Matt Duchene

Is it time for Colorado to worry about Matt Duchene?


Through the first four games of the 2011-12 season, Matt Duchene produced as expected, with three points and flashes of brilliance. His game has deteriorated since then, though, as Duchene has just one assist in his last five while even getting demoted to the Avalanche’s fourth line.

So what’s the problem, exactly?

In a big picture view, many believe that the speedy center is trying to do too much. When you can skate like Duchene, you might feel willing to go one-on-the-world from time to time. That instinct usually doesn’t pay off at the NHL level, although it doesn’t hurt to try it from time to time.

Looking at his game log, Duchene also just needs to fire the puck on the net more often. He’s gone without a single shot on goal in four games so far this season and only sent three toward goalies during this five-game slump.

That’s the thing, though; it’s just a blip on the radar as long as the 20-year-old forward doesn’t take this tough run too seriously. Gabriel Landeskog is making waves as the new kid in town, but the Avalanche will eventually need more from their star of the future.

They already lost their first road game of the season, after all.

Video: Pekka Rinne’s zero-margin-of-error stick save

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Sometimes, the Nashville Predators were unlucky in November. Sometimes they were just bad.

Either way, they’re likely glad to step into December, and they’ve already gotten a big bounce. Watch how close this near-goal was into crossing the red line before Pekka Rinne barely stopped it with a well-placed goalie stick.

You can also see it up close via this GIF:

Here’s the NHL Situation Room Blog explanation for it remaining a no-goal:

At 13:06 of the first period in the Coyotes/Predators game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play from 11:57. Video review confirmed the call on the ice that the puck did not cross the Nashville goal line. No goal Coyotes.

Alexei Emelin was ejected for this hit on Matt Calvert

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Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.

The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.

So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.

You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.

Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.

Injuries continue to dog Lupul as Leafs place him on IR

Joffrey Lupul
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Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.

The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.

This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.

From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as notes.

“He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”

Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.

At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.

WATCH LIVE: Wild at Blackhawks; Penguins at Sharks

Scott Darling, Charlie Coyle
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Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?

We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.

Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.

Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks


Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks