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There's no panic in the Colorado Avalanche locker room despite recent losses

No panic in Colorado Avalanche's locker room despite recent losses
No panic in Colorado Avalanche's locker room despite recent losses 01:26

The Colorado Avalanche have one game to go until the postseason, and it's hard to imagine the team is feeling good about where they are right now. They've lost seven of their last 10 games.

The Avs are coming off a weekend in which they got blown out by the Winnipeg Jets on their home ice -- the team they will play in the first round of the playoffs -- and followed that up by blowing a 3-goal lead and losing to the Vegas Knights in overtime. While it might look bad on the outside, there's no panic in Colorado's locker room.

The players said on Tuesday after practice that they feel like they know what they need to do to level up for the playoffs.

"It feels like every little mistake now is costing us a lot," said forward Mikko Rantanen, who has 103 points (41 goals, 62 assists) and is just two away from matching his career high (55 goals, 50 assists) set last season. "Like we maybe fall asleep for half a second and they get a half a step and they score."

"We've brushed off the last two games. I thought we had some really good moments in Vegas against a really good team and we can build off that ... finish off Thursday the right way and go from there," said Andrew Cogliano.

Captain Gabriel Landeskog attended team meetings Tuesday and watched practice from the bench. Coach Jared Bednar, however, says he's "not close" to becoming a participant.

The 31-year-old had cartilage replacement surgery on his right knee last May and is missing a second straight season.

"Nothing's really changed with him," coach Jared Bednar said. "His focus and determination to do everything he can to get back to play is still the same as I've seen it before. He's going be dedicated to what he needs to do in order to try and come back into our lineup."

Bednar said last month the team had a potential return date in mind for Landeskog -- sometime in the playoff range -- but nothing more concrete. The Swedish standout hasn't played since the Stanley Cup clincher at Tampa Bay on June 26, 2022.

Landeskog has been the team's captain for a dozen seasons. Colorado hasn't named a temporary captain in his absence. Instead, they've been relying on the veteran leadership of players such as Cogliano, along with the assistant captains like Nathan MacKinnon, Rantanen and Cale Makar. 

Gabriel Landeskog, left, at practice on Tuesday CBS

"Landy's been involved. He was in the meeting this morning," Bednar said. "He's had input in some of those meetings. Obviously, he's not around every day. Our leadership is done by committee because, if you look at our personnel, we've got a lot of really good players that played major roles with us that are highly committed to what we're doing and trying to have success.

"They're all vocal and they all lead in different ways."

The Avalanche saw defenseman Samuel Girard skate Tuesday after entering the concussion protocol over the weekend. He left in the first period of Saturday's 7-0 loss to the Jets following a collision with teammate Ross Colton.

"Went through a pretty good skate, too, and started doing drills at the end," Bednar explained. "So that's a positive sign."

Rantanen is returning to form in his return from the concussion protocol. He scored a goal in Sunday's loss at Las Vegas.

"Feel good," said Rantanen. "First time being in the protocol and, obviously, you never want to be in there. ... I got kind of lucky a little bit that I didn't have any hard symptoms or anything like that."

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