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Avs-Bruins player grades: First line dominance

AJ Haefele Avatar
November 15, 2018

The Colorado Avalanche topped the Boston Bruins 6-3. Below are player grades.

Mark Barberio (C-) – It started off pretty poorly for Barberio as he combined an ugly turnover with a needless penalty that led to Boston tying the game at 1-1. Then in the second period, he tried to block a shot from the point instead of taking away DeBrusk’s stick and DeBrusk deflected it in. Barberio then picked up his play a bunch and had a strong finish but the mistakes were very costly tonight. This is probably overly harsh.

Tyson Barrie (B-) – He was flying around again tonight and creating chances. He was active in jumping into the play but also did a good job of taking care of his own end. No real complaints about Barrie’s game tonight.

Gabriel Bourque (C-) – A key part of a penalty kill that gave up two goals tonight, Bourque was running around a ton on the first goal against. Beyond that, he was fine tonight. Nothing special, nothing terrible.

Matt Calvert (B-) – He got credit for the tying goal early in the third period but it would have been much easier had he just beaten the goaltender cleanly. He’s quietly started to produce points in the last two weeks.

Ian Cole (B) – Solid, physical presence on the blue line. He got an assist on a goal that was really the brilliance of Rantanen and MacKinnon but it counts all the same.

Sheldon Dries (C+) – He might have actually scored the goal credited to Calvert in the third (he ultimately was credited with an assist). He continues to be a nice revelation for Colorado.

Samuel Girard (B+) – He was excellent again tonight. His activation in of the offensive zone was straight up awesome. I sat next to Boston personnel tonight and they couldn’t stop raving about what a special player he is.

Erik Johnson (B) – Rock solid in his own end and led a rush or two in transition. I think EJ has played a couple solid games in a row, beginning with the second period in Winnipeg. Have to love him finding his stride.

Tyson Jost (A) – He was awesome tonight. Flying around the puck early on, he got the tap-in goal tonight that he was denied against Edmonton. This is the kid the Avalanche have been hoping to see.

Vladislav Kamenev (B) – Another really strong effort from this kid. He’s starting to find his confidence. He has the potential to be a difference maker in a bottom six dying for one.

Alexander Kerfoot (A) – Two more points for this kid as he’s been on a tear lately with eight points in his last six games. They might have been garbage time points tonight but the Avs certainly needed the breathing room of the fifth goal and the sixth goal was for the Bruins fans in 326 chanting “Yankees suck!”. Clowns.

Gabriel Landeskog (A) – He snagged the game’s opening goal on a beautiful shot and then watched his teammates go to work in dominating the second half of the game. Despite finishing with “just” the one goal, he was an animal all night.

Nathan MacKinnon (A-) – The final line will show a goal and an assist tonight but he really had two assists as he set up Boston’s second goal perfectly with a back pass to…center ice? He made up for the mistake, however, and notched the game-winning goal.

Matt Nieto (C+) – I really liked his speed tonight. After Chara exited the game with injury, the Avalanche were able to wear down Boston’s defensemen in part because all four lines were coming at them in endless waves of speed. Nieto didn’t show up in the score sheet but he definitely had a positive impact on this one.

Mikko Rantanen (A+) – He’s Jaromir Jagr 2.0. He’s incredible. There aren’t enough superlatives for this kid.

Carl Soderberg (A) – Soderberg was very good again tonight and even snagged an assist for his hard work. He was increasingly effective as he played a heavier game than normal. He’s a maniac on skates when he’s going like he has been the last two games.

Semyon Varlamov (C) – Varly had some big saves but he gave up three goals on just 23 shots and was the beneficiary of three posts tonight. Not his best night but Colorado got the win anyway. That’s a rare combination.

Colin Wilson (C) – Unlike his two linemates, I thought Wilson was a bit of a weak link tonight. There were some moments things could have gone his way but he just seemed out of sync with the rest of his line.

Nikita Zadorov (C+) –  Big Z got benched after the questionable interference call against him in the second period. I’ve watched it a few times and I still think it was unnecessary but he was consistently engaged in a physical battle with the guy and it looked like the winner got punished. Had Zadorov been the one to go down, would they have called the penalty? It came at a huge moment as Colorado had just made it 3-2 and it could have been back-breaking but ultimately it didn’t matter at all. Still, it led to Zadorov being benched and playing just seven minutes. I think this was an overreaction by the coaching staff but I understand where they were coming from.


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