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Is Landeskog leading the Calder race? Two NHL coaches think so

Mar 28, 2012, 3:11 PM EDT

Gabriel Landeskog AP

Gabriel Landeskog has compiled a Calder Trophy-worthy resume this year — he’s the NHL rookie leader in shots on goal (258), tied for first in points (49), tied for first in goals (22) and is second in plus-minus (plus-20).

Now he’s got the backing of two head coaches.

The first one shouldn’t come as a surprise — it’s his own coach, Colorado bench boss Joe Sacco.

“Gabriel certainly has played like the rookie of the year all season long,” Sacco told the Vancouver Sun. “He’s been a very consistent player and he’s played in every situation possible for us. He does it with a strong work ethic. That’s the foundation of his success.”

Echoing those statements was Sacco’s coaching adversary for Wednesday’s Canucks-Avalanche contest at Rogers Arena — Alain Vigneault.

“He’s the best rookie in the league this year,” the Vancouver coach said. “In my mind, there are some other good rookies but he plays like a man right now and has a lot of skill to back it up.”

(It’s worth noting that Vigneault used to coach another rookie of the year candidate — Cody Hodgson — before he was shipped to Buffalo in exchange for Zack Kassian. By all accounts, AV and CoHo didn’t have the greatest relationship.)

Part of Landeskog’s success comes from his physical attributes (6-foot-1, 204-pounds) — they’ve allowed him to thrive late in the season, when other rookies have hit the wall. In February he scored 13 points in 12 games and has nine points through 14 games in March.

That said, he isn’t biting on the Calder talk.

“Rookie of the year? That’s a loaded question,” Landeskog said. “I don’t know. Obviously it would be a big honour but, at the same time, our goal is to make the playoffs.

“If we don’t, I’ll take some time off and see what I did well and what I can do better for next season.”

  1. tcclark - Mar 28, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Matt Read. He’s tied for the lead in goals while taking 110 less shots. He’s 4th in points and plays almost 3 minutes per game on the penalty kill.

    • epictron1 - Mar 28, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      Matt Read is good, but Landeskog is just better.

      • tcclark - Mar 28, 2012 at 5:57 PM

        Landeskog gets 3 more shifts a game, has taken 110 more shots, has played over 200 more minutes this year, and still has the same amount of goals and and 5 less assists. not to mention the fact that Read plays big minutes on the penalty kill and is often out against the other teams best line.

        Gabriel Landeskog’s shooting percentage is abysmal. It’s 3% worse than High volume shooter Jeff Carter. 3% is a lot. Of the other 14 players in the top 15 in SOG this season, only Rick Nash has a percentage that’s even close to Landeskog’s and it’s still a full point higher. If Read maintained his shooting percentage while shooting 258 shots like Landeskog, he’d have 38 goals by now.

        Landeskog is good, but he’s a high volume shooter that doesn’t contribute to the rest of the game like Read does.

      • tcclark - Mar 28, 2012 at 5:59 PM

        *5 more assists

      • firstandonlywarning - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:06 PM

        You Philly fans are completely out to lunch
        So just understand that the rest of the hockey know doesn’t consider Matt Read even close to Landeskog.

        Matt Read has delivered 76 hits
        Landeskog 207

        Landeskog is a plus 20, on a team that is -6, leading his team
        Matt Read is a plus 8 on a team that is +28, 7th on his team

        Your soon to be 26 year old rookie has to do MUCH more than have Philly fans whine about shifts and yammer about playing penalty kill. (Landeskog kills penalties as well. They both have 2 short handed points.)

        Then these clueless homers wanna prattle on about shooting %? LMAO
        Coaches love shots, go to the net and shoot. It’s beyond obvious these philly fans never played hockey in their lives.

        Know why Read doesn’t have as many shots?
        Lacks the skill to get the puck in a position to shot consistently.

        And what complete and utter garbage to finish it off “doesn’t contribute to the rest of the game like read does”

        He shoots more, he hits MUCH more, they block the same amount of shots, they both kill penalties.

        All you know is your boy (man) Matt Read and know next to nothing about Landeskog.

        Well you will soon find out when the rest of the hockey world hands Landeskog the Calder and the vote isn’t close.

      • sheckyrimshot - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:51 PM

        “Know why Read doesn’t have as many shots?
        Lacks the skill to get the puck in a position to shot consistently.”

        this is absolute b.s. this is the strength of read’s game. he anticipates an open passing lane and he flies to it like that friggin river of tidal wave thoroughbreds in lord of the rings and then steve staios is like “wait what? oh snap matt read’s behind me and looking at a wide open net.”

        that being said, do i think reader should get the calder? no. he’s older than claude giroux. i don’t even think he’s the best rookie on the team. couturier is.

      • tcclark - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:21 AM

        @ first

        you put LMAO for shooting percentage, but you throw out Hits as your big statistic? I apologize for my lack of hockey knowledge. I didn’t know you got points for having the most hits in a game. I guess that makes Mark Martin the Hart Trophy winner because he’s got way more hits than anyone else. He’s probably got more than Jaromir Jagr has for his career.

        Hits are nice, but they are in no way a contributing factor in this decision. As for shots, do you understand that Landeskog has had almost twice the amount of chances to score and still has the same amount of goals as Read? That’s kind of a big deal. Read is a much more efficient player. Shots can kill the flow of an offense. You don’t just cross the blue line and fire away. You set up the offense and find a good shot and as shecky pointed out, Read does that. He finds the open space and puts the puck in the net.

        and did you really throw out points when talking to me about short-handed ice time. Landeskog plays half the amount of PK time that Read does. The fact that they have the same amount of SH points is more useless than your Hits statistic.

        Let’s recap: Read is a much more efficient scorer, he hits a lot less (but no one really cares), they block the same amount of shots, and Read plays more on the penalty kill. I don’t doubt that Landeskog could win it, I just think Read deserves it more.

        @ shecky
        I like Couturier more and i think he’ll be the better player in the long run, but read has been better this year

  2. philly4lyfe - Mar 28, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Matt read is #1. I know a lot of people think being a 25 year ok rookie will hurt his chances, but he’s over 20 goals and has logged a ton of time on the PK which says a lot about a rookie no matter what his age.

    • firstandonlywarning - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:06 PM

      Zero chance at winning and the vote won’t be close
      Start accepting reality

      • tcclark - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:34 AM

        Thanks Cleo. What’re the chances the Avs make the playoffs this year?

  3. barkar942 - Mar 28, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    I watch the Rangers- Carl Hagelin is good and a future superstar, but when the Avs played the Rangers a few games ago, Sam Rosen called Landeskogs name every shift he was on the ice shooting, hitting or scoring.
    Clear cut, hands-down winner this year!

  4. firstandonlywarning - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    List of forwards with 200 plus hits this season and 40 plus points
    Dustin Brown
    Ryan Callahan
    David Backes
    Gabe Landeskog
    Alex Ovechkin
    Shane Doan

    That is all

    • tcclark - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:31 AM

      List of forwards who couldn’t care less
      Evgeni Malkin
      Steven Stamkos
      Claude Giroux
      Jason Spezza
      James Neal
      Phil Kessel
      Ilya Kovalchuk
      John Tavares
      Marian Hossa
      Jordan Eberle
      Henrik Sedin

      and probably at least half of your list too

    • tcclark - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:45 AM

      List of forwards with at least 2:20 of TOI/G on the PK and PP

      Tomas Plekanec
      Matt Read
      Shawn Horcroff

      My club’s more exclusive and honestly, probably more impressive than yours too.

  5. polegojim - Mar 30, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Congrats…. Gabe is one of the only bright spots on the Avs right now.

    Varlamov has potential to be bright, but needs to play like he did against Vancouver on a regular basis. 2.59 won’t cut it as a starter.

    Plus, the Avs just aren’t scoring. 2.43? Just a FLAT team all around.

    Here are the Avs….Stars???
    M. Hejduk -8 (and he’s the ‘Captain’?)
    P. Stastny -8 (alt Cap, following C lead)
    G. Landeskog +20
    S. Downie -6
    D. Jones -7
    M Duchene -10
    E. Johnson -6

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