Skip to content

Duchene thinks the Avs are ‘built like Chicago’

Oct 18, 2013, 4:58 PM EST

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. Kings defeat Habs in shootout to tighten up West playoff race

    Mar 6, 2015, 1:36 AM EST

    Marian Gaborik, Drew Doughty AP

    Minnesota, Calgary and L.A. all win on Thursday.

  2. Predators’ losing streak hits five games

    Mar 5, 2015, 11:02 PM EST

    Pekka Rinne, Michael Grabner AP

    Brock Nelson scored the winner.

  3. Lawyer: Ribeiro to ‘vigorously fight’ $1M lawsuit alleging abuse of ex-nanny (Updated)

    Mar 5, 2015, 7:13 PM EST

    Mike Ribeiro Mike Ribeiro

    “At the same time, Mike will maintain his focus on doing all he can to help Nashville win its first-ever Stanley Cup.”

  4. Ovechkin (lower body) to miss first game of the season tonight

    Mar 5, 2015, 6:47 PM EST

    Washington Capitals v New York Islanders Getty Images

    Won’t suit up when the Caps take on Minnesota.

  5. Bruins sign former WHL captain Justin Hickman

    Mar 5, 2015, 5:27 PM EST

    Seattle Thunderbirds v Kelowna Rockets Getty Images

    Big forward who doesn’t mind dropping the gloves.

  6. (Video) PHT Extra: Why would Babcock leave the Wings now?

    Mar 5, 2015, 4:26 PM EST

    Mike Babcock Mike Babcock

    He recently called them the “best group I’ve had since ’09.”

  7. Preds ‘out for a little revenge’ versus Isles

    Mar 5, 2015, 3:00 PM EST

    Taylor Beck, Anders Lee, Josh Bailey AP

    Nashville’s won just two of its last eight.

  8. Edler, Burrows, and Kassian expected back for Canucks, who ‘better be’ ready for Coyotes

    Mar 5, 2015, 2:05 PM EST

    AlexEdler Getty Images

    “We only have 19 games left and we have to be winning and getting points.”

Featured video

Is there an issue with Babcock in Detroit?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Okposo (2830)
  2. H. Lundqvist (2763)
  3. T. Seguin (2482)
  4. F. Andersen (2295)
  5. M. Giordano (2247)
  1. H. Zetterberg (2143)
  2. T. Hall (2070)
  3. P. Sharp (1807)
  4. K. Yandle (1802)
  5. B. Dubinsky (1738)