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Avalanche player grades in OT loss to Blackhawks

Adrian Dater Avatar
December 30, 2018

Another game, another Avalanche overtime loss. Honestly, has there ever been a worse team in overtime than the Avalanche of the last two years? It’s gone beyond embarrassment at this point to Avs fans. It’s just a Scarlet A of shame at this point. Just a horrible outcome – again – when that extra point was on the line.

Let’s get to the individual grades. It won’t be pretty:

Matt Nieto (F) – He was given a “great opportunity”, as he put it the day before, playing on a line with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. And, he proceeded to go out and play like the Matt Nieto we’ve seen all year, which is invisible. Let’s cap this experiment at one game.

Nathan MacKinnon (B+) – A goal and seven shots on net, 57% on faceoffs. A fine game – but not a superstar effort. When does MacK win a game by his own talents again? He used to do that.

Mikko Rantanen (B) – He scored the Avs’ other goal, and he was totally screwed by a bad non-call late in regulation, when he was bear-hugged behind the net. He’s got to be better on the power play again, though. Too slow with his moves around the net.

Alexander Kerfoot (D) – Another game, another penalty and scorelessness on the sheet. Seems like he has kind of compartmented himself into a player only capable of good things when the rest of the team is doing well. Unimpressive.

Gabe Landeskog (D) – An OK game until 1:12 left in regulation. A nice screen on one goal. Then, in the offensive zone, the captain of the Avalanche wiped all that out with a double-minor high-sticking penalty. That’s just beyond dumb. It’s undisciplined. It cost his team the game.

J.T. Compher (B) – Worked very hard, as always. Had five shots on net. Couldn’t convert on anything. Part of the reason why the Avs got a point, at least, tonight.

Sven Andrighetto (C+) – A secondary assist on the MacKinnon goal that tied it up late in the second. So, that’s something. Is it too much to ask for a goal once in a while, too?

Carl Soderberg (D+) – Not much to speak for from Carl. Won some faceoffs, but that was about it. The chemistry exhibited on his new line, with Calvert and Dries, was close to zero.

Sheldon Dries (C+) – Was credited with four hits, worked hard overall, especially on defense. But, nothing much to speak for offensively, and last I checked goals mattered.

Gabriel Bourque (D) – Another “If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?” game.

Tyson Jost (F) – Didn’t even play eight minutes. Nothing on the scoresheet, won 2-of-6 faceoffs. It’s just going real bad right for him. Fifteenth straight game without a goal.

Matt Calvert (F) – He keeps taking at least one penalty a game, and hasn’t been the penalty-killing dynamo we were all promised. He’s making too much money to keep giving fourth-line numbers.

Patrik Nemeth (B-) – I can’t for the life of me figure out why Jared Bednar keeps playing him in overtimes. Bednar did it again tonight, and all Nemeth could do was fish the puck out of the net when the game was lost. He was actually pretty good before that. Stop playing this guy in situations in which he’s not suited.

Ryan Graves (B) – I would have liked to have seen him play more tonight, quite frankly. He’s big and moves the puck to safe areas.

Erik Johnson (C) – Blocked five shots. But I keep noticing this about him this year: He doesn’t seem engaged. I believe he’s unhappy at not getting any power-play time this year. That’s between him and the coach to work out.

Sam Girard (D) – Only played 13 minutes. Just not noticing him much these days. He has to keep augmenting his game offensively, but he’s not doing it.

Ian Cole (B+) – Played 24 minutes, was good with the puck when he had it. He was one of the better players on the ice tonight for Colorado.

Tyson Barrie (C+) – Got his assist. All in all, though, just nothing special. When does the Barrie re-emerge, the one who creates real problems for the opposing D, especially on the power play?

Semyon Varlamov (D) – I know the numbers might suggest he was better than this grade deserved, but I just was unimpressed. He’s not scaring anyone anymore. He hasn’t bailed this team out of a game in a good, long time. Yeah, he shouldn’t have to bail his team out all the time, but is it too much to ask for just once in a while anymore

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