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Avs-Flyers player grades: Wilson finds land

AJ Haefele Avatar
October 7, 2018

The Colorado Avalanche beat the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 5-2. Below are player grades!

Mark Barberio (C-) – Not a great night for Barberio as his puck management was very poor. I don’t blame him for the second Philadelphia goal at all but even beyond that he just was not good enough.

Tyson Barrie (C+) – Quiet night for Barrie overall as his power play work was forgettable but defensively was stout enough. Not much here tonight.

Gabriel Bourque (C-) – I’ve already grown frustrated with his usage as offensively he’s a possession killer. He’s good defensively and on the penalty kill but his lack of finish is glaring next to a player like Soderberg.

Matt Calvert (B) – I love this dude. I understand Columbus has to pay some young guys but letting this guy get away doesn’t seem like smart business. He played hard tonight and was effective in limited ice time. He’s as advertised on the penalty kill and he blocked three more shots tonight.

Ian Cole (B) – Rock solid yet again. His work on the PK really elevated his grade tonight because his active stick was downright disruptive at times. He’s had two good games so far.

J.T. Compher (B+) – I don’t mind the penalties too much because the rest of his game was him kicking ass and taking names. He scored his second goal of the season and played an excellent pest game.

Sheldon Dries (A) – Loved his game tonight. Stuffed the stat sheet with some great all-around play and his backcheck late in the third period to break up a scoring chance was fantastic.

Samuel Girard (B+) – There were some truly excellent moments from Girard and his assist was awesome but he still is having some minor issues with icing the puck on longer outlet passes. He nailed a couple stretch passes so it’s going to happen but that’s all that’s keeping his grade from being higher.

Erik Johnson (A) – Johnson finished the night with three assists but his lackluster effort on Philadelphia’s first goal keeps his grade from being an A+. The third assist was a gift because he went from laying on the puck trying to get a stoppage to Rantanen fishing it out and moving it ahead for an empty-net goal by MacKinnon but it still counts.

Tyson Jost (B) – More than his offensive game, which was defined by four blocked shot attempts, Jost has been excellent defensively so far and that continued tonight. His aggressive forecheck created the possession that led to Colorado’s first goal.

Alexander Kerfoot (A+) – I thought Kerfoot was excellent again tonight and his two assists were well-earned. He’s been an animal this year and if he keeps it up his next contract could very well start with a six.

Gabriel Landeskog (B-) – I didn’t love the top line but they still registered two goals on the night. Landeskog’s goal was a perfect deflection.

Nathan MacKinnon (B) – He had a goal and assist but honestly I felt like his game was lacking a bit. That he still racked up multiple points and seven shots on goal (with four more blocked) speak to what a special talent he is. I sat next to the Flyers scratched players tonight and they couldn’t stop raving about MacKinnon’s speed and hands.

Matt Nieto (D) – After a solid performance in game one, this line badly struggled tonight. Nieto was, to my eye, their worst forward on the penalty kill and didn’t accomplish anything at even strength.

Mikko Rantanen (C+) – The plus is solely kudos for his assist to cap the game off because the rest of his night was mouse levels of quiet. He was much more active defensively than we’re accustomed to seeing. If that becomes a new normal, his game is going to hit a special level.

Carl Soderberg (C+) – I liked his work on the penalty kill and he snagged a power play assist in the third period. Beyond that, his best play was a cross-ice feed to Bourque who couldn’t finish it off. He’s clearly head and shoulders above his linemates in raw talent and he’s trying to make the best of it but I’m not sure this combination can continue long-term.

Semyon Varlamov (B+) – The second goal was a fiasco and I’ve got Varly pegged as the primary culprit. He either has to call Barberio off or just let the play go but not telling his defenseman he’s going to randomly try to cover the puck several feet outside of his crease is a recipe for the disaster that ended up happening. It didn’t matter, however, as Varly otherwise slammed the door shut.

Colin Wilson (A+) – I felt confident about his preseason play in saying he was due for a bounce-back season to some extent but I wasn’t expecting it to be quite like this. That said, the Avs have had guys get off to great starts before completely cratering in recent years (Colborne, Yakupov) as the season wore on. Whatever happens down the road will happen but this was a hell of a game for Wilson.

Nikita Zadorov (D) – His puck management was downright bad and his defense wasn’t a whole lot better. His 13 minutes of ice time is all you need to know about what the coaching staff thought of his play.


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