NOT ALL PLAY­ERS THRIV­ING IN NEW SUR­ROUND­INGS

Edmonton Sun - - SPORTS -

Nashville liv­ing seems to be suit­ing Matt Duch­ene fine these days.

Maybe it’s be­cause he’s a coun­try fan at heart who said his go-to karaoke song is Whiskey Glasses by Morgan Waller. Or that he grew up in Hal­ibur­ton, Ont., a small town that he jok­ingly de­scribed as the “Cana­dian Nashville.”

Or maybe it has less to do with where he ended up and more to do with the date when he ar­rived.

Duch­ene, who al­ready has six as­sists in three games since sign­ing with Nashville in the summer, is play­ing on his fourth team in two years. But un­like when he joined Ot­tawa and Colum­bus, his first game with the Preda­tors didn’t come in the mid­dle of the season.

“Get­ting traded mid-season is so hard,” Duch­ene told me last month at the Player Me­dia Tour in Chicago. “It’s hap­pened to me twice. I was so com­fort­able in Ot­tawa. I got to Colum­bus and you play the same way, but you can’t fig­ure out how to get the puck, you can’t fig­ure out how to get it on the boards. You can’t play your game. It takes you about 20 games to get com­fort­able when you get traded mid-season.

“I’m hop­ing this time in Nashville, I get com­fort­able in pre-season and I feel like that’s go­ing to be a very dif­fer­ent season than in Ot­tawa or Colum­bus where I was thrust into the game right away.”

Duch­ene isn’t the only player who is ben­e­fit­ting from a change of scenery.

Edmonton’s James Neal has rock­eted to the top of the scor­ing lead­ers with six goals in three games, while Artemi Pa­narin has two goals and two as­sists in two games since join­ing the New York Rangers.

Of course, not ev­ery player who switched teams in the summer has en­joyed a seam­less tran­si­tion. Here are three who are off to rocky starts:

Sergei BO­BROVSKY, Florida

The Pan­thers are 1-2-0 and it’s not hard to see why. Bo­brovsky, who was pulled af­ter al­low­ing four goals on 14 shots to the Hur­ri­canes on Tues­day, has a .859 save per­cent­age af­ter three games.

Mi­lan lu­cic, cal­gary

While Neal has given the Oil­ers some much-needed sec­ondary scor­ing, it’s the same old for Lu­cic, who has no points, is a mi­nus-1 and has some­how racked up 26 penalty min­utes in just three games with the Flames.

Se­myon var­lamov, ny is­lan­ders

Two games in, the Is­lan­ders might be wish­ing they re-signed Robin Lehner last summer. His re­place­ment is 0-2 with a .872 save per­cent­age and was pulled af­ter al­low­ing four goals on 19 shots against the Oil­ers on Tues­day.

Ap PHOTO

Life in Nashville seems to be suit­ing Preda­tors cen­tre Matt Duch­ene just fine.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.