Many Colorado Avalanche fans are waking up this morning still stewing over last night’s game 7 against San Jose, myself included. If you weren’t watching HERE is a snapshot of what transpired in the middle of the second period last night. Tough blow for a team fighting for its life in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but you know who wasn’t stewing after the game? Gabe Landeskog.
The Avalanche captain could not have handled his postgame interviews better and it got me thinking…what a great lesson to teach our youth about handling defeat, even under the toughest of circumstances.
Landeskog and the Avs were one game away from the conference finals. Do you know the last time the team advanced that far? 2001. Most of the players on the current roster weren’t even in skates yet!
Eighteen years is quite a drought for a team that had so much success early on in Denver. And the players last night could have piled on to the referees and the NHL about the call that negated the game-tying goal in a Game 7 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals.
BUT THEY DIDN’T.
Landeskog “shouldered the blame” for the overturned goal and said, "Hopefully, the linesmen got it right. I haven't been in that position at all, to have to make that call in a Game 7. It's a tough job. It's a tough call to make. Hopefully, they got it right. I'll take the blame for that. Ultimately, it's my skates on the ice. But there was a lot more to the game than that."
AND HE’S RIGHT.
There was more than that one play that could have changed the outcome of the game just like with every game played at the professional, amateur and youth levels.
It’s no secret that youth sports are becoming increasingly tense and altercations are on the rise. But what if we all took Landeskog’s approach to youth sports and officials? What if, at the end of the day, we simply say “Ultimately, there was a lot more to the game than that.”