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Avs-Blue Jackets player grades: Defensive disaster

AJ Haefele Avatar
October 10, 2018

The Colorado Avalanche dropped their first road game of the season to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 5-2 loss. Below are player grades.

Mark Barberio (F) – Safe to assume Patrik Nemeth will probably be in the lineup on Thursday. This was not a night to remember for 44 as he posted a 9% CF. 9%!

Tyson Barrie (F) – This was just an absolute mess tonight. Not good defensively, not good offensively, got crushed in shot metrics. He should burn this tape and forget about it.

Gabriel Bourque (D) – Totally invisible performance and was part of a line that got obliterated at even strength.

Matt Calvert (C+) – He was good early but faded late. Picked up the feisty play late but scoring contributions continue to elude him.

Ian Cole (F) – This was a mess. It’s hard to defend three players down low and that was the position he was in on CBJ’s five-on-three goal and it was no surprise that didn’t go Colorado’s way. His puck management was troublesome throughout the evening and his inability to clear a puck helped create the fourth goal for Columbus.

J.T. Compher (C) – Like Calvert, the good stuff came early on but it didn’t last. He was at least physically engaged at times but he looked lost on Panarin’s goal to make 3-2 in the third period.

Sheldon Dries (D) – Dries was bad early on and leveled it off to passable by the end but he’s still not playing much. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he was the healthy scratch on Thursday.

Samuel Girard (B) – This kid is ridiculous. As of this writing, Soderberg still has credit for Colorado’s second goal but it really should be Girard’s. His numbers were strong and he was consistently dangerous with the puck from the second period on. He was increasingly aggressive in the third period and it led to some mistakes but overall it’s hard to find too much fault with G’s game.

Philipp Grubauer (B) – Not much you can do when your team hangs you out to dry like they did to Grubi tonight. He made some great saves along the way but this was a right proper introduction to life as an Avalanche netminder on the road.

Erik Johnson (B) – I know some people didn’t like EJ’s game as much as I did but I thought he was rock solid tonight. He had a great pass that ignited MacKinnon’s goal and he combined with Girard to be the only defensive pairing worth a damn tonight.

Tyson Jost (C) – A very quiet game for Jost. I hardly noticed him out there outside of one really good scoring chance in the third period, he just wasn’t as involved in the game as you’d like him to be. Great shot metrics, though.

Alexander Kerfoot (C-) – Kerfoot had his moments but he took two penalties and killed a scoring chance with a classic Kerfoot overpass.

Gabriel Landeskog (C) – I really didn’t notice the captain a whole lot tonight. He’s still dealing with some kind of lower-body injury (we’re assuming foot, based on Instagram) and maybe that had an effect on him tonight but the bottom line was he just didn’t do much in this one.

Nathan MacKinnon (B) – Offensively he was dynamic and nearly ridiculous as he came very close to some impressive highlights. In the end, defensive zone lapses outweighed his very impressive goal. That really held his grade back just a bit tonight.

Matt Nieto (D) – A failed clear by Nieto after a won faceoff eventually saw Columbus convert a goal and those little mistakes consistently added up tonight. His 16% CF tonight was downright ghastly.

Mikko Rantanen (C+) – He gets the plus for the nice pass to MacKinnon in the neutral zone on 29’s goal. The rest of the night? Well…he’s probably looking forward to getting to Buffalo.

Carl Soderberg (C) –He’s being credited with a goal right now but just about everyone who has seen the various replays agree he didn’t touch the puck and it should be Girard’s goal. Other than that, he was involved in very low-event hockey at even strength and was not a real factor in the outcome.

Colin Wilson (C+) – I thought Wilson played a solid game yet again. He and his linemates enjoyed positive shot metrics but couldn’t break through on the scoresheet like they have in previous games. That was the real struggle with this line tonight – some creation but nothing really dangerous and nothing went in.

Nikita Zadorov (D) –Big Z played just 15 minutes yet again tonight and really looked uncomfortable the entire time. His slow start is turning into a glacial start. Hopefully he gets a kick in the pants going back to the team that was all too eager to give up on him in the first Ryan O’Reilly trade.


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