The Avalanche can’t catch a break, can they? Battling for their playoff dreams as the season winds down, the Avs may have to finish the year without their best offensive weapon. In a 7-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild that contained positives up and down the lineup, Duchene’s injury will overshadow the end result.
In the third period, Duchene got tripped up on Nick Palmieri’s stick, causing the Avs forward to twist and bend his right leg in an ugly, unnatural way – as you can see above. The team didn’t comment on the severity of Duchene’s injury following the game.
You’ve got to feel for Matt Duchene. The young and extremely talented forward already missed 20 games for the Avs in 2011-12 when he injured his knee. Following tonight’s incident, we imagine Duchene will once again be forced to miss time. The only question that Avs fans care about is just how much time their best asset will miss.
None of us are physicians here at Puck Drunk Love, but it doesn’t take any special training to realize that the photo above and the fact Duchene required help off the ice to paint a pretty grim picture for the Avs. As of the posting of this article, Colorado hasn’t revealed just how extensive the injury is, but we can all hope it’s nothing major and simply just a severe sprain/strain.
The picture above does all the talking, but in case you want to see the injury and immediate reaction, below is a video from NBC Sports.
When healthy, Duchene is an immensely talented forward. Last season saw Duchene record 27 goals and 40 assists for a total of 67 points, giving weight to the argument that he would soon be a 30+ goal scorer. Unfortunately, 2011-12 will mostly be remembered for Duchene’s time spent off the ice rather than on it as injuries have been the focal point.
Can the Avs continue their push for the playoffs without Duchene? Realistically, it won’t be easy. They struggled to find a rhythym while Duchene was out earlier in the year but now they do have a few more offensive weapons thanks to trades that brought in Steve Downie and Jamie McGinn. Still, new weapons aside, a prolonged absence from Duchene falls under the “worst case scenario” label for the Avs.