Since being traded to the team on November 5th and lacing up the skates for seven contests with the Ottawa Senators, Matt Duchene had yet to record a single point for his team. In fact, Duchene had been living in the negatives, fluctuating between a -1 and -2 on a nightly basis in all his outings as a Senator.
It would be unfair however to point all fingers at Duchene for his absence on the scoresheet. The team hadn’t won a game since the Global Series in Sweeden, where the Senators took both wins over the Avalanche. That’s a total of five straight losses going into Saturday’s game against the Islanders. Of course, that’s where Duchene broke his pointless streak and notched a power-play goal and the Senators only goal in their 2-1 loss to the visiting New York team.
Even though Duchene is on the board, it didn’t translate into a win for Ottawa, as they still continue their losing streak heading into this week’s three matchups. However, now that Duchene has broken the ice, when can we expect him to help light the lamp again?
Vs. Montreal Canadiens
Duchene’s most recent visit with the Canadiens came last season with the Avalanche. The Avs took the victory in this one, although Duchene didn’t contribute to that outcome. He played a lower than normal 14:58 minutes of ice time, taking 4 shots on net, blocking 1 and doing his part with 70.6% FO. All things considered not a bad game, but keep in mind it wasn’t Duchene who made the difference in this one.
The Senators last played the Canadiens on October 30th, where they were brutally takedown in an 8-3 loss. This, of course, was before Duchene’s time as a Sen, however, the drastic goal differential doesn’t make for added confidence going into Wednesday’s rematch.
Vs. New York Islanders
Of all three teams this week Duchene has had the most run-ins with the Islanders recently. Not only did his first goal as a Senator just come from a contest with the team, but Duchene was on the ice for the last time as a member of the Avalanche, when he got pulled from the game after just 1:59 of ice time on trade day. During the most recent game, Duchance racked up his 1 goal, but along with it a -2, 3 shots, 1 hit, 60% FO on a total of 20:10 TOI. With such a high ice time you would hope for some points out there, in fact, you would almost hope for more, as this was Duchene’s highest TOI in all games being compared here.
When Colorado last faced the Islanders while having Duchene for the full length of the game, it was February 12th of last season. This game also ending in a loss with Duchene getting 4 shots, holding a 66.7% FO on 16:02 minutes of ice time. Despite not earning a point in this match, Duchene had a better plus-minus, better faceoff percentage and 1 more shot on net than he did in his most recent time against the Islanders.
Vs. Winnipeg Jets
Duchene and the Avalanche last faced the Jets on March 4th, Colorado suffered the loss in that matchup and Duchene settled for a -3 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 70% FO on 18:07 TOI. Not a great game for Duchene or the whole team for that matter, as it was a 6-1 loss. However, Duchene’s faceoff percentage was strong in this contest and consistently hovers high in most of his appearances. With a stronger team backing him up on the draw now, there’s hope that better things can happen.
The Senators have yet to faceoff against the Jets during this regular season, their most recent match came on April 1st, 2017 where the Senators fell 2-4 to the Winnipeg team. Of all games being held for comparison, I would put the least weight on this one. Although there may still be relevance in looking at this game, it’s definitely the furthest removed from Duchene in all possible equations.
His next point will be against…
Duchene may have his best chance to rack up another point versus the team he got his last one against, the New York Islanders. Even in his Avalanche outing against the club, he put up some good numbers despite that game ending in a loss. The most recent Senators game was also only lost by the difference of one goal, so it doesn’t seem out of the question for both Duchene and his team to have a successful rematch.
As for the other two matchups, Duchene may have a slightly better chance of being productive versus Montreal. Not only did the Avalanche vs. Canadiens game end in a victory for Duchene and company, but in his Avalanche contest with the Jets, Duchene crumbled to a -3 with 18:07 TOI. Compared to his more neutral numbers put up against the Canadiens. Despite the Senators most recent crushing loss to the Canadiens, Ottawa has more potential for a win as they visit a 10-12-3 Montreal team, compared to the 15-6-3 Jets who currently sit 2nd in the Central Division.