Duchene: lack of Avalanche scoring ‘unacceptable’
“It’s painful right now. Same story every night, we’re bringing it five on five and playing well five on five but we can’t seem to find a win in those games. It’s the same story. We’ve got to figure out a way to score. It’s the bottom line,” said Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene after the club’s most recent loss, 3-0, to the visiting Anaheim Ducks.
“We’ve been shutout three times in ten games. It’s unacceptable. That’s almost fifty percent of the games we’re getting shutout in. It’s a joke. We’ve got to figure it out here.”
For fans of the Colorado Avalanche, it doesn’t get more apparent than that. Though the recent admission from one of the more reliable players so far during this shortened season is something many aren’t used to hearing. And it’s a good thing. It means that they care and they are just as – if not more – upset about it than you are.
“It’s unacceptable. It can’t happen. If you want to win games, you can’t have – they probably blocked friggin twenty shots tonight. That’s too many,” said Duchene. “We’re not getting shots through. We’re not fighting for position in front of the net. It’s unacceptable. We’ve got to be better.”
The locker room was somber after the defeat, guys hanging their heads and replaying the nights events over, wondering what could have been done differently. For some, the learning experience is starting. For Head Coach Joe Sacco, there are certainly some things to work on, having – more often than not – given up the first goal of the game.
“It’s not tough to get motivated. We’ve just got to find a way a way to try to score the first goal. I say this all the time. Catch up hockey is very hard in this league,” said Sacco. “The first couple games, we’re down one-nothing, we found a way to win those games and that’s going to happen throughout the course of the season. You have to stay resilient.”
Colorado very clearly needs help in the scoring department. For a stretch, guys like recent addition P.A. Parenteau – who saw his three game goal streak end – have been the only ones lighting the lamp. The rest of the club has had a hard enough time getting a shot through traffic.
“I think we’re keeping it simple, which is good and we’re getting it behind them but you can’t get 100 shots blocked by their forwards and defensemen. From top to bottom, doesn’t matter who it is, a forward or d-man, we can’t get the shots blocked and then we’ve got to be hungry around the net,” said Duchene, who has become a vocal, passionate leader in the absence of Captain Gabriel Landeskog.
“It’s painful right now. We’re playing pretty good hockey but, at the end of the night, we’re getting shutout three-nothing against a team that, on paper, it doesn’t look like we should be getting beat three-nothing [by]. We’ve got to figure it out.”
Whatever happens in Denver, it is up to the players of the Colorado Avalanche to figure it out. There are no reinforcements to lean on. With four games off before a matchup against the visiting Phoenix Coyotes, the Avs have their fair share of work to do in practice, beginning with hitting the net.
What do you think? Like the passion? Worried about the team?