Matt Duchene Answers Trade Rumors


As far as I know, Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene hasn’t actually said anything about the trade rumors that suddenly started flying around Avs Nation. Even if a reporter were to ask him, he’d undoubtedly just say he had no control over that, and he needed to just focus on hockey.

That said, Matt Duchene most certainly did answer the trade rumors in a most decisive fashion. He showed the Colorado Avalanche exactly what he brings to the team.

Matt Duchene’s Night vs the Flyers

Duchene scored two goals and earned an assist as the Avalanche buried the Philadelphia Flyers for the beginning of their seven-game road trip. Those were goals five and six and assist number three, giving Duchene nine points on the season. Those numbers were good enough to allow Duchene to jump to fourth place on the team for points.

Tonight marked Duchene’s 20th career two-goal game. To show you how important it is to the Colorado Avalanche that Matt Duchene score, the team is 15-1-3 when Duchene has a multi-goal night.

Matt Duchene’s night was good enough to earn him first star of the game. It was also good enough for the Philadelphia Flyers sportscasters to name him the Chevrolet Player of the Game.

In other words, everything came up smelling Matt Duchene tonight.

What should be even more delightful to Avs Nation is that neither goal was particularly pretty.

The first resulted after Nathan MacKinnon did some hard work behind the net. Duchene simply banged the puck into a wide open hole.

The second goal came about as the result of another rebound — Duchene essentially banged the puck into a wide open hole again.

Yes, that’s good news for Avs Nation — it signifies that Matt Duchene isn’t afraid to get ugly with his goal scoring. Because at the end of the day, bang-ins count the same as breakaways.

The other reason that’s good news for Avs fans is that Duchene is ever a mental sort. No question his slow start had been getting into his head. I was worried the trade rumors might exacerbate the problem.

However, Duchene is now skating on a very young man’s line, the 1-2-3 line so named for draft order. (First overall — MacKinnon, second overall — Gabriel Landeskog, third overall — Duchene.) Fun fact — both MacKinnon and Landeskog were Calder Trophy winners their rookie years.

That’s some serious talent.

ICYMI: Matt Duchene Controls his own Trade Fate

So, it’s safe to say Matt Duchene has put paid to the trade rumors for at least a couple more days. If he continues playing like this, we’ll be looking at this dark time with a nervous chuckle of “How did I ever think the Colorado Avalanche would trade Matt Duchene? Madness — pure madness.”

However, speaking of rumors…

Goalie Controversy

There is no goalie controversy in Colorado. That’s the party line. Semyon Varlamov is the team’s #1 goalie.

It’s just that Reto Berra is playing so much better than Varlamov. Berra recorded his third career shutout against the Philadelphia Flyers. It was his second on the season. This is the man so many Avalanche fans wanted drummed out of town because he started off so poorly.

Remember how hesitant and slow he looked in those first games? To be honest, it’s kind of hard to remember. He’s been decisive in his play. Even when the team recorded a loss under his netminding, it wasn’t because of his play. He didn’t let in any soft goals.

You can’t say the same for Semyon Varlamov. Even Varlamov’s greatest proponent, head coach Patrick Roy himself, remarked during a pre-game presser that Valamov let in a couple goals Roy would’ve like him to save. That’s damning from a man who’s had nothing but high praise for Semyon.

Now, Roy still praised Varlamov during the interview, essentially crediting the goalie with winning Roy the Jack Adams for the 2013-14 season. However, that could very well be a case of “Me-thinks the lady doth protest too much.” Especially considering GM Joe Sakic has said that goalie Calvin Pickard will “definitely” be playing for Colorado next season.

Indeed, during the presser after the Flyers game, a reporter asked coach Roy if Berra was his #1 goalie. Roy didn’t answer as he usually does, saying that of course Varlamov was the #1. Instead he responded, “He’s the #1 because he’s playing. If Varly plays the next game, he’ll be our #1 goalie.”

Hear for yourself:

That’s a far cry from the supreme confidence coach Roy has shown in Varlamov previously.

Well, that’s neither here nor that at this time. The Colorado Avalanche have a goalie who’s playing well — and a star forward who’s gotten his mojo back.

More About Matt Duchene:

Matt Duchene is Getting his Mojo Back

Top 5 Dutchy Goals 2014-15

Matt Duchene, Wannabe Cowboy

TBT: Duchene’s Hat Trick

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