Forward Matt Duchene is a pivotal piece of the Colorado Avalanche‘s puzzle. For a team on the verge of the playoffs, the last thing they need is for one of their star players to get injured with just nine games left to play. Unfortunately for the Avalanche, that is exactly what happened early in the first period of their Mar 29 showdown against the San Jose Sharks.
Early on in the first period of play, Duchene collided with an Avalanche teammate and hit the ice hard. Barely able to get to his feet on his own, Duchene proceeded to limp to the bench where he sat for a while before taking off for the locker room. As was later announced, the Avalanche star sustained a knee injury and was unable to return.
There has yet to be any word as to the severity of the injury; however, considering it was immediately known that he would not be returning to the game, it seems that it is likely severe enough to be a cause for concern to Patrick Roy and the Avalanche. So far this season, Duchene has recorded a team-leading 70 points and is currently third in goals with 23. This has the potential to be a serious blow for the Avalanche as Duchene not only offers the team a lot of skill on the ice, but he also has a solid mind for the game and contributes to his teammates’ success.
In order for the Avalanche to have any chance of succeeding in the playoffs, they need to get Duchene back and they need him back quickly. For now, all they can do is hope for the best and press on in the regular season as they look to secure the highest possible playoff seed.