The Colorado Avalanche were back on the ice Monday, January 30 in Edmonton, but they were still minus one. Matt Duchene is still out with a knee injury suffered on December 29 against the Coyotes. At first diagnosis Duchene was slated to miss only 4 weeks. Coming up on the fifth week, Duchene still looks to be out another two full weeks.
Team officials are emphatic that Duchene has not received any surgery for his injury. In fact, Duchene tweeted that recently he was enjoying a weekend off from rehab in Vail, CO.
In order to keep pace with the juggernauts in the West, Colorado needs Duchene healthy. Some believe that Colorado may be giving more time to Duchene to rehab in order to have him down the stretch. By glancing at the upcoming schedule for the Avalanche, this does not seem like too bad of a strategy if that is in fact what Colorado is doing.
With teams looking to move players as the trade deadline nears, the Avalanche need Duchene healthy in case any drastic measures are taken by the front office. Speculations that Stastny could be a name on the trading block make the return of Duchene all that more important. If the Avs end up dealing away Stastny, Duchene now becomes the undisputed future face of the Avalanche.
Regardless of what the Avs do at the deadline, the bottom-line is that Colorado needs a healthy Duchene to complete their already potent lineup. Guys like Landeskog and Mueller have blossomed while Duchene has been injured. With Duchene’s return to the front line, it only makes Colorado’s attack that much more deadly.
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