March 6 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) is helped off the ice after an knee injury by teammate right wing Peter Mueller (88) and athletic trainer Matthew Sokolowski late in the third period of the game against the Minnesota Wild at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche defeated the Wild 7-1. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
The Denver Post is now reporting that the Colorado Avalanche will be getting some playoff push help in the form of Matt Duchene. According to Adrian Dater, the forward skated yesterday on his own and felt good enough to join the team for full practice today at the morning skate in Buffalo. Coach Sacco went as far as saying that he is available for tonight, but the decision was made to give him another day's rest. This would put his time out at 9 days instead of the 3-4 weeks originally proposed.
Admittedly, Duchene hasn't been performing at the level with which we've been accustomed the past two seasons. He has scored one goal and one assist in his past 10 games. Should he come back to form, he will certainly boost the Avs chances at the playoffs.
In light of this, we should expect to see Mike Connolly returned to the Lake Erie Monsters soon. The Monsters are fighting for their own playoff bid, so it will certainly help to get Connolly back.
Here's some video of Duchene skating this morning, courtesy of Dater: