Upgrade Your Fandom

Join the Ultimate DNVR Sports Community!

Avs Game 34 Grades: Surviving the Coyotes

AJ Haefele Avatar
January 15, 2022

Pavel Francouz – B

The truth here is that his play in regulation wasn’t great. Two of the goals that got by him had issues and the other my main problem was that he wasn’t even close. Then he was stellar at the end of regulation, in overtime, and locked it down in the shootout. What more can you ask for? Instead of letting a mediocre night turn into a bad night, he salvaged the game and helped Colorado get two points when they were on the verge of zero late in the third period.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel – B

Finished with dominant shot metrics as the Coyotes did basically nothing with him on the ice (except that third-period AZ goal, which I’m not putting on NAK). Was physical and got pucks on net. Kept it simple and was effective. Playing pretty good hockey right now.

Andre Burakovsky – A

Made a great find in transition on Colorado’s first goal and then scored the game-tying goal a minute after the Coyotes had taken the lead. This is the Burakovsky you love to see. Creating offense and not giving it back defensively.

J.T. Compher – D

I didn’t notice Compher at even strength at all in this game but was solid on the PK. That definitely was needed tonight but this is the kind of weaker opponent where a player like Compher should separate a bit. He didn’t.

Samuel Girard – D

Girard finished with great shot metrics but his personal puck management sure left a lot to be desired. His casual pass to Toews kickstarted the Coyotes SHG that helped turn the momentum in Arizona’s favor at the end of the first period. He had multiple plays with the puck where you wanted to see…something, anything better than what he did. This is a low grade based on expectations of his play and him just not getting there.

Erik Johnson – B+

On the flip side, I thought EJ was very good in this game. His puck management had a moment or two, as did most of Colorado’s defense, but his actual defense was very good. I loved his board work, where he outbattled a number of guys and helped ignite Avalanche breakouts from sheer will.

Jack Johnson – B

Great shot metrics for this Johnson and really good work on the PK (EJ, too, though I failed to mention it above). Loved this version of Jack Johnson. Against good NHL teams, JJ might be a liability at times but you saw him really flex his muscles against the AHL-heavy Coyotes.

Tyson Jost – A

Less than 10 minutes of ice time and he finished with a goal and five shots on goal. Big energy element in this game and was really driving the fourth line at times. The addition of Maltsev really seemed to help add to the skill of the line, which Jost needs. It brought out one of his better games this year.

Nazem Kadri – A

Kadri was a quiet monster tonight. He officially finished with zero points but only because other players couldn’t finish off plays he made and Arizona’s goaltender was pretty good. Kadri was all over the Coyotes and his steal and pass to Rantanen should’ve ended the game in OT. He did end the game with the only goal in the shootout with a great move to his backhand.

Kurtis MacDermid – B

I don’t really know what to do here so I’ll give more weight to the assist than the penalty he took being the tough guy in defending Makar on a perfectly legal hit. It was a nice play with the puck that led to his assist. I’ll focus on that since I tend to focus on the skill stuff other players do, too.

Nathan MacKinnon – C

I really didn’t like MacKinnon’s game tonight. He did very little on the power play despite having the puck most of the time and his effort when things didn’t go his way was very frustrating at times. He outright quit on at least one play where the puck went the other way and he sulked back to the bench. MacKinnon is an elite player but those are moments that drive you crazy.

Cale Makar – B-

Thought Makar was just off with his puck distribution tonight. He missed some easy spots and maybe forced a puck or two to teammates when he should’ve shot. Other than that, I really liked his defensive effort and all-around profile as he blocked shots and used his body effectively. On a night where his offense isn’t dominant (he still had an assist), seeing him make a difference defensively is great.

Mikhail Maltsev – B

I really liked Maltsev in limited minutes. Made a nice play to start the Jost play when he won a puck in the corner and got it to MacDermid. The NHL took his assist away, which sucks, but he responded by drawing a penalty in the third period when he outworked a Coyotes player behind their net. Good night for him. Wish he could’ve kept his point.

Ryan Murray – INC

Played just seven minutes and got hurt with an upper-body injury. MacDermid is already slated to go back to defense tomorrow night so we’ll see what happens with Murray but he was off to a great start tonight before the injury.

Alex Newhook – C

Newhook made a great pass early in the first period that probably should’ve resulted in a Colorado goal but then slowly disappeared as the game wore on.

Val Nichushkin – B

A night of “what if?” for Nuke as he beat Prosvetov early in the game but got post and then made a great solo rush in overtime that was turned away by a pad save. He was very good throughout the night and his defensive acumen really showed up as chances were very limited with him on the ice despite predominantly defensive zone deployment.

Logan O’Connor – C

He has really quieted down a lot recently. He was good on the PK but not the same spark he has been in the past. Pushing on the ceiling right now.

Mikko Rantanen – C-

Scored a goal and could’ve (should’ve?) won the game in OT when Kadri made a great play to find him open in front but he tipped the puck wide. Scored a goal at the start of the game and instead of using it as a springboard for a better game, seemed to really disappear and slip into passenger mode.

Devon Toews – C+

He had two assists but was by far the guy who struggled the most to me in this one. His puck management is usually outstanding but he was really fighting it tonight and it showed. Naturally I say he’s fighting the puck on a night when he finishes with two assists but that’s the way of the great player: succeeding when they aren’t at their best.

Scroll to next article

Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?