Scoring problem compounds Duchene’s transition to NHL |

Scoring problem compounds Duchene’s transition to NHL

Terry Frei
The Denver Post

Compound words were the homework lesson the other night in the Foote household.

Matt Duchene, the 18-year-old long-term houseguest of Avalanche captain Adam Foote and his wife, Jennifer, has informally taken over as an occasional tutor for the Foote sons, Callan, 11, and Nolan, 9. Per the homework assignment, Duchene and the two Foote boys went over words like lifetime, something and sandstone.

At some point, Matt might have felt like adding two other compound words to the list: goalpost and snakebit.

Asked to use one of them in a sentence, he could have said what he said Monday after the Avalanche practiced at the Family Sports Center: “Maybe I’m a little frustrated at times, like the game at Chicago where I hit three goalposts and it doesn’t end up in the back of the net.”

Twenty games into his rookie season, the highly touted Duchene is struggling, with two goals and seven assists. But that comes with a huge asterisk: his age. With a handful of exceptions, including one on his own roster, even the most gifted of Duchene’s hockey-playing contemporaries still are in major junior or NCAA hockey – dreaming of an NHL chance that might never come.

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