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Avs-Golden Knights preseason grades: A bad tradition

AJ Haefele Avatar
September 19, 2018

The Colorado Avalanche fell 5-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights in the first preseason game of the season. Below are player grades!

Geertsen, Mason (D-) – Two undisciplined penalties led to two Vegas goals. Regardless of anything else that happened tonight, and it wasn’t good, that was enough to give him the lowest grade I’ll give for a preseason game.

Barrie, Tyson (D+) – He was on his way to a bottom-rung grade until the assist in the third period. He didn’t really do anything other than receive a pass and tee the puck up for Graves but it’s more than anything else he did the rest of the night.

Johnson, Erik (D) – Noticing a theme here? The Avs defense wasn’t very good tonight and the best Colorado has to offer set the tone by not getting geared up at all. He looked disinterested the entire night.

Calvert, Matt (B-) – Calvert was the ultimate tryhard in a game where his teammates did not share his enthusiasm for playing hockey. He nearly scored a short-handed goal on the game’s first penalty kill but it was stopped. He played with more jump than just about anyone else and finished with three SOG.

O’Connor, Logan (B) – These are the games where young guys have a chance to make an impression on the coaching staff. Most of them failed to take advantage of that chance but O’Connor was solid. He was actively disruptive on the PK. A good start for a guy who needs a strong preseason to win over the staff.

Graves, Ryan (B+) – I liked his game before he blistered a shot past Fucale for Colorado’s only goal of the night. Then he scored and his grade jumped just a bit. It was a hell of a shot and highlighted one of his strengths. He had as solid a night as there was to be had in this one.

Cole, Ian (D-) – Every preseason you get reminded about the true apathy some veterans approach preseason games with. Nobody better defined that tonight than Ian Cole, whose night was summed up by a sequence where he blindly threw a pass in front of his own net, turning it over to Vegas, and slowly skated to the bench without ever looking back. Apathy!

MacKinnon, Nathan (C) – It was a hot start for MacKinnon and his linemates as they jumped out and showed plenty of energy early on. That energy faded almost immediately as they shifted into first gear for the rest of the night. Yawns were had.

Compher, J.T. (C+) – For as much as I noticed Calvert and O’Connor, I didn’t really see Compher standing out as much. He made the play to set up Calvert’s scoring chance early on and had a nice backhand shot later on. He was just okay.

Nantel, Julien (C-) – Nantel was a guy I barely noticed tonight. He finished with five hits and I’m sure the coaching staff will like that but I didn’t see much of an impact there.

Dickinson, Josh (C-) – I liked what I saw from Dickinson early on but as the game went on he faded more and more from relevancy. He wasn’t able to sustain his early-game energy level or impact.

Beaudin, J.C. (C-) – Like Nantel, I just didn’t see much from Beaudin tonight. He got crushed on faceoffs, though, so at least he fits right in.

Henry, Nick (B-) – I liked a lot of what I saw from Henry tonight. He was energetic throughout and had a clean breakaway in the second period. He tried to go five-hole on Fucale but got shut down. He was one of Colorado’s better forwards tonight in my opinion.

Barron, Travis (C-) – I really believe Barron has a chance to carve out an NHL career built on killing penalties, hitting guys, and being a high-character guy in the locker room. Basically, he could be Gabe Bourque when all is said and done. Tonight wasn’t a good step towards that, however.

Anderson, Josh (D-) – Anderson’s game was summed up pretty nicely when one of the scouts got up to leave in the third period and looked at us and said “Boy, that 76” and made a face fit for Halloween.

Saigeon, Brandon (C+) – I liked Saigeon’s game overall and he nearly had the same kind of rebound goal he feasted on in the Vegas rookie showcase. He didn’t look as out of place as I expected and he’s a guy that just may stick around longer than expected.

Landeskog, Gabriel (C) – He took a big hit and laid one tonight and that was just about it. He had a great shift in the second period where he was a maniac on the puck and just outworking guys but there wasn’t nearly enough of that. Preseason!

Rantanen, Mikko (C) – He looked sharp early on and faded to the same apathetic box most of his teammates eventually ended up in tonight.

Varlamov, Semyon (C-) – The reality is that Varly got out of this one healthy and that’s by far the most important thing for him. His play had moments and he tracked the puck well but he was just not that good tonight.

Martin, Spencer (B-) – He had a very flashy glove save and that was awesome. The goals that beat him wouldn’t have been stopped by just about any goalie out there. It was a fine cameo for the kid.


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