Skip to content

Duchene thinks the Avs are ‘built like Chicago’

Oct 18, 2013, 4:58 PM EDT

Matt Duchene Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche finally lost last night, falling 4-2 to Detroit in a game that was most notable for the suspension-worthy hit from behind on Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall by Cody McLeod.

If not for the Kronwall injury, there probably would have been more talk about the Avs putting 40 shots on Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson, who made 38 saves for his third outstanding performance in four nights. Because if not for Gustavsson, the 6-1-0 Avs may still be undefeated.

So what’s been the key to Colorado’s improved play compared to last season when it was one of the NHL’s worst teams?

Forward Matt Duchene points to the Avs’ aggressive attacking attitude under new head coach Patrick Roy.

“That’s one thing we’ve all talked about in our room the last four years,” Duchene said, per Yahoo! Sports. “Not to knock anybody or anything, but I don’t feel like we’ve played the way that our team is built. I think we’ve played a little bit too stingy and slow, or tried to play that way, and it wasn’t in our makeup, and it backfired, I think. I think we need to play a style like Chicago. We’re built like a Chicago.”

By that, Duchene means the Avs are more of a skill team up front than, say, the Los Angeles Kings or Boston Bruins, two recent Stanley Cup winners who rely more on big, physical forwards than Chicago does.

All that said, one caveat that should be noted about Colorado’s early-season success is the fact they’ve relied heavily on their goaltenders, Semyon Varlamov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who’ve combined for a league-best .958 team save percentage.

History suggests that sort of save percentage is unsustainable, meaning the Avs might need to tone down the running and gunning and take better care of the puck. Because at the risk of criticizing a team that’s only lost once, Colorado is also surrendering 34.3 shots per game, tied for the fourth most in the NHL. And consistently allowing a lot of shots is most definitely not how Chicago plays.

Latest Posts
  1. Canucks’ Bieksa penalized for illegal check to the head

    Mar 31, 2015, 9:38 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    Could Vancouver’s veteran defenseman be looking at a suspension?

  2. NHL bringing back draft pick compensation this offseason for hiring away coaches, GMs

    Mar 31, 2015, 7:49 PM EDT

    Colorado Avalanche v Detroit Red Wings Getty Images

    3rd-round pick if it happens after the season, 2nd-rounder if it happens in-season.

  3. Contract stalemate continues between Columbus, prized prospect Reilly

    Mar 31, 2015, 6:59 PM EDT

    2014 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship - Semifinals Getty Images

    University of Minnesota blueliner inching closer to free agency.

  4. Bettman shoots down idea of renaming NHL awards

    Mar 31, 2015, 6:41 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Awards - Arrivals Getty Images

    So the Hart will not, as some have suggested, become the Gretzky.

  5. Versteeg misses Kane

    Mar 31, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Chicago Blackhawks Toronto Maple Leafs v Chicago Blackhawks

    Blackhawks duo “had a good thing going.”

  6. Pressure’s on the Jets, who don’t want to blow it now

    Mar 31, 2015, 3:38 PM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

    Could really use a win tonight versus the Rangers.

  7. Despite trend of visitors winning Game 7, Laviolette wants home ice for Preds

    Mar 31, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT

    Peter Laviolette AP

    “I can speak from experience that home ice matters.”

  8. Goalie nods: Hamburglar goes for Ottawa

    Mar 31, 2015, 2:13 PM EDT

    Andrew Hammond Andrew Hammond

    News and notes from around the crease…

  9. Report: BC standout Matheson to sign with Panthers, forgo senior year

    Mar 31, 2015, 1:05 PM EDT

    Frozen Fenway 2014: Notre Dame v Boston College Getty Images

    He was Florida’s first-round pick (23rd overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

  10. Report: Warrant issued for Deveaux’s arrest following Swedish league attack

    Mar 31, 2015, 12:06 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    This after his team, Rogle, terminated his contract on Monday.

  11. Mrazek gets chance to bounce back, will start tonight versus Sens

    Mar 31, 2015, 12:01 PM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v New York Islanders Getty Images

    Gave up four goals on 11 shots Sunday versus the Islanders.

Featured video

Can anything stop Tampa Bay?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Dubnyk (2088)
  2. A. Steen (1954)
  3. H. Lundqvist (1917)
  4. K. Letang (1835)
  5. E. Malkin (1791)