Blake’s Takes: Career Resurrections and Milestones

In this week’s column, I’ll highlight two of my favorite players that have resurrected their careers this season. There were also a few notable milestones reached last week that I want to write about. Get ready for another great column and let’s have a great week.

1. The Ressurection of Matt Duchene


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For those of you that don’t remember, Matt Duchene is still in the NHL and he plays in Nashville. Duchene signed a big contract with the Predators after his impressive half-season run with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He hasn’t played well with Nashville until this season.

Duchene is officially back after his hat-trick on Saturday night. So far this season, Duchene has scored 12 goals and added another seven assists through 17 games.  He’s already scored more points than he did through all of last season in which he played 34 games. He’s also one goal from matching his tally in his first season in Nashville.

I’m a fan of Duchene, I always have been. I’m happy to see him playing well. He’s a fun player and one that Nashville deserves. I hope he gets an All-Star nod and keeps playing well. I’m sure Nashville fans will be happy to see him earn his money.

2. Islanders Christen UBS Arena


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After years of arena issues, the Islanders finally played their first game in their new, permanent home. Unfortunately, the Isles lost to the Flames 5-2.

Islander Brock Nelson did score the first Islander goal in the new arena.


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The Islanders spent the first 13 games of the season on the road while the arena was being finished. UBS Arena is larger than both the Nassau Memorial Coliseum and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Of course, the Islanders needed a new arena because the Coliseum is old and shitty and the Barclays Center sucks for hockey. I’m generalizing of course. However, I did just go to a Nets game at the Barclays Center and I totally understand why Islanders fans hated it there. It’s nice, but it’s boring and lacks character. It was also built for the Nets, not the Isles.

I’m stoked for the Islanders and their fans. They have a very passionate and unique fanbase. One that needs their own barn that really feels like theirs. They’re not meant to share an arena with a basketball team and they deserve more than the Coliseum provided.

3. Getzlaf Reaches 1,000 Point Plateau


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Speaking of resurrections, Matt Duchene isn’t the only faded star having a great start to the season. Ryan Getzlaf has reminded hockey fans why he’s one of the game’s greats. Getzlaf scored his 1,000th NHL point last week.

The 36-year-old center already has more points in less than half as many games as last season. He finished last year’s campaign with 17 points in 48 games. This season he has 19 points in 18 games (as of Saturday night). It helps that Getzlaf’s teammates are raising their games, too. Specifically, breakout star Troy Terry.

Ironically, Getzlaf only has one goal this season, his other 18 points are all assists.

The majority of Getzlaf’s points came as assists, 721 out of 1,001. Many of those assists came off of the stick of former teammate Corey Perry. Perry isn’t in Anaheim anymore and the Ducks championship window has long been closed. Still, Getzlaf has been one of the game’s best players since he broke into the league in 2005-06. His number 15 will be retired in Anaheim and he might wind up in the Hall of Fame. Congrats to Getzlaf on an amazing accomplishment.

4. Andy Greene Plays His 1,000th NHL Game


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Former New Jersey Devils captain and current New York Islander Andy Greene earned a silver stick, playing in his 1,000th NHL game last week. Greene’s 1,000th game and the Islanders’ first game at UBS Arena made it a week to remember on Long Island.

Greene spent the first 13-and-a-half seasons in New Jersey with the Devils before being traded to the Islanders during the 2019-20 season. In 1,001 games, Greene has scored 50 goals and tallied another 205 assists as a primarily defensive defenseman. Greene has averaged 21:15 minutes of ice time for his career.

Greene doesn’t have any notable accomplishments other than being a part of the Devils team that made the Stanley Cup finals during the 2011-12 season. However, he’s helped the Islanders reach back-to-back conference finals appearances. Maybe this is the year he can be a part of a Stanley Cup championship team.

Regardless, a silver stick and 1,000 games played are something to cherish. Congrats to Greene!

5. Bednar Extended in Colorado


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Jared Bednar will remain the coach of the Colorado Avalanche for at least another two seasons. Bednar and the Avs agreed to a two-year extension last week. He helped the Avs win last season’s President’s Trophy. Bednar has been behind the bench for the Avs for the last five seasons, missing the playoffs only once in his first year.

Expectations are high for Bednar. The Avalanche are one of the most talented teams in the NHL and were most people’s pick to come out of the west this year and last. The Avs have lost in the second round of the playoffs in three straight years.

If Bednar is going to make it to the end of his contract, he’ll have to help the Avs make it out of the second round and into the conference finals and Stanley Cup Finals. With great talent comes great expectations, and a championship is an expectation for Bednar. Fair or not. ■

Blake Isaacs is a die-hard Red Wings fan that doesn’t go to as many games as he should. He is also a big fan of 7-Eleven Slurpeees, Chipotle, and all things Michigan State. Follow him on Twitter @bisaacs1995.

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