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Avs-Lightning player grades: So close, so far

AJ Haefele Avatar
October 25, 2018

The Colorado Avalanche lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 tonight. Below are player grades!

Sven Andrighetto (B-) – There were some head-shaking moments on one power play in particular where he just wasn’t as locked in as he needed to be but he was Colorado’s most consistent shooting threat beyond that. His aggressive mentality of everything going forward is a boon on a Colorado team featuring a lot of passive playmakers.

Tyson Barrie (C-) – He had a tough night tonight and the chances that Colorado did create on the power play didn’t have anything to do with the QB of its top unit. That remains a problem.

Gabriel Bourque (C) – He was fine. There wasn’t much in the good or bad category from Bourque tonight that I saw. He was involved in one notable scoring chance but that was it offensively. He was on the ice for the only goal against of the game but in that situation, I don’t think he did anything wrong. Two players just made a great play.

Matt Calvert (C-) – A pretty low-event night for Calvert and his line but as a guy who needs to be the master of the little things to maximize his talent, he was just off tonight. He had an opportunity to spring a three on one but he pushed the pass too far ahead and it ended up being nothing. He was thisclose to creating some noise tonight but just missed. That’s his margin of error and when he’s not making those plays, he’s not doing much of anything.

Ian Cole (B) – Cole was a dude tonight, blocking six shots and generally doing a lot of the right things. Again, I’m not blaming any Avs for the one goal TB managed to score. Stamkos and Kucherov made a fantastic play and Colorado paid the price for it. I liked Cole a lot tonight.

Marko Dano (B) – Hell yeah getting into it, Marko. He laid a big hit at center ice then had to defend himself in a fight for it because hockey has some silly unwritten rules sometimes. He five (!) hits in just 6:36 of ice time. Better than nothing.

Samuel Girard (B) – His fancy stats were rock solid and he played 22 minutes tonight. He’s responded to the challenge by rising to it. He’s not even playing his best yet but boy was he good defensively tonight. He is so active with his stick. The guy is more disruptive than the dude in 352 shouting “SHOOOOOOT”

Erik Johnson (B) – EJ has been an interesting guy this year. Tonight really summed up his season to date so far in my eyes. Good top pairing showing and he came thisclose to making the play of the night to prevent TB’s lone goal. He was active offensively, too.

Tyson Jost (D+) – I hate to do it to one of the nice guys of the sport but Jost just didn’t play well tonight. I’m not going to go crazy over the offside. We’re talking about less than a full second of timing at full speed. But beyond that, he just wasn’t good. His complete lack of confidence is killing him. For a kid who is so tough on himself every day, he has to be in a bad spot mentally right now. I wonder if he could use a night off to recalibrate himself emotionally. Something is broken right now.

Alexander Kerfoot (B-) – He was great in the faceoff circle (?!?) but beyond that, I didn’t think he had a major impact on the game. He created some nice chances but the lack of finish continues to haunt this line.

Gabriel Landeskog (B) – He scored a beautiful goal tonight and generally played a damn solid game. Obviously, it not counting sucks but it had nothing to do with him. He was good again in the faceoff circle as he continues to vulture more and more opportunities from MacKinnon there.

Nathan MacKinnon (B-) – Dude was all over the place but he seemed to be looking to create for those around him more than looking for his own. He managed four shots on goal but none of them came at even strength, which is pretty shocking. His lack of finish on a breakaway in the third loomed large.

Patrik Nemeth (C) – This was just okay for Nemo. His fancy stats aren’t good and his ice time was way down but had you told me coming in that Tampa Bay would have just four shots on goal at 5v5 when Nemeth was on the ice, I’d have taken that in a heartbeat. It wasn’t quite the bloodbath it looked like on the fancy stat postgame sheet.

Matt Nieto (D+) – This was a bad night for that line. Nieto got beat up across the board and wasn’t involved in much of anything productive on offense. This was a matchup nightmare for the Avalanche.

Mikko Rantanen (B-) – We saw stretches of truly dominant play out of Rantanen on the road trip but he seemed just out of sync enough tonight that he reminded me of Baby Goat Rantanen from his rookie year. He wasn’t moving his feet the way he has been recently and spent a lot of the game trying to make up for that with his pterodactyl-esque wingspan but it wasn’t enough for him tonight. He’s still trying to get his shot going.

Carl Soderberg (C-) – Like his linemates, Soderberg appears just a step behind what he normally is. He was competitive in 15 faceoffs but not much else went well.

Semyon Varlamov (A) – This guy continues to be great. He wasn’t asked to be special tonight but he still made a couple of “holy jumpin'”-worthy saves. The goal against is the kind of goal that beats every goalie in the world 90% of the time.

Colin Wilson (C) – Remember when he scored three goals early in the season? Good times, good times.

Nikita Zadorov (C+) – Shot metrics weren’t in Zadorov’s favor and his ice time was limited enough that he wasn’t able to dig himself out of the hole. That said, I really liked his decisions with the puck tonight. I think his poor shot metrics had more to do with factors outside of just him. I watched him pretty closely tonight and felt he really played a fine game.


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