His left knee has been encased in a metal brace for three months. His right ankle has been wrapped in copious amounts of tape for a few weeks. Avalanche forward Matt Duchene has done a good job of keeping that under wraps to the public, but it hasn't been easy.

"I've become a way better pro this year. I think it's helped me be able to play in these circumstances, even though I probably shouldn't be. But it's been tough. I'm wearing things on my body I'm not used to," Duchene said Monday. "But I've learned about how to deal with the ups and downs of being a pro. I used to think any (setback) like this was the end of the world. Now I think it could be a blessing."