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Avs-Penguins player grades: Point streak over

Adrian Dater Avatar
December 5, 2018

Avs lose to Pittsburgh, in a rematch with the Yinzers from last week. Almost a carbon copy game, in reverse.

Let’s get to Avs individual grades:

Gabe Landeskog (B-) – Pretty good puck-possession numbers, but not quite enough impact in a positive way offensively. Frankly, this grade might be a little too high, but Christmas is coming.

Nathan MacKinnon (F) – Nothing on the score sheet, two shots on net, lost 11 of his first 13 faceoffs. One of his worst games in the last 12 months. He must work harder to get better on faceoffs. Frankly, it’s become a real liability.

Mikko Rantanen (B) – Active throughout, put shots on net, picked up another point. He was blatantly held toward the end of the second period on a breakaway and didn’t get a call. One of the worst non-calls I’ve seen in a while. Referees were garbage tonight.

Alexander Kerfoot (C) – Not all his fault, as I think Jared Bednar is trying too hard again with this guy, to find the right role for him. Stop playing him with scrubs. It doesn’t work. That said, he wasn’t good tonight.

Tyson Jost (C-) – He’s starting to look invisible again, offensively at least. I don’t like Bednar moving him around again in the lineup though, either. Things were working well with him, then Bednar tried to fix what wasn’t broken.

Colin Wilson (F) – Total non-factor. Nothing at all to speak of in any positive, tangible sense.

Matt Calvert (B+) – I liked his battle level and intensity, plus he put up an assist. Good game after being sucker-punched in Detroit.

Carl Soderberg (B-) – Scored a goal, but was beaten to the front of the net on Patric Hornqvist’s tie-breaking goal early in the third period.

Matt Nieto (A) – Great short-handed goal to tie the game in the second. I thought he should have played more, quite frankly.

Gabriel Bourque (C) – Got an assist, but he continues to be kind of a non-factor most every game.

Vladislav Kamenev (F) – Terrible showing. Minus-2 in minimal minutes, negative puck-possession numbers. May be time for another trip to the minors.

J.T. Compher (B) – Could have gotten credit for a goal, if not for a Carl goalie interference call. Technically, the call was correct, but it’s an example of how the NHL has gotten a bit too far on protecting goalies from routine physical interaction.

Erik Johnson (C) – I didn’t think he was physical enough around the net. Memo to Johnson: You’re a really big guy, it’s OK to use some of that advantage in front of the net.

Sam Girard (C) – He wasn’t bad, he wasn’t great. Needs to be more aggressive offensively.

Ian Cole (B) – Good puck-possession numbers, got an assist and had three shots on net – or one more than Nathan MacKinnon. Nice video presentation to him from the Pittsburgh crowd.

Patrik Nemeth (D) – Took the slashing penalty on Sidney Crosby that led to the game-winning PP goal by Patric Hornqvist. Seems like his role/ice time is shrinking more as time goes on.

Nikita Zadorov (B+) – I thought Z was fine. Four shots on goal, positive puck-possession numbers, even on the plus-minus.

Tyson Barrie (C+) – Scored a really nice power-play goal, but the rust showed on defense, in his first game back in a while. A little too slow in his decision-making with the puck in his own end.

Semyon Varlamov (D) – Two great saves on breakaways at the end of the second period, but he was brutal in the third. The first three goals, I didn’t think were much his fault. Good deflections and traffic on him. But that third…terrible.

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