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Avs Game 33 Grades: Outmuscled in St. Louis

Evan Rawal Avatar
December 17, 2019

Mark Barberio – C-

Barbs did not start the game well, with a penalty on his first shift as his man got behind him. He did manage to draw a penalty in the second period, so it even out a bit there. His shot metrics overall were fine but I don’t remember any real standout plays from him. He was a part of the group that was stuck on the ice for a significant amount of time prior to Kadri’s four-minute penalty.

Pierre Edouard Bellemare – C

The third line was fine. They didn’t really stand out in either direction tonight, and Bellemare, a big part of the PK, wasn’t on the ice for either of the power play goals by the Blues in this one either.

Andre Burakovsky – F

Arguably the worst player on the ice in this one. It was a tough night overall for him. He had one flashy shift in the second period where he got his only shot on net tonight, but he had numerous turnovers leaving the zone on the wing, and that forced the Avs to get hemmed in a lot. On the opening goal, he got outmuscled off the puck, and then just left his guy all alone. Just a really bad night for him, and with only four shots on goal in the last five games, the offense has dried up a bit.

Matt Calvert – C

Much like Bellemare, Calvert had a quiet night but didn’t hurt the team in any way. He was a part of the game-winning goal on the penalty kill, but he was in a tougher spot as he had to account for the other point man involved.

Ian Cole – C+

Cole was alright. Didn’t have any major issues with him in this one. His shot metrics were the best on the defense, which is strange because his partner was way at the other end. He blocked a few shots in this one, including one that stung him pretty badly in the first, but missed on the second Blues goal and may have blocked Grubauer’s sight a little bit.

J.T. Compher – C+

Compher had one of the Avs better chances in the first coming down the wing with speed but put it right into Binnington. I think that line is doing some good things at times, but we’re also over 30 games into the season and Compher has only three goals. That’s a little…underwhelming.

Joonas Donskoi – D

Although they did provide the only even-strength goal of the game, it felt like that second line really was a mess in this one, and it’s been a tough few games for him. To be honest, there are times where it doesn’t look like Donskoi is healthy, as he takes a few moments to get up off the ice. He’s one of the few guys to have played in every game and he’s probably dealing with some stuff right now.

Samuel Girard – C

I do think Sam was much better running the power play tonight than he has been since Makar went down. His one shot created a rebound and an opportunity, and he picked up an assist on Rantanen’s goal. He also hit the post really early in the game and that could have changed things a bit. I didn’t dislike Sam as much as some other D.

Ryan Graves – D

Great play on the Kadri goal, and some nice offensive instincts there. After that, I felt like his game kind of fell apart. On the game-winning goal, he let not one, but two royal road passes right by him for the goal. I thought there were a few soft plays from him in the defensive zone with the puck as well.

Philipp Grubauer – C-

A weird one to grade him, because this game could have very easily been way worse with how awful the Avs played in the third. On the first goal, he didn’t even react. The second goal he was beaten pretty clean with a slight screen by Cole. Third goal, I don’t really put on him, but the fourth one he was really far out of the net and not even close to getting back. Some good moments but some ugly goals against.

Nazem Kadri – D-

The goal saved him but an otherwise sloppy game from him. There’s no doubt the four-minute penalty, which was very deserved, changed the fortunes of this game and cost the Avs big time.

Tyson Jost – B-

I will say it again, but Jost was one of the few guys I liked from start to finish. He was creating things down low and set up Compher for his nice chance early. But we’re at another game where the process is alright, and there’s no production to follow along.

Gabriel Landeskog – D

Threw a pretty nice hit in the first period, but has he ever looked rusty with the puck since coming back. The puck just isn’t cooperating with him at all and it isn’t coming together at the moment.

Nathan MacKinnon – B-

What does this guy have to do to get a penalty called against him? He was hooked, held, high sticked in the first period on a rush and still created a chance but they let everything go. Picked up an assist on Rantanen’s goal and had his moments, but I would see why he would be frustrated in a game like this one with the way it was called.

Valeri Nichushkin – C

Nuke had a moment that could have changed the game big time in the second with a breakaway but didn’t even hit the net. He had some rough moments leaving the zone in the third and then randomly got another rush as well.

Matt Nieto – C

Had the best shot metrics of any player in this one on Colorado, but also contributed to only one of those attempts. I did like his forecheck on a shift early in the first that led to some zone time but a relatively quiet game from him.

Mikko Rantanen – B

I felt like Mikko was probably their best player in this one, and apart from his first game back from injury, his best game since getting back into the lineup. He used his size and strength to hold off defenders a few times, and had to fight through some hooking and holding to do it. The one-timer was classic Mikko and something I’d like to see him do more.

Calle Rosen – D

Took a penalty on one of his first shifts of the evening, and seemed to be glued to the bench for the majority of the game, barely going over 10 minutes. Seemed to play a bit timid from the penalty forward.

Nikita Zadorov – F

Easily his worst game since EJ went down. He’s avoided the “big” mistake but the turnover to seal the game for the Blues was exactly that. Even if the Avs were playing awful, a one-goal game is just a good bounce away from tying it all up and that goal ended that.

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