Right back in the thick of things out West, the Colorado Avalanche shared some bad news on Thursday when they announced that Matt Duchene is going to miss the next 3-4 weeks after suffering an ankle injury. The good news? At least it doesn't require surgery.
Have a look at the play that caused the injury as the puck slipped between his feet and a pokecheck came. The best word to describe it is awkward.
The No. 3 overall draft pick a couple summers ago, Duchene has fallen into the junior slump. Yes, I just made that up but after impressive rookie and sophomore campaigns, his numbers have dipped some this season, partly due to the injuries he's battled through. But at this point he has just 26 points (13 goals, 13 assists) in 48 games played.
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When he is on his game, though, Duchene is one of the flashier young players in the league. And for a team like Colorado that is in a three-way tie for the last playoff spot and doesn't have a tremendous amount of scoring, his absence isn't good. Although since coming back from a knee injury that sidelined him for nearly two months he has just one goal and one assist in nine games. But the team has won six of the last eight with him in.
Does this cripple the Avs' postseason hopes? I don't think so. The odds are already against them with so many teams in the mix right now out West and the fact that the point totals are slightly misleading at the moment considering how many games the Avs have played. But they have hung around without a tremendous amount of production from him directly.
However this doesn't help them much, that much I'll say.