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Avs-Canadiens player grades: Goaltending matters

AJ Haefele Avatar
December 20, 2018

Player grades for the Colorado Avalanche’s 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

Sven Andrighetto (F) – This is what I’m talking about. Andrighetto was nails in St. Louis and was all over the place but the honeymoon is over. Zero shot attempts? No sir. Not nearly good enough.

Tyson Barrie (C+) – The power play work was bad. Just bad. But his defense tonight was solid and the quality against while Barrie was out there was basically non-existent. Lots of attempts but just two high-danger chances against. A Bizarro Barrie game where his offense lagged behind his defense.

Gabriel Bourque (C+) – I give Bourque a pretty rough ride most nights but I thought he actually helped generate some good scoring chances tonight. Numbers back up the eyes in this case where attempts were slanted towards Montreal but the quality was in Colorado’s favor with Bourque on the ice.

Matt Calvert (B-) – If he finishes that golden chance early on, the game looks very different tonight. Instead, Price made a great save on him and took away his chance to chip in another point to the cause. Overall, I still really liked how this line played tonight.

Ian Cole (C-) – I did not like Cole’s game very much. I thought his puck management was better offensively than defensively but he spent most of his night on defense. That’s not good, Bob.

J.T. Compher (D-) – This line was a disaster tonight. At least Compher managed a shot on goal, unlike his linemates. A total fiasco for this group.

Samuel Girard (B) – Opposing teams are starting to learn how to attack Girard when he’s trying to skate with the puck and it still isn’t making a difference. He seems to have a bottomless bag of tricks for how to escape forecheck pressure despite getting his hands attacked repeatedly. I really liked his overall game even though the box score numbers are very limited.

Philipp Grubauer (A) – This was absolutely huge for the Avalanche. They needed a good goaltending performance and Grubauer delivered. He was excellent tonight in giving up just one goal on 36 shots. The only one that beat him was a great deflection just 5:43 into the contest. He locked it down from there in a game he certainly needed on a personal level.

Erik Johnson (C-) – I thought EJ had a really tough go of it early in the game but turned it on late. I think he was significantly better in the third period but ultimately that wasn’t enough to salvage what began as a disastrous night.

Tyson Jost (F) – Like his linemates above, this was a total mess. Jost would have at least had a shot attempt had he not completely whiffed on it. That was apropos for the kind of night this line had.

Alexander Kerfoot (C+) – I thought Kerfoot looked dangerous in his return from injury. I’m not sure I understand the fourth line thing but hopefully he played well enough to get a bump in responsibility.

Gabriel Landeskog (B+) – This wasn’t a dominant effort by the top line but it was just effective enough. Landeskog notched his seventh game-winning goal of the year and 23rd of the season. His career-high is 26. For now.

Nathan MacKinnon (B) – I was again frustrated by MacKinnon playing pass-first tonight and he coupled that with getting dominated in the faceoff circle (two wins in 10 attempts??). And yet here we are with another MacKinnon two-point night. Dude is ridiculous.

Patrik Nemeth (C+) – Like a lot of the Avs tonight, the numbers are tilted against them but I thought there were plenty of good moments. Nemeth had a great breakup of a scoring chance with an active stick and the puck ended up in the netting above the glass. That’s downright good defense, sir.

Matt Nieto (B) – I thought Nieto was really good again. Active offensively, created some scoring chances, disruptive defensively, rock solid on the PK. Really good night for him.

Mikko Rantanen (B) – I still wonder about some of the little quirks of this line as a whole but you can’t argue with results as Mikko extended his league-lead in points. A solid night overall.

Carl Soderberg (B) – I thought Soderberg was so solid tonight. Great in the faceoff circle (12-4!), and one of the few Avs who approached positive Corsi numbers. On a night where the Avs got rocked in that department, this was the good stuff.

Colin Wilson (B-) – I thought he was flying around pretty well tonight. I’d like to see that effort translate into more opportunities but he certainly was not a passenger tonight.

Nikita Zadorov (INC) – He left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return. Ruh roh, Raggy.


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