players in the lineup … there's a bunch of them in the lineup now and some coming up," Landeskog said. "The last draft, we got Cale Makar (No. 4 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft), a real exciting player, and I believe we're in a good spot moving forward, that we have a group that can do some damage moving forward.
"I don't really expect anything to happen. I'm sure if it does, it'll be more minor. I think we're in a pretty good spot. We have two really good defensemen coming up, Makar and Conor Timmins (No. 32 pick in 2017). We'll see what happens, but I think we have a good enough team now to make the playoffs."
In a three-team trade, Colorado sent center Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 5. The Senators traded center Kyle Turris to the Nashville Predators, and goalie Andrew Hammond, prospect center Shane Bowers, a first-round draft pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and a third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft to the Avalanche. Colorado also acquired defenseman Samuel Girard and forward Vladislav Kamenev and a second-round pick in 2018 from Nashville.
The Avalanche are 23-16-4 since the trade.
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"We made that big trade earlier in the season, and ever since, we've sort of taken off and we're right in the mix of things," Landeskog said. "We have some good young pieces in Samuel Girard and Ladislav Kamenev and some draft picks, which can be really exciting in the future. We don't expect to make a big splash here, I don't think. Our main goal is to make sure we get in the playoffs."
Part of the reason the Avalanche may not make a move prior to the deadline is because they believe they will receive help from within. Injured forward Blake Comeau returned to the lineup Friday after missing three games with a lower-body injury, and forward Nathan MacKinnon, who has missed seven games with an upper-body injury, may return against the Edmonton Oilers at home Sunday.
"I think we're in a good spot mentally," Avalanche coach Jarad Bednar said. "I think our guys are expecting it to stay the same or not a whole bunch to happen with us. It's on the guys in the room to get the job done. Our additions will come from getting some guys healthy, MacKinnon, (forward Sven) Andrighetto (lower body, 18 games missed) and hopefully (defenseman Mark) Barberio (lower body, nine games missed) and we get Blake Comeau back tonight.
"Certainly when you add a guy like Nate back in, our team's going to be hyped up, and we have to make sure we're not just relying on him, that we continue to play, and he'll be a big addition for us."