The Colorado Avalanche’s season has not gone according to plan, that much is certain. At the beginning, it was very poor defense, then this past month and a half, it has been offense that has been lacking. Some of the forwards are just having bad luck and going through scoring slumps. One of those forwards is Matt Duchene.
It’s safe to say that no one is more frustrated at this fact more than Matt Duchene himself. Always hard on himself, and always striving to become a better player for this team, Duchene really cares about helping the Avs. Though in order to help his team, Matt Duchene must step up his level of play.
Matt Duchene has said it himself more than once. He has slow starts to the season apparently, which didn’t just begin at the NHL level, but in junior as well. Duchene is squeezing his stick too tight right now, perhaps over-thinking the game instead of letting the game come to him.
At the conclusion of last season’s first round loss to Minnesota, Dutchy emphasized that he never felt more motivated for an off-season in his entire career. This season, many people including myself, expected Duchene to make that next step into super-stardom. After hearing him say something like that, hearing the passion in his voice, you would almost guarantee he was going to break out this year.
One thing no one can deny, is that Matt Duchene has the talent and potential to become a superstar in the NHL. Dutchy has some of the softest hands in the entire league. His speed is also at an elite level. He has taken huge strides in his defensive game since he first broke into the NHL, becoming a much more well-rounded player each year.
Duchene’s progress has been steady overall. Though this season has been a roller coaster for sure. Not just for Matt Duchene, but for the whole team. When that happens, it is hard to find consistency in your game. However, if the Colorado Avalanche want to make the playoffs, Matt Duchene must step up and show the hockey world how good he can really be.
So far Dutchy has 10 goals with 13 assists for 23 points in 40 games played. Those are just not the numbers Duchene expects of himself. He has been hitting iron lately and seems to be in a bit of a slump. This slump can stop in a single moment however. Duchene can catch fire very quickly. All it takes is that one goal or play to bring his confidence back up to where it belongs.
If anyone in the world actually bleeds Burgundy and Blue, that person is Matt Duchene. Ever since Duchene was a little kid, he has adored the team, cheering for them like any die-hard fan does. Posters of Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic etc covered his walls while growing up.
Little did he know, that not only would he be drafted by his favorite team, but that he also gets to play for two of his idols in Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy. Matt Duchene is living his dream. The only thing left to complete the dream is winning a few Stanley Cups with the Avalanche. Matt Duchene will do anything for this team, and now would be the perfect time to start producing and taking control the way he knows he can if the Avalanche are to make the playoffs.
Matt Duchene is all about the Avalanche, he now must step up his game and help his team get back to where they should be.
Sebastian Noble is currently in his third year with The Hockey Writers covering the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. Liverpool, England, and of course Colorado Avalanche & Florida Panthers supporter. You can follow him on Twitter @SebastianHNoble