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Avs Game 34 Grades: Winning in the Windy City

Evan Rawal Avatar
December 19, 2019

Mark Barberio – D

Not a good start for Barberio, as he and Lindholm spent a lot of time pinned in their own end in the first period. He tried to reverse the puck on the only Blackhawks goal, but just put too much on it and it ended up costing the Avs. I did think he settled down after that.

Pierre Edouard Bellemare – B

The fourth line was reunited and they kept the play pinned down low a lot. Like the rest of the team, they spent some time in their own end defensively in the third but it never felt very dangerous.

Andre Burakovsky – B+

That shot is ridiculous. I don’t know what else to say. Burakovsky has been driving me nuts lately, particularly exiting the defensive zone, as he’s been sloppy, but there’s no defending that release on his goal. Once again, he creates a goal out of basically nothing, something the Avs didn’t have from their secondary scoring last year.

Matt Calvert – B

Calvert must be reading his stat line with trying to overpass in the third period on that nice rush. You’d love to see him shoot it there. Had a nice breakout tip to Nieto for a two on one in the second period.

Ian Cole – A

Cole was a bull tonight. He had a couple of iffy moments with the puck, but really liked his game overall, and he’s cleaned up the penalties big time. He doesn’t score a ton of goals but that was a great shot, and he’s picking up secondary assists like it’s nobodies business this season.

J.T. Compher – C

That line spent more time in their end than the rest and was out for the only goal. I don’t really put blame on Compher, as the pass was just off to him on that one. I don’t think that he was bad at all, though, just an average game. He’s usually a lock for multiple points in Chicago but not tonight.

Joonas Donskoi – D

I thought Donskoi was sloppy tonight, especially with a turnover leaving his own end in the first period that was pretty blatant. He did recover relatively well on the play, though.

Pavel Francouz – A-

I wasn’t a huge fan of the only goal against, but with the turnover happening so quickly, it didn’t look like he was completely set for the shot, and gave up too much room far side. I don’t know what was going on with the penalty either, but he played well other than that, and now I think it’s Grubauer’s turn to bounce back.

Samuel Girard – A

I don’t really know what he’s got against DeBrincat, but there’s no love lost there. The hit may have been a tad late but I’m not even positive on that. Other than a few miscues on the power play, missing MacKinnon on some plays, I liked his game a lot tonight.

Ryan Graves – B+

A solid, steady game from him. He is not afraid to shoot the puck, no matter where he is on the ice, and registered another five shot attempts in this one.

Nazem Kadri – C

Kadri generated a lot of shots on net in this one, but it was one of those games where he overhanded the puck too much and turned it over because of it. He gets a little too fancy, especially along the offensive blue line, and that’s a risky place to give it up.

Tyson Jost – C

Jost was elevated to the second line tonight, which is a huge opportunity for him. It’s disappointing that he only registered one shot attempt in that time up there after generating quite a few of late. The production just has to start coming soon.

Gabriel Landeskog – A

I felt like this was Landy’s best game with the puck on his stick since returning. He’s had issues with it of late, but not tonight, and picked up a few assists to go with it. The top line was dominant in the first and set the tone.

Anton Lindholm – C

I never expected to see him again in the regular season, but here we are. His first two shifts were rough but he seemed to settle down after that. Lindholm points, no matter what league he’s playing in, are extremely rare, so for him to get an assist in his first game shows what kind of year it’s been for the Avs.

Nathan MacKinnon – A+

There aren’t many guys that can cause two defenders to just topple over each other in the neutral zone, but MacK is one of them. That goal in the second period was an absurd shot, and he was shot out of a cannon every time he was on the ice in the opening period.

Valeri Nichushkin – C

No shot attempts is pretty rare from Nuke of late, and he got frustrated enough in the third period to take his first minor penalty since 2015. Smith must have done something to piss him off.

Matt Nieto – B

Nieto is back in his safe place, playing on a line with two guys who play exactly the same as him, and they just continue to be a super-effective line at even strength. Had a nice chance on a two on one in the second period but was stopped by Crawford.

Mikko Rantanen – A

Mikko has used his big butt to his advantage a lot more the last two games, and when he does that, there’s no defender in the league that can handle him. He feasted on empty nets last season and picked up one in this one.

Nikita Zadorov – B

A nice bounce-back game from Z. I thought he got a little sloppy with the puck in the third but played really well overall. He, once again, played the most minutes against Patrick Kane, and Kane was kept off the scoresheet. Picked up his first point in a very long time, and I liked him being active in the offensive zone.


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