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Avs Game 9 Grades: Spare a leg for Mikko

Evan Rawal Avatar
October 22, 2019

Erik Johnson – D

The Avs only mustered up one even-strength shot on goal while EJ was on the ice. Obviously, he’s not all to blame, but like many of his teammates, nothing happened with him out there. Zero shot attempts from him on the evening, which is something he has consistently been bringing this season.

Cale Makar – C-

The Avs moved Makar to the second PP unit to get some pressure off him and for him to shoot more. He did shoot more, but all of his attempts were blocked. At even strength, he didn’t produce any shot attempts either. I did think, overall, it was a much calmer game from Makar all over the ice, so I think that’s something he can carry into the next one.

Matt Calvert – C-

I’m not sure if Calvert was injured or just really tired prior to the third goal, but he went to the bench very slowly, which helped the Blues turn the puck back up the ice really quickly for the goal that kind of put things away.

Nikita Zadorov – C

I actually thought this was the most controlled game Z has had this year. You could tell he was making a big-time effort around his net to block out his guys, and not chase up high. He drew a penalty with a nice move in the second period, but…the penalties from him just have to stop.

Tyson Jost – B

Once again, that line played solid amongst their peers that struggled. Jost registered another four shots on goal and just looks confident with the puck. He’s been really good at pressuring goalies into making mistakes when they’re playing the puck, and it created one of the Avs few chances late in the game.

Colin Wilson – B-

Wilson just had another steady game overall, where he worked hard on the boards and created space for his linemates. He took a big hit in the second and just a few moments later took a run at a Blues player. That run took him so far out of the play that when the Blues turned it over, Wilson was behind everyone with a clean break, but he missed the net.

Ryan Graves – C

Schenn got him to bite on the opening goal for the Blues by faking a shot, which got Graves to go down for a second, which was all the room he needed. Graves subsequently ended up blocking his goalie’s eyes and not the shot. Other than that, I thought he was fine.

Ian Cole – D-

What the heck was the penalty in the first? You can’t play the puck with one skate on the bench, and that hesitation just cost the Avs. He had some wild plays in the third period, where he got beat badly at the blue line that led to some rush chances for the Blues. But he wasn’t on the ice for an even-strength goal against, so the plus/minus dream of +100 lives on.

Nathan MacKinnon – D

That goal was something superstars can only do, threading it through three defenders top shelf. Beyond that, it was a rough night for MacKinnon. No shot attempts at even strength and was stymied at every turn. He had the worst possession numbers on the team, and the Avs only registered one shot on goal in his 15 minutes of even-strength ice time.

J.T. Compher – B-

Like the rest of his linemates, Compher played fine, but he got a little too cute with the puck late in the game when he needs to just keep it simple overall. He was credited with zero shots on goal.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – D

Another rough night in the face-off circle, but my main issue with him was on the third goal. He had plenty of space to skate the puck, get to the blue line, and dump it in, or hit a teammate with a pass to dump it in. With tired linemates, it was needed. Instead, he flipped the puck in the air, it landed at center ice, and the Blues turned it around for a quick goal. That goal basically ended the game.

Samuel Girard – C

The move to the top unit had a nice start, as the first PP of the night was easily the Avs best, but they couldn’t finish. Girard had a nice keep in at the blueline knocking the puck out of mid-air. After that, the heavy forecheck of the Blues smothered the Avs and kept Girard and his controlled breakouts in check.

Joonas Donskoi – D

Possibly his worst game in an Avs uniform. Too much stick handling and not enough substance, particularly on the power play. Just one of several players who didn’t register an even-strength shot attempt.

Matt Nieto – C

A quiet night overall for Nieto. He was only on the ice for eight total shot attempts by either team, so things were just generally very quiet when he was out there, which isn’t a bad thing.

Nazem Kadri – B-

He had several chances early in the game, but Binnington made some big saves on him, some that he didn’t even seem aware that he was making. He seemed like one of the few guys with some jump tonight. The post-whistle penalty seemed like an excuse for the refs to even things up.

Gabriel Landeskog – D

I thought this was another uninvolved game from Landy. No even-strength shot attempts spent a large portion of the night defending in his own end, and not enough physicality, as one of the few players that can provide it against a bigger Blues team.

Andre Burakovsky – D

A tough one for Burakovsky, as he took two penalties (one of which was questionable). I do like that he continues to shoot at even strength, and got the chance to wind up and rip it on the power play this evening as well.

Mikko Rantanen – INC

We will pray to the injury gods that his leg is okay, but it didn’t look good. Just hoping for the best here. I have a slightly used leg he can take if needed.

Philipp Grubauer – C

Grubauer was fine overall, but that third goal looked a little leaky and it was a big one. He had no chance on the second goal, and on the first one, the camera angles showed he couldn’t even see the shot get released. I liked the feistiness at the end with Perron.

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