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Avs-Hurricanes player grades: Grubauer steals the show

AJ Haefele Avatar
October 20, 2018

The Colorado Avalanche beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1. Below are player grades!

Sven Andrighetto (C) – Very few players had good shot metrics today but I don’t think the Avs played nearly as poorly as those will show. Andrighetto got crushed (get used to this in today’s grades) in shot metrics but the eyes told me he was okay so I’m giving him a middle of the road grade.

Tyson Barrie (C+) – His 36% CF was actually good enough for a positive relative to his teammates. That really drives home how bad the shot share is for Colorado today. Barrie was just fine today and added an assist on their PPG today. It’s been a quiet start for him but he’s up to five points now.

Gabriel Bourque (C) – A 12% CF for Bourque today but the things I noticed from him were the small things. He had a key blocked shot and him winning a foot race to negate icing in the final minute of the game was great. It’s always the little stuff with Gourque.

Matt Calvert (C+) – This line was actually positive in shot metrics today (the only one that managed that feat) and handled their business. Calvert continues to put up zeroes on the scoresheet (that needs to change) but he’s the master of the small things. He’s been really reliable in a bottom six that badly needs stability.

Ian Cole (B) – Cole is an interesting case study in a game like this. Negative in shot metrics, but positive in scoring chances and high-danger chances. That means while the Hurricanes were generating shots, they weren’t anywhere near the net when Cole was on the ice. We call that good defense.

Samuel Girard (B-) – There were some hiccups today as he continues to poke and prod the limits of his abilities and figure out what he’s able to get away with but he mixed in his usual flashes of brilliance to create an interesting show to watch. His denial of Sebastian Aho on a near-breakaway late in the game was huge.

Philipp Grubauer (A+) – A career-high in saves for Grubi and he was huge throughout. There’s no way Colorado leaves with a regulation win without his brilliance today. Losing the shutout late was a rude introduction to life as a Colorado netminder but at least he’s settling in.

Erik Johnson (C+) – It used to be frustrating anytime EJ took a penalty or fought someone because the step down in quality of defensemen on the Avs was so low overall they simply couldn’t afford any emotional outbursts from Johnson. Today, he threw down with Michael Ferland after a high hit on Jost and the Avs just kept humming along. I loved the leadership from EJ to let his young teammate know he had his back. And like Cole, the metrics might have been negative but the quality of chances was very low. Thumbs up from me.

Tyson Jost (D) – This was mostly a no-show for the second line entirely. Second game in a row Jost has failed to attempt a single shot at even strength. His minutes have dropped quite a bit and it’s not hard to see why as he keeps searching for offense.

Vladislav Kamenev (C) – After some strong games, this was a minor step back for Kamenev as he just didn’t contribute much today. His work in the faceoff circle continues to be positive for him.

Alexander Kerfoot (D) – Like Jost, this was the second game in a row without a shot attempt at even strength. Avs can’t lean so heavily on the top line forever. They need help and Kerfoot needs to step up.

Gabriel Landeskog (A+) – I don’t care what the shot numbers look like when you get crazy hot like Landeskog has been. Five goals in two games? That’ll do.

Nathan MacKinnon (A+) – MacKinnon followed up his three-point performance with…another three-point performance. His absolute snipe in the final minutes of the game was the dagger that put Carolina away and was just filthy.

Patrik Nemeth (D) – Unlike some of his fellow defensemen, Nemeth did not suppress quality of chances despite giving up a large number of attempts. Carolina got pretty much whatever the hell it wanted with him on the ice – except goals. So no F.

Matt Nieto (C) – Nieto ended up on the positive end of shot metrics as his work alongside Soderberg and Calvert was rock solid yet again. He may not stay there much longer but I think he’s bounced back from a very slow start with two straight respectable games.

Mikko Rantanen (B) – He was a Beast on the puck again tonight and we even saw some real defensive growth from him today. Continued generating great scoring chances with not much more than what appeared to be pure magic. He’s definitely not a muggle.

Carl Soderberg (B) – I thought Soderberg was consistently solid throughout. He does his job so quietly and so effectively it’s easy to forget about him. He’s been Colorado’s actual 2C so far this year. Dude needs to turn it around in the faceoff department, however.

Colin Wilson (D+) – A steal behind the net and subsequent shot on goal was the only puck put on net at even strength by this line. Good for him for getting it but that’s not going to fly.

Nikita Zadorov (D+) – Sam Girard should never have more hits than big Z in a game. The quality of chances against when Z was on the ice was pretty mind-boggling when you realize how little Z played at even strength. Not a great night for the big guy but that just means Philly needs to be really nervous for the extra motivated Z they’re likely to get.


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