Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene Dishes Out Credit

Jan 4, 2017; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 4, 2017; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene went above and beyond the usual humility in his post-game presser after the win against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Colorado Avalanche won a game. Against the Chicago Blackhawks, which seems less impressive now seeing as how the Hawks are three-quarters of the way into being swept by the Nashville Predators in the playoffs.

Anyway, on April 4, 2017, the Colorado Avalanche beat the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime to win 4-3. The game-winning goal was one that I called “The Sexiest Goal of the Season.”

Here it is:

Said goal was also the last game-winner of the season for the Colorado Avalanche because that Hawks win was the last for them. But let’s not focus on that.

At the time I, like most other Avs fans, was focused on the win. Not only was it a pleasure we hadn’t experienced enough of, but it came in such exciting fashion, during 3-on-3 overtime.

Well, slightly lost in some of the hullaballoo was an interview that center Matt Duchene gave. You can say whatever you want about what Duchene has or has not brought to the team on the ice, but one of the things no one ever doubts is that Dutchy is a classy guy.

His class came through loud and clear in his post-game presser:

Now, Duchene had a goal and an assist in that game, and he was named one of the three stars of the game. However, in the typical way of most hockey players, self-pride never comes through.

For example, the interview starts with Duchene getting asked about his assist. It came off one of Dutchy’s famous spin-o-ramas:

More from Mile High Sticking

Come on, that’s a pretty impressive display by Matt Duchene. However, in the presser, Duchene immediately deflects the praise, remarking that Mark Barberio made an “unbelievable” play to keep the puck in the zone. He also calls Mikhail Grigorenko’s goal unbelievable, claiming he didn’t know how Grigorenko got the goal into the net. He even spends a little time praising Mikhail’s game as a whole.

Altitude Radio broadcaster Marc Moser presses Duchene to go into detail about his spin-o-rama no-look pass. Yet Dutchy plays it off again and chalks the goal up to Grigorenk driving the net and “being in the right spot.”

He reiterates again how much of the goal was based on Barberio’s and Grigorenko’s play when he was the clear quarterback.

Guess what: Matt Duchene isn’t any more interested in taking credit for the short-handed goal he scored earlier in the game:

That is such a beautiful goal, starting with Duchene’s incredible speed and finishing with a wicked snap shot one-timer with him almost on his knee. And it was a short-handed goal! Off of a saucer pass!

Naturally, Duchene chalks it up to Matt Nieto’s “great play.” He says it was nice that it went in then humbly remarks, “It didn’t the other night.” You’ll remember that Matt got snake-bitten quite a few times this season.

Captain Gabriel Landeskog also scored a short-handed goal, and one that was unassisted:

No surprise, Duchene credits it as being one of the most important goals of the game and an “unbelievable individual effort from him.” It was, by the way, an incredible individual effort.

Note: a new Dutchyism for us to appreciate — “Pull up our socks.” My favorite will always be “Boot on the throat, nail in the coffin,” and I’m still partial to “It’s both a sprint and a marathon,” but it’s fun to have a new one.

Though this isn’t part of the interview, I also want to share Matt Duchene’s most recent Instagram post. He and a brave little girl with cancer, Haven Anderson, were paired up at one of the Avs charity brunches a few years back. Duchene obviously still keeps an eye out for her:


I don’t want to be melancholy. However, the reality is that many people expect this to have been Matt Duchene’s last season with the Colorado Avalanche. To the point where longtime Avalanche journalists thanked Duchene. Where even at the end of the final shift of the season he and Landeskog shared a moment before leaving the ice together.

I hate the idea. I hate the idea of Matt Duchene getting traded with a passion. He’s an exciting, electric player. I. Do. Not. Want. Duchene. Traded.

But as long as we’re still lucky enough to have him on the Colorado Avalanche, I will celebrate him, such as this post celebrating his class. And if he is on another team, I will keep a “former Avs” eye on him. And, let’s face it, he will score on the Avalanche.

Until then, though, our center and alternate captain is one of the classiest guys in an NHL filled with classy guys