The Avalanche can't figure out what to do with center Matt Duchene?, whose star has lost a little luster at the tender age of 20, when his impatience for success has collided with coach Joe Sacco's frustration. It's not pretty.
"I try to skip to step 10 before I start step one. I miss some of the little things along the way," Duchene said Saturday. "I've always been someone who has wanted to run before I could walk."
With a single goal and four assists in 10 games of this young NHL season, Duchene has not been strong enough on both ends of the rink to earn the complete trust of Sacco. Here's one number that doesn't lie: Averaging less ice time than Paul Stastny and Ryan O'Reilly, Duchene is currently considered the team's third-best center. How can that be possible?
"I'm not looking for Matty to be the best defensive player in the league. I want him to be the offensive player he can be. But when you're not creating things offensively, when you're not producing offensively, you've got to take care of the other stuff. You've got to take care of the little details," Sacco said.
"If he's putting the puck in the net, if he's got seven or eight goals at this point, you can overlook some things. . . . But when you're not getting the production that we expect, or he expects from himself, then it becomes a little bit harder."
Matt Duchene, coach Joe Sacco are Avalanche's odd couple
Denver Post | Oct 30