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Avs/Coyotes Game 4 Grades: Shellacking

Evan Rawal Avatar
August 18, 2020

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – A

As far as back to back games from Bellemare, I don’ know if it gets any better. He was all over pucks again and had some big shot blocks on the penalty kill, especially the one at the end of the first. Nice to see that line get rewarded with a goal.

Andre Burakovsky – B+

Another really strong game from Burky. He was moving his feet all night and made some really nice passes, especially on the power play, that were not converted on. He did pick up an assist on the Donskoi goal. Little concerned with him leaving the game late, but they may have just held him out for precautionary reasons with the score.

Matt Calvert – A

That line earned their points today, and it was coming all series long. I loved the two on one between Nieto and Calvert, even if there was luck involved. Nice to see him pick up a goal after a long layoff.

Ian Cole – B-

Cole got a bit of a promotion, moving up to play with Girard on the second pair after EJ and G struggled a bit against Hall’s line. Cole had a solid game overall, and a hilarious diving clear attempt in the second period.

J.T. Compher – B-

Every game he seems to have new linemates today and did so again, but that line was buzzing, drawing a few penalties. Would have loved to see Compher rip a few on the power play but didn’t happen.

Joonas Donskoi – B+

Big time bounce-back game from Donny after a mess of a performance on Saturday. That goal was huge to kind of put things out of reach and is an extremely difficult shot to make across the body. One-timing it gave Kuemper no time to get over.

Samuel Girard – B-

I still don’t think it’s all there with Sammy right now, but today was a good step forward, particularly in the defensive zone. He had a really strong game in his own end, giving up very little facing off against the Hall line, including a few rushes against Hall himself.

Ryan Graves – B

I don’t quite understand how OEL got away with boarding on that hit in the second period. It looked pretty nasty on TV. Another strong performance from a guy who is making a real case for a long-term deal this…offseason? I don’t even know what to call it anymore after the break.

Philipp Grubauer – B+

I don’t much like the goal, and I don’t think Grubi does either, but he’s shown a real strong mental game staying sharp while facing very little activity. The breakaway save in the second period ended up being pretty big and not giving the Coyotes any life, and he had a nice glove snag in the first too.

Erik Johnson – B

I almost wonder if EJ’s legs were a bit beat up after last game, hence a bit of a step back in minutes for him, playing with Z on the third pair. They did quite well together and gave up very little, and EJ had some nice keeps in the offensive zone.

Tyson Jost – B

One thing Jost did well all year long was draw penalties, and he drew another one in this game. He’s looked real strong since re-entering the lineup, particularly down low. Second playoffs in a row where he looks like a different player.

Nazem Kadri – A+

All four of Kadri’s goals this postseason have come from right around the crease. That tells you a little about how you’ve got to score in the postseason. A big-time bounce-back game from him, after a rough couple showings in Games two and three. Would like to see him get one at even strength, but the power play production is huge too.

Gabriel Landeskog – C

I think Mikko started showing some signs of life, but Landy looks a little off, still. Great backcheck in the first period to essentially eliminate a two on one, but the puck just doesn’t want to sit still for him at the moment. It’s nice that the team keeps going without him putting the puck in the back of the net, but he is at least still picking up assists.

Nathan MacKinnon – A+

Poor Christian Fischer. He woke the beast. MacK showed another reason why he wins the fitness testing every year in that beat down. In terms of the actual game, he took over when he needed too. I know people want to see him drive the net more, but since he doesn’t do it a lot, it might keep defenders honest, and Demers wasn’t ready for his cut to the middle on the third goal.

Cale Makar – A

Okay, Makar’s fine. No need to worry now. I was a little concerned after a big hit he took in the first period. He got up slowly and was laboring the rest of his shift, but that walking of Goligoski was just dirty and a sign of a shark that smelled some blood.

Valeri Nichushkin – C

I’m happy he got taken out of the top six because the scoring just isn’t there right now. Even today, the play he took a penalty was a perfect encapsulation of his play in the bubble. Great forecheck to force a turnover, and then a bad pass that leads to a scramble.

Matt Nieto – A-

The penalty was a little iffy, but as I noted on twitter, I loved his decision making on the two on one for his goal. Too many players wait until the defender is set up before making a decision to pass. Nieto got it to Calvert right away, and it caught Demers off guard, opening up the lane right back to him for the goal. That’s smart hockey.

Mikko Rantanen – C+

Mikko doesn’t look all the way there right now, but he also has eight points in the bubble. He just manages to rack up points. Someone needs to mess with the NHL20 accuracy of his one-timers because I think they got turned down to zero.

Nikita Zadorov – B

I feel bad for the Coyotes’right wings, because they’re all really short, and Z is not giving them any room. Today, it was poor Hinostroza who Z made it his mission to beat down, with a side of Conor Garland. A good game from him with his only downside being the penalty late.


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