Matt Duchene had a simple reason for remaining calm through his early season struggles.

The Colorado Avalanche rising star had been through it a year ago.

Not only did Duchene pull out of his slump to kick off the 2010-11 season — as he's done this year — but he learned something valuable at that time thanks to Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla.

When last season was nearing the quarter pole, Duchene was struggling in the goal-scoring department, with just two tallies in the first 18 games.

Near the end of his slump, he and the Avalanche were facing the Flames, and he spotted how Iginla was in a similar situation.

"I don't pay a ton of attention to stats, but I'd heard about Jarome, 'He's getting assists and getting points, but he's not scoring,'" Duchene recalled after Saturday's morning skate in anticipation of facing the Flames in Denver. "I was in the same boat and figured out everybody goes through it. Really, if he goes through it, why can't I?

"I knew he was going to finish with 30-plus (goals) and he finished with 43, so I knew I could still have a good season. It's encourage-ment. You know it's not just you.

"It made me feel a little bit better."

Right after that early November game, which the Flames won, Duchene kicked off an offensive run and finished the season with 27 goals and 67 points.