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.