Monday, April 28, 2014
Duchene game-time decision for Avs
By Pierre LeBrun
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Matt Duchene took part in his second full morning skate in three days and will be a game-time decision for Monday night.
Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy said he would meet with the team doctor later Monday to get more information and will also see how Duchene feels after warm-ups Monday night before deciding if the star center returns.
Duchene, on Monday morning, skated with Ryan O'Reilly and P.A. Parenteau, although it should be noted Jamie McGinn didn't partake in the skate.
Roy was vague about where Duchene would fit in if he does play, saying only that he would find a spot for him among his four lines.
But it seems hard to believe that Duchene and O'Reilly, a pairing all season long, wouldn't find each other at some point Monday night if the star center does play.
The Avs' leading scorer in the regular season, Duchene has missed 13 games with a knee injury. His return, even if he's rusty, would add all-world speed to an Avs lineup that struggled to produce any offense here in Minnesota in Games 3-4.
While the Avs’ lineup is in flux because of the Duchene situation and their lines are a bit of an unknown, the Wild are expected to dress the same four forward lines:
Zach Parise-Mikael Granlund-Jason Pominville
Matt Moulson-Mikko Koivu-Charlie Coyle
Nino Niederreiter-Erik Haula-Justin Fontaine
Dany Heatley-Kyle Brodziak-Cody McCormick
Roy a trend-setter?
Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, in the aftermath of his team's crazy, come-from-behind win to eliminate the Stars on Sunday night, credited Patrick Roy for giving him the gumption to pull his goalie for an extra attacker with more than two minutes left in the game.
Traditionally, coaches over the years have pulled their goalies with about a minute left, but Roy's yearlong decision to pull his netminder for an extra attacker with well over two minutes to go, sometimes more, might have started a trend, judging by Boudreau’s comments.
Told Monday morning of what Boudreau said, Roy refused to take any credit.
"You might start to see it more and more, but I'm not going to take any credit for that," Roy said after the morning skate. "I'm going to give the credit to my players. Because imagine if we get scored on pulling the goalie with three minutes left in the game, everyone is going to say: 'Look at that stupid idiot, he pulled his goalie with three minutes and got scored on.' Our players deserve credit. The players are creating the trend here. Yeah, it's a decision by the coach to do it, but it’s the players that do the work and they’re the ones who should receive the credit for that."
Avs players say one of the effects of pulling the goalie earlier is that they don’t press as much with the extra attacker because they know they've got more time than usual. So they don’t feel like their next shot on goal is their last one. It shows on the ice, as the Avs look very much comfortable in that situation, scoring with the goalie pulled late in Game 1 and late in Game 5.