Avs-Oilers player grades: Losing streak ends

AJ Haefele Avatar
November 12, 2018

The Colorado Avalanche topped the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 tonight. Below are player grades.

Tyson Barrie (A+) – Hellllll yes. We’ve been waiting on this one for a while. We knew Barrie’s numbers were exceeding his on-ice play but tonight was the night when we saw the offensive brilliance we’re accustomed to seeing from him. He was awesome tonight.

Gabriel Bourque (C-) – All the things that went well tonight, I didn’t see it from Bourque. I think his work on the PK is getting overrated. He spends too much of his time reading plays late and scrambling.

Matt Calvert (C+) – This grade would have been higher because I think he played a solid game but the penalty he took early in the game could have betrayed the very early lead they managed to build. Those kinds of self-inflicted wounds were a big part of the losing streak. They overcame it tonight and that was a big reason they found success.

Ian Cole (B-) – A quieter game overall but he was rock solid per usual. Some shots against but the quality wasn’t there for Edmonton. He just keeps humming along as a steady presence.

Sheldon Dries (C+) – He had some really good moments and I liked his active stick on the penalty kill. He was really solid and disruptive in limited ice time. A lazy turnover in the third led to an Oilers goal and fringe players like Dries can’t be hurting you like that.

Samuel Girard (B+) – Good, aggressive play from him with the puck and his usual steady defensive play with the comical pickpocketing of an opposing player in the corner. I love when he just lifts the stick, steals the puck, and spins away like it was nothing as he dusts the poor fool he just embarrassed. Girard is as entertaining a watch on a nightly basis as there is in the NHL.

Erik Johnson (B-) – He’s has some unsteady play lately but I liked his game tonight. He and Girard didn’t have any major communication issues and were on the same page throughout. They took on tough assignments and did just fine.

Tyson Jost (C+) – I could’ve sworn he got the goal credited to Kerfoot but after looking at the replay about 50 times it looks like he didn’t get a piece of it after all. That said, he played a damn fine game tonight. He missed a golden opportunity alone in front of the net early in the game but he played a solid game despite the gaffe.

Vladislav Kamenev (B) – THIS is what we’ve been waiting to see! Kamenev was aggressive tonight and his puck protection was very good. When he plays with an attacking mindset, he’s very effective. Tonight was one of those nights.

Alexander Kerfoot (B+) – A really good night from Kerfoot, too. He worked hard for the goal and a guy his size scoring in the areas he does always impresses me.

Gabriel Landeskog (B-) – A nice assist and play on the game’s opening goal but he went quiet compared to his linemates from there. He made the mistake of touching Connor McDavid in the third period and that drew a penalty and it was a weak call but Landy should know better than to put himself in that position.

Nathan MacKinnon (A) – After a downright ugly game against Winnipeg, MacKinnon was back to feasting on the mortals as he picked up two assists on great plays. The Avs are so much better when this guy is rockin and rollin.

Patrik Nemeth (C) – There was some good and bad tonight but I really didn’t like his puck management overall. He’s cut down on his careless icings from a year ago but it seems to have come at the cost of him blowing potential possessions with ill-advised decisions in the neutral zone.

Matt Nieto (C) – Glad he’s healthy but I didn’t really notice him much. His effectiveness is largely dependent on his speed and when that’s compromised, it makes it that much harder for him to make a positive impact on games. He was fine tonight but he really needs to get his legs under him.

Mikko Rantanen (A+) – He scored a nice goal where he beat McDavid to the puck on the game’s opening shift and he poked it home. His pass to Barrie was actually unreal. Crazypants kind of stuff. This kid rocks.

Carl Soderberg (A+) – Another guy with a two-point night, Soderberg was my favorite player to watch tonight. He was hounding pucks in all situations and his work on the penalty kill was nothing short of awesome. He was fantastic tonight.

Semyon Varlamov (A-) – He wasn’t asked to do a whole lot in terms of great saves but his save on Leon Draisaitl in the third period locked down what was a burgeoning comeback. Varly locked it down tonight.

Colin Wilson (C+) – Quietly effective, per usual. He didn’t snag any points but I really liked his puck retrieval tonight. He hounded pucks and moved it well. Solid night for him.

Nikita Zadorov (B) – He showed early on tonight he was engaged as he stymied a McDavid rush up the ice with a great read and he moved his feet well enough to keep McDavid from turning him into a highlight reel. Zadorov was rock solid from then on.

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