James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Duchene fighting isn’t something Colorado Avalanche should be OK with


Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Duchene seems to have a serious problem with Vladimir Sobotka of the St. Louis Blues. Duchene got into his first fight of the season for the Colorado Avalanche last night, and took on Sobotka for the second time in his career. This isn’t Brendan Shanahan we’re talking about here though folks.

It’s Duchene, and the sight of him eating right hands should make Colorado fans more than a little nervous.

This wasn’t a guy that normally doesn’t fight throwing the gloves just for the sake of doing it either. Duchene and Sobotka went at it, and they went at it with intent and purpose. They both were throwing bombs, looking for the knock out punch.

While both players ended up skating away from the bout, what would the Avalanche have done had Duchene sustained a broken orbital bone? Or a concussion? Hockey is a passionate game, and there’s something to be said about the toughness and leadership that the youngster displayed out on the ice against St. Louis.

His team was getting walloped, things weren’t going well for the Avalanche overall and Duchene was visibly frustrated. Sobotka gave him an opening, and Duchene took it. That’s a five-minute exchange that the Blues will take all night.

Knowing when to skate away is an important part of being a top-end player. People would always be trying to fights Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings or Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks if they could. Those guys don’t toss the gloves that often, and in Datsyuk’s case, when they do come off it’s in a playoff game.

This is the opening quarter of the year and Duchene needs to keep his gloves on in this situation. Again, you’ve got to respect the leadership that he displayed. It’s clear what he was trying to do. But that one small statement just isn’t worth a broken hand at this juncture.

Colorado is going to be alright. They take on the Florida Panthers next and will use this game against the Blues as a learning experience. St. Louis is a veteran club with Stanley Cup aspirations, so the dismantling isn’t too shocking. The fight from Duchene was, however. Head coach Patrick Roy is a fiery individual, and it’d be interesting to know whether he gave Duchene props for the fight or gave him a talking to.

Tags: Colorado Avalanche Matt Duchene NHL Patrick Roy