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Matt Duchene plays savior for Avalanche

Image (1) Duchene-thumb-250x166-8746.jpg for post 736

How perfect is it that Matt Duchene was the one to put the finishing touches on a remarkable turnaround for the Colorado Avalanche”?

Duchene has been looked to by many to be the savior for the Avalanche, an injection of energy and incredible scoring ability into a team that had been lost without Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg. He also grew up a Avs fan and is now playing for the team he loves; scoring the biggest goal of his life -- for now -- in the shootout to save his team’s season. Adrian Dater of the Denver Post has these thoughts from Duchene:

“As soon as I saw the puck drop down (into the net), it was just the best feeling in the world,” Duchene said. “That was our goal all year, to make the playoffs and silence a lot of the critics who said we’d finish 14th or 15th in the West. To make it feels amazing.”

It was almost another late-game collapse for the Avs, however, as they gave up yet another third period lead before securing the win in the shootout.Yet after Duchene’s goal, I’m sure the hand wringing over the Avalanche’s inability to close out games will be held off another day.

For now, the Avalanche have three games remaining to try and leap frog the Red Wings to get one spot higher in the standings, with could be the difference in playing Chicago versus playing San Jose in the first round.

If I were the Avs, I’d feel just fine with facing either.