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The Colorado Avalanche beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. Below are player grades!
Sven Andrighetto (C+) – It was a crazy hot start for Andrighetto tonight as he was firing away in the first period. Unfortunately for Sven, the game had two more periods to go and he was a lot less impactful there.
Tyson Barrie (C-) – Defensively I thought there were some solid moments for him tonight but it was on offense where I really felt Barrie was not good tonight. It might be unfair of me but Barrie is the only Avs defenseman whose lack of offense on any given night negatively impacts his grade. Barrie’s poor work with the puck killed a couple of transition opportunities and one even turned into an odd-man rush against.
Gabriel Bourque (B-) – I’m tough on Bourque, certainly unfairly at times, but I thought he was solid tonight. He was active when he needed to be and his work on the penalty kill was simply excellent.
Matt Calvert (B) – Calvert finally got his first point in an Avs uniform when he did great work down low and found Nieto in the slot for Colorado’s second goal. It was a very strong showing from number 11 tonight.
Ian Cole (C+) – His work on the PK was pretty solid save the sequence when he ran into Varlamov with nobody else around. That was questionable but all’s well that ends well. I’ve liked his steady, reliable play on the back end.
Marko Dano (B) – His first game for the Avs and he predictably played limited minutes but I was a fan of what he brought to the game. He was physical when he needed to be, he won some board battles, he threw some pucks on net, and he blocked a shot along the way. Solid start for a guy who most definitely is not comfortable in Colorado’s system yet.
Samuel Girard (C-) – Straight zeroes in the box score and sometimes that’s just fine. Girard was just okay tonight and the numbers paint a pretty ugly picture. The Flyers feasted on Sammy G tonight.
Erik Johnson (C+) – I really liked Johnson’s willingness to jump into the offense and activate in the zone. He was aggressive when there were openings. It’s no coincidence he’s off to a hot start offensively. The only major frustration I had with his game defensively came when Girard got him a puck with plenty of time to clear and Johnson had all day to get it out and he settled for a weak chip up the boards that was knocked down and turned into a lengthy sequence for the Flyers. Beyond that, Johnson held his own in this one.
Tyson Jost (B-) – A whole lot of good came from Jost in this one despite his line demotion. He easily could’ve had an assist on a great drop pass to Andrighetto but Sven fired it right into Brian Elliott’s glove. Jost hadn’t attempted a shot at even strength but had three in the first period alone. He only ended up with one more the final two periods but that was much more of what Bednar is looking for from him.
Alexander Kerfoot (C-) – Kerfoot is always going to be the battle of brilliance as he fights his inner urge to make the perfect pass and just shoot the damn puck. Tonight, that passing instinct won the battle and it erased multiple scoring chances for Colorado. Hell, one of his missed passes even created a rush for the Flyers the other direction! Shooting is okay, Alex.
Gabriel Landeskog (A) – What can you say? The guy just keeps getting it done and his breakaway goal in the third period was a mighty fine solo act that really provided the dagger in this game. What a road trip for the NHL’s First Star of the Week.
Nathan MacKinnon (A) – Only one point tonight so clearly something is wrong! His no-look backhand pass to Rantanen for the first goal was classic MacKinnon – it made me laugh because it was just ridiculous.
Patrik Nemeth (B) – An analytics darling tonight (alongside Zadorov), Nemeth grinded out an impressive effort. His penalty early on was the stuff of silliness but his game was strong enough to overcome that. Nemeth looks like a completely different player (read: consistently effective) now that he’s in a much more appropriate role.
Matt Nieto (A) – This guy has received a ton of hate from the fanbase recently but I felt like his game really started to round into form on this road trip. He got the game-winning goal tonight and what a huge relief that must have been for him. Happy for a really good dude who needed this. He was also rock solid at 5v5 tonight.
Mikko Rantanen (A+) – I wrote in the player grades for the Rangers game that he needed to get his goal-scoring ways going and his shootout goal might have taken the lid off. He picked up two more goals tonight to cap a ridiculous road trip that has put him tied for the league lead in points. We see you, Mikko.
Carl Soderberg (B) – He does Colorado’s dirty work in such a quiet, efficient manner some nights and tonight was definitely one of them. He was solid at ES and held his own against a very dangerous Flyers forward corps.
Semyon Varlamov (A+) – This guy is locked in to an insane degree right now. It’s not unfair to say he has played at a Vezina-caliber level in the season’s first three weeks. The only goal he gave up was an excellent tip from Nolan Patrick and I’m not sure anybody would’ve stopped that. His puck tracking was absolutely on point tonight. Colorado is going to win a whole bunch of games if Varly keeps this up.
Colin Wilson (C-) – I thought this might have been Wilson’s worst game of the season. He was sloppy with the puck, turning it over a handful of times and he didn’t generate much of anything on offense. It was a mostly low-event night for him but those events too frequently went in Philadelphia’s favor.
Nikita Zadorov (B) – It’s not often Zadorov finishes with zero hits and I still love the game he played but tonight is one of those nights. He was active offensively, jumping into the play and getting three shots on goal in the process. His defense was great and when he was on the ice, Colorado had an 11-3 advantage at 5v5 in scoring chances. That’s a huge gap. Great night for big Z.