Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Los Angeles Kings at the Pepsi Center on January 22, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Kings 3-1.
(January 21, 2013 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)

Landeskog ‘most likely’ a bottom-six forward for Sweden at Olympics


The youngest player named to Sweden’s Olympic team is just excited to be part of it all.

Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog — at 21, also the NHL’s youngest captain — told the Denver Post he expects his role in Sochi will be that of a third- or fourth-liner, one he’s happy to fill.

“That’s most likely what’s going to happen, and I’m totally fine with that,” Landeskog explained. “I’m pretty excited to just be apart of it and whatever role I get.”

This quote gives a pretty good example of Sweden’s depth — based on his season thus far and overall body of work, Landeskog would be a top-line option for a number of other countries. The 2013 Calder winner has 14 goals and 36 points through 48 games this year, averaging 18:33 TOI per game while leading all Avs forwards in hits (104), placing second in takeaways (37).

But on Team Sweden, there’s serious competition up front.

Veteran NHLers like Henrik Zetterberg, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Steen and Loui Eriksson are all vying for ice time, as are the likes of Daniel Alfredsson, Johan Franzen, Carl Hagelin, Patrik Berglund, Marcus Kruger and Jakob Silfverberg. In fact, the Swedes only took one non-NHLer to Sochi — forward Jimmie Ericsson, who plays for Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish Hockey League and is the older brother of Team Sweden/Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson.

As for Landeskog, he’s unsure what line he’ll be on, or who his linemates will be. He just wants to get to Sochi and help the Swedes challenge for gold.

“I will do anything I can to help the team,” he said.

Blues’ Shattenkirk suffers lower-body injury

Kevin Shattenkirk
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This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.

Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.

While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.

There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.

Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.

Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:

It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning


In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.