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  • Avs' Matt Duchene Won't Play Tonight; Return Looms


    Previously all-but-ruled-out for the series, and ruled-out for Game 5 as recently as yesterday, the talented 23-year-old forward's practice fueled speculation that may end up playing tonight.

    This speculation was just shut down as of this writing, as Adrian Dater tweeted:

    But even if he doesn't return tonight, it'll probably be soon.

    It's potentially a game-changer. MacKinnon has earned all the headlines for being so outstanding as an 18-year-old, and rightfully so. But Duchene has developed into a premiere player in the league, following up last season's 43 point in 47 game effort with a 23-goal, 70 point (in 71 games) season before his MCL injury.

    Even when he does return, it is uncertain as to how much his injury will affect him once he is on the ice, as Wes Walz brought up on Twitter:

    That's not something we will get to know until he's back on the ice. He might have rust. He may not be 100%. But he also may be able to impact the series upon his return. Regardless, the Wild will have to prepare for the threat of his shiftiness, speed, and puck skills.

    The return of Duchene increases the possibility that giving away Game 1 will haunt the Wild, as they otherwise would have an opportunity to put them away tonight at the Pepsi Center, potentially rendering a Duchene return moot. But, there is a game tonight. Win that game, and the Wild will be able to match-up against the Avs to their liking, Duchene and all.

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