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Duvie Duvie Do

Dependable Defenseman Turning Offensive Early in 2006-07

Thursday, 10.12.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Duvie Duvie Do
Entering this season, Duvie Westcott had scored 6-36-42 in 155 career NHL games, which is why many around the NHL are doing a double take when reading his stat line thus far in 2006-07.

The fifth-year blue liner has posted 2-3-5 in three games this year.

"It is surprising," Westcott said. "When a defenseman scores it just goes with confidence, it is about knowing how to not get beat when you pinch in and find an opportunity.

"Coaches here have shown a lot of confidence in me and now I have the confidence to be able to jump up and score a goal."

Westcott is coming off of a 2005-06 campaign in which he set career highs in games played (78), goals (6), assists (22), points (28), penalty minutes (133) and plus/minus (+1), becoming one of Head Coach Gerard Gallant's most reliable defensemen.

"Duvie has always been a guy that is getting more confidence each year," Gallant said. "He has always been a solid player for us and made good outlet passes and now he is getting a little more involved in the offense.

"He is taking his time and reading the plays and not gambling any more or anything like that. He is just playing a solid game and when he gets his chances he is putting the puck on the net."

Not just on the net, but in the net as well. Though it took Westcott 97 games before scoring the first goal of his NHL career at Dallas on Nov. 18, 2005, he has now scored eight over the last 62 games.

"When a defenseman starts scoring goals," Westcott said, "You can tell he is playing with a lot of confidence and not worried about making a mistake playing the game."

That confidence this year has helped Westcott to a blistering start to the season, scoring 2-3-5 in three games, earning a point in each of the three games, and setting a career high with three points (1-2-3) vs. Phoenix on Oct. 9.

"Playing with Nasher and Veebs on the power play was a nice treat," he said. "That is where you get your points. The other games I have just kind of been in the right place at the right time.

"Getting points really isn't part of my job. We do anything we can to get wins and keep the puck out of our net."

But the points are nice too.

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