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Avs-Islanders player grades: Outplayed

AJ Haefele Avatar
December 18, 2018

Player grades for the Colorado Avalanche’s loss to the New York Islanders.

Sven Andrighetto (D) – Not great, Bob. I loved his game in St. Louis but he’s immediately fallen back into the familiar pattern we’ve seen in his Colorado career. Flashes of excellence followed by a few games of being a total non-factor.

Tyson Barrie (C-) – On one hand, he snagged an assist and came close to a couple more points. On the other, he was far too turnover-prone and he can’t be giving back the gains he creates on offense. I don’t think he did that tonight but with as much PP time as the Avs had, they weren’t nearly good enough and Barrie is the QB of PP1.

Gabriel Bourque (D) – Crushes almost every offensive chance his line produces. I don’t understand why this guy remains in the lineup with the way the PK continues to struggle.

Matt Calvert (C) – This line was fine, I guess. Calvert didn’t really move the needle in either direction tonight.

Ian Cole (C-) – That kneeing penalty was pure stupidity and there’s no sugar-coating an ugly, unnecessary hit. It cost his team a goal, too, and he needs to be much better than that. As a whole, I didn’t find Cole’s game to be problematic tonight. Because they lost, people will overlook what I thought was a decent overall effort by the defense.

J.T. Compher (C) – Compher saw a ton of ice time tonight and I think he was certainly part of the struggles the top PP unit had (they all played a role, nobody was solely to blame). Some of his decision-making really struck me as suspect and this felt like the kind of game where his ceiling as a player is really obvious. I still think he’s more of a third liner than top six guy and nights like tonight only reinforce that opinion.

Sheldon Dries (C) – He barely played but I thought he generated a little offense out there. I liked what I saw in very limited time. Losing four of five faceoffs in only five minutes of ice time seems like an incredible feat more than anything else.

Samuel Girard (C-) – This might be just a touch on the harsh side simply because they lost but I really felt like there was more to give from G tonight. He did well in getting his shots through but some of his puck movement was questionable and his work in the defensive zone felt lacking at times. He seemed to get away from what he does well on defense tonight and he just can’t do that.

Erik Johnson (C) – Didn’t love Johnson’s game either but it wasn’t bad. I’m not sure there’s a player on this team whose play confuses me quite like EJ’s. There’s so much talent in that body and it feels like we’re just not seeing it consistently enough this year.

Tyson Jost (B-) – I thought his process was really good. It really feels like this line can’t elevate on a consistent basis and they don’t have a horse who can put his head down and drag them out of the doldrums. If one guy isn’t going well, and tonight it was both Andrighetto and Compher, the one guy playing well can’t make anything happen.

Gabriel Landeskog (C+) – I’m not sure what to make of Colorado’s top line tonight. The eyes told me they were not good. The eyes told me they struggled a ton, especially on the power play. And the postgame numbers are simply dominant. I mean dominant! That was most definitely not the case but it’s hard to say too much about them. You know Landy is only four goals from tying his career-high in a season? It’s December 17.

Nathan MacKinnon (C-) – It doesn’t happen often but I was legitimately shocked when I looked at the final numbers and saw MacKinnon had six shots on goal. It felt like he was in pass-only mode tonight. It was a really frustrating night to watch him play. He passed up a handful of great chances trying to make the perfect play. Sometimes you just have to keep it simple, Nate.

Patrik Nemeth (B-) – Colorado’s third pairing didn’t see much ice time tonight but I thought they were rock solid. Of all of Colorado’s problems, their bottom pairing wasn’t even close to one of them.

Matt Nieto (C-) – It’s been a lot of praise for Nieto from me recently but I think tonight he came down to earth a bit. His speed was negated at every turn and that line ran into their familiar problem of not knowing what to do once they reach the end of the ice. They lack the creativity to consistently create offense out of the cycle so it becomes literal exercise as they delay the inevitable of lost possession.

Mikko Rantanen (C) – There were some moments from Rantanen I liked. There were plenty I didn’t. I’m still not sure why he’s so shy about shooting when he has such a lethal shot. It’s hard to argue with the guy leading the NHL in points but on a night where the norm wasn’t working, a little shake-up might have been necessary.

Carl Soderberg (C) – As I’ve mentioned above, these guys just kind of existed tonight. There wasn’t a lot of good or bad from this group. Just a whole lot of…”well they were out there.”

Semyon Varlamov (D) – It just wasn’t good enough yet again. Colorado’s defense did a good job in limiting both quality and quantity and Varly still couldn’t do rise to the task. He’s been terrible and Bednar needs to just let him take a few games off.

Colin Wilson (C+) – It was a lot better with Wilson on the wing versus him at center. His process was much better. Truth is if Wilson is going to continue toiling away on the fourth line, he’s probably done as an impact player for this team.

Nikita Zadorov (B) – I liked Zadorov’s game tonight. He was solid overall, like Nemeth. They did well even though all the special teams play skewed the ice time out of whack.


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