The Colorado Avalanche have had a rough go of it early in the 2013 season, but the consistent play of Matt Duchene has been one of the bright spots for the team. The young center has scored in four consecutive games, helping alleviate the pain of Gabriel Landeskog and Steve Downie being out with injuries and Ryan O’Reilly continuing to hold out for a better contract or a trade.
Duchene had a goal and two assists Monday against the Nashville Predators, his second consecutive three-point game. He also had a goal and two assists Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers and had at least a goal in four straight games. The Colorado offense has shown it can still score with several of its top performers absent, but that hasn’t necessarily translated into wins for a team that is getting inconsistent goaltending from Semyon Varlamov.
Duchen’s 17 points lead the team, and P.A. Parenteau’s 13 points show what a great addition he has been. Duchene has shown he is fully recovered from an ankle injury that limited him to 58 games last season, and with him at full strength the Avalanche have been able to at least stay competitive with some of the top teams in the Western Conference.
During the lockout, Duchene suited up for Vastra Frolunda HC of the Swedish Elite League and Ambri-Piotta of the Swiss-A league, where he had a combined six goals and 19 points in 23 games. It’s a long shot that the Avs make the playoffs this season, but with Landeskog hopefully returning soon and Duchene continuing to play like a star they at least know the team is headed in the right direction for the future.