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Avs-Predators player grades: A disjointed mess

AJ Haefele Avatar
November 8, 2018

The Colorado Avalanche lost to the Nashville Predators for their sixth loss in seven games. Below are player grades.

Tyson Barrie (D-) – What in the world was that? I’ve watched almost every game in Barrie’s career and I’m not sure I remember a game where he was so awful with the puck. He just needs to burn tonight’s game tape and move on.

Gabriel Bourque (C) – Another game, another night where I didn’t see Bourque have a tangible impact on the game. I definitely could have missed something small but nothing big happened.

Matt Calvert (B) – I thought Calvert was solid tonight. His line was reliable and did well and he scored his first goal in an Avalanche sweater.

Ian Cole (B) –  He had a goal and assist taken away from him tonight and he was still really good. It’s turned out to be a good signing but the reality is that Cole can’t be your best defenseman.

Marko Dano (C) – Like Bourque and Kamenev, a very quiet and limited night here. That fourth line didn’t do anything good or bad.

Sheldon Dries (B-) – He could have seriously upped this grade had he scored on his short-handed breakaway but Pekka Rinne did what he does and got in the way. Otherwise, a solid all-around night again for Dries.

Samuel Girard (B) – He lost his guy on Nashville’s first goal but he helped create as much offense as he allowed and he would have had two assists were it not for the disallowed goals. He still finished with the one but it could have been better.

Erik Johnson (D+) – He’s getting moved around some as it looks like Jared Bednar is trying to spark his most expensive blueliner. EJ hasn’t been very good for the last several games on a personal level. Given his injury history, you can’t help but wonder if a leg ailment of some kind of bothering him. Regardless, he needs to play much better if Colorado’s defense is going to reach its potential.

Vladislav Kamenev (C-) – He took a holding penalty in the second period. I never saw a replay of it and given the tough night this crew had it’s fair to wonder if the penalty actually happened or not. That was really the only impact play I remember from Kamenev tonight.

Alexander Kerfoot (B-) – He played with a ton of speed tonight and my disdain for him as a center got showed up hard with him going 10-4 on faceoffs. I thought his good shifts were really good, there simply weren’t enough of them. He’s slowly building towards being a really good player, however.

Gabriel Landeskog (C-) – Good on faceoffs tonight but that was about it. He wasn’t great throughout and his best scoring chance came early in the first period. Pretty quiet evening from him after that.

Nathan MacKinnon (B) – Defensively there were some issues but he made several highlight reel plays tonight that just didn’t go for goals. He was far and away the best part of Colorado’s top line. He nabbed an assist on the lone goal that counted.

Patrik Nemeth (D) – There haven’t been many games this season where I felt Bednar leaned on Nemeth a little too much but tonight was definitely one of them. His turnover late in the second period ended in Rantanen taking a slashing penalty and Nashville scoring with three seconds remaining in the period to make it 3-1. Overall, he was not good with the puck tonight and his defense did not make up for it.

Matt Nieto (B-) – I really liked Nieto’s game tonight at times. There were some shifts where his speed was creating problems for Nashville. There were also some puck fumbles that killed chances at scoring. Overall, though, I liked this version of Nieto better than the one we’ve been seeing most of this season.

Mikko Rantanen (C-) – I need to see a replay to be sure but it looked like Nemeth’s outlet pass at the end of the second period should have been gathered in by Rantanen. Ultimately, Rantanen took a lazy (and yes, it was a soft call) penalty that was completely avoidable at every step. He was pretty invisible otherwise.

Carl Soderberg (B-) – I’ve really come to appreciate just how hard this guy works every night. He’s taking two overmatched wingers on his side and matching up against high-caliber competition and holding his own. Tonight, he went toe-to-toe with the Johansen line and found success.

Semyon Varlamov (B-) – There were some big saves to keep Colorado in it and the first and third goals weren’t goals where you can lay blame at his feet. I thought the second goal was pretty weak, though, seeing as how I watch him stop 25 of those things in practice every day. The difference between 1-0 and 2-0 was huge tonight and that goal really hurt Colorado. He was otherwise solid, making 30 saves.

Colin Wilson (B-) – I really liked Colin Wilson’s game tonight. He was flying around making plays and making life miserable for Nashville. He scored a nice goal in the third period that was called back because the universe was not having Wilson’s revenge tonight.

Nikita Zadorov (B) – I thought Zadorov was really good tonight. He was active offensively with six shot attempts. He was physical with five hits. He was disruptive with four blocked shots. He even took a phantom interference penalty because he was battling hard in front of his own net (you know, doing his job well, unlike the guy who called the penalty). I liked Z’s game quite a bit tonight and felt his ice time should have been reversed with Nemeth’s.

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