Last night, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reported that Matt Duchene might be able to return this weekend, and that the forward could very well suit up for the Colorado Avalanche when the team takes on the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Those hopes didn’t even last for 24 hours, and Duchene won’t be heading out with the Avs for their two-game road trip at all.
Adrian Dater of the Denver Post quoted head coach Patrick Roy this morning, who had the following to say about whether or not Duchene would be ready to go by this weekend:
There’s no point in rushing this. We need him at 100 percent, and after skating today, he realized he would not be able to play.
With Duchene on the shelf, Nathan MacKinnon has been skating as the team’s No. 1 center and has looked mighty strong in the process. He didn’t miss a beat in adjusting to playing against the likes of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, which shouldn’t be surprising considering how competitive the No. 1 pick from the 2013 draft is.
Duchene isn’t expected to miss a lot of time with his oblique injury, but that particular area can be hard to ignore for hockey players. It’s relied on heavily while skating, and for a guy like Duchene to be effective, his skating needs to be at 100%. Since he won’t be on the road for the next two games, it seems likely that the earliest the Avalanche could get their leading scorer back would be on November 27 against the St. Louis Blues.