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Avs Game 42 Grades: No Sympathy for the Devil

Evan Rawal Avatar
January 5, 2020

Pierre Edouard Bellemare – A

Tying your career-high in goals and points halfway through the season isn’t a bad start to your Avs career. The goal was a little bit of a gift, but you take them any way you can get them. Important face-off win from him on the Cole goal.

Andre Burakovsky – B

He had a lot of jump in the first period, including what looked like a goalpost short side, but kind of tailed off as the game went on. He barely played at even strength, which has been a consistent thing for him this year, for some reason.

Matt Calvert – C+

His “incidental” contact with Blackwood ended up being pretty important, as the Devils tried to get close at the end of the game. He missed a pass for a breakaway in the second period but was quiet otherwise until the third period contact and then his penalty.

Ian Cole – A

Still on pace for 40 points and isn’t doing anything fancy to achieve it. Just a simple point shot snuck through some bodies for the second Avs goal of the game, and then he picked up an assist on the empty netter.

J.T. Compher – B

I liked his speed this game, even if nothing went in for him and his linemates. The Avs controlled a lot of the play with him on the ice overall, at 65% of the shot share.

Joonas Donskoi – C

Donskoi sure does take a beating in front of the net, and did so again tonight, although he wasn’t rewarded for it. A relatively quiet night for him, as he was bumped off the top line as they were just not getting anything going.

Samuel Girard – A

He’s on a heater right now, as his rush up the ice led to the opening goal, as well as his screen of Blackwood. He picked up another assist on the empty netter and the Avs controlled 68% of the shot attempts with him out there, mostly due to his aggressiveness.

Ryan Graves – C-

It felt like a sloppy game from Graves overall. That pair got beat for a breakaway in the first period, and then Graves got burned by Wood in the third period for a breakaway, where he took a penalty after Wood was already past him.

Philipp Grubauer – B

The Avs had some sloppy moments in the first period and Grubauer was there to clean them up, with a big breakaway save and another on a two on one. A good start for him, with a great shot and a deflection being the only things beating him.

Erik Johnson – B

I think Girard did a lot of the heavy lifting, but EJ was good in this one, and active in the offensive zone. Even if not a lot comes from it with him, when he’s active in the offensive zone and moving around, it forces the defenders on the opposing team to move, which creates lanes.

Nazem Kadri – A-

I thought Kadri did everything but score tonight. He had a lot of chances and just wasn’t able to bury any of them. His only real slip up was maybe not taking the best angle on the Devils shorthanded goal, but Coleman also is just a super fast skater so he did what he could.

Vladislav Kamenev – B

A surprise entry in this one, as Nichushkin was a late scratch. Kamenev was solid, though, throwing some hits on his first shift of the game, and picking up an assist on Cole’s goal in the second period. He needs to produce in his limited time to get more chances.

Tyson Jost – C-

I didn’t think Jost was bad at all, but his chances all seemingly went high as he was looking for the perfect shot. He did make a nice pass on the power play in the first period, but a late penalty stings.

Gabriel Landeskog – C+

A relatively quiet night for the Captain, as his best chance in this one came in the first period, when he blocked a shot and had a semi-breakaway, but seemed to get caught in between wanting to shoot and pass, and missed high.

Nathan MacKinnon – B

MacK was on his way to a quiet night in this one, but then went superstar in the second period, hitting Mikko in the slot for the opening goal. He picked up another assist in the third, but the big thing from this one was how feisty he was. He took a big hit in the second period and then went right back at the Devils, and got nasty with Palmieri late too.

Cale Makar – C+

This felt like a very quiet game from him overall, and then he went and made a superstar play to start the third period to essentially put the game away. That’s what stars do.

Matt Nieto – C+

Some decent moments from Nieto in this one, but nothing really came to fruition. He and Calvert did do a lot of dirty work for Kadri on the forecheck.

Mikko Rantanen – A+

Mikko has looked uneven since his return from injury, but hard to argue with a hat trick. His first goal was an elite shot and release, his second goal showed how agile he is for a big dude, and his third goal, even though it was an empty netter, was a showcase of his high hockey IQ, waiting for the right moment to shoot.

Nikita Zadorov – C+

A very low even game for Z, which is unusual. Relatively quiet overall for him, but his big moment came in the third period when he seemed to block a sure goal from the Devils that would have made the game even closer.

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