Upgrade Your Fandom

Join the Ultimate DNVR Sports Community!

Avs Preseason Game 5 Grades: Beating Vegas at their own game

Evan Rawal Avatar
September 26, 2019

A young Avalanche roster went into Las Vegas and put the clamps on the Golden Knights, holding them to very little offense and coming out with a 4-1 victory. The Avs ground the Knights into submission and gave them very little room to do anything.

How did each player perform? Let’s find out…

Matt Calvert – A: One of the few veterans that played upfront, he got the party starting with a beautiful shot towards the end of the first period. He made some nice plays on the PK, including outworking a Vegas player along the boards to clear it and picked up an assist later in the game.

Jayson Megna – B+: I honestly didn’t notice Megna a ton in the first two periods in terms of standing out. He did fine running the wall on the power play, but nothing special. In the third period, he turned into Nathan MacKinnon, dangling through Hague to score a highlight-reel goal, and then nearly doing it again a few minutes later. Hard to argue with his preseason performance right now.

Valeri Nichushkin – C+: He had a little bit more burst tonight, and it was probably his most consistent game of the preseason, from start to finish. His power move simply doesn’t work because everyone knows it’s coming, but he at least contributed with some blocked shots on the penalty kill.

Sheldon Dries – C+: He made a nice decision to just put it towards the net at a bad angle that helped contribute to the third Avs goal, but otherwise had a steady game without any real standout moments.

A.J. Greer – B: Made a great play sticking with everything after being stopped on a breakaway, to then set up Kamenev for his goal. His trademark high effort was on display all night, but the lack of high-end skill also was, missing a few other moments when plays were there to be made.

Logan O’Connor – B-: He was in the right place at the right time on his goal, putting the puck into an empty net behind Subban. I did notice some nice plays on the penalty kill but an otherwise steady night for O’Connor.

T.J. Tynan – B: I expected more offense out of him with how much power play time he’s gotten, but what was most impressive from him tonight was his penalty-killing ability. He’s quick and uses it to his advantage on the PK. Picked up the primary assist on Calvert’s goal.

Martin Kaut – C+: A relatively quiet night for Kaut outside of some nice board work in the first and a massive speed burst that led to a breakaway late in the game. He got an unsportsmanlike penalty late in the game, and no one is quite sure how that happened.

Vladislav Kamenev – B: Sometimes all a guy needs is some confidence. His game took off after scoring in the second period, and you could tell it was a weight off his shoulders with how he celebrated. Along with Megna, he led the Avs forward group with four shots on goal.

Matt Nieto – C: Nieto hit the post in the first, but otherwise had a very quiet night, and the stat line shows it. No shots on goal, no hits, no blocked shots.

Michael Joly – F: He’s clearly talented, but he felt the need to try to do everything on his own tonight, and it cost him many times, turning the puck over frequently and taking a penalty after one of those turnovers. Not a good game from him.

Dan Renouf – B: This guy is just racking up the points in the preseason, and will probably be depended on a lot defensively for the Eagles.

Kevin Connauton – D: I would say he was a clear step behind the rest of the defenders. He’s wearing a bubble right now, which I know he’s adjusting to, but there were a lot of turnovers and he just didn’t look comfortable. At one point, he let someone get behind him on the penalty kill but was bailed out by the Vegas player fumbling the pass.

Nikita Zadorov – B-: Making his preseason debut, Zadorov moved the puck well, and you could tell he was taking on more of a veteran role, as you could see him directing Kaut and Timmins before some face-off plays. He got one of his patented “big man” penalties in the second period.

Conor Timmins – B+: At this point, he looks a step above Byram and in terms of his play, looks like a guy who should be in line to start the season in the NHL. Registered another four shots on goal to lead all the defenders.

Jacob MacDonald – C+: It seemed like he was either making some great stretch passes through the neutral zone or turning it over in his own end. There wasn’t a ton of in-between with him, but he has good numbers in the AHL and should probably stay there.

Bowen Byram – C: Maybe the Avs have already made up their minds, but Byram played the least of all the defenders and didn’t play much on special teams. Clearly very talented, he just looks a little raw and the smart plays he made were followed up by rookie mistakes. There’s nothing wrong with him playing another year in the WHL and tearing up the World Juniors, and that’s where it looks like he should play this year.

Calle Rosen – A: The clear best defenseman out there, his stretch passes were out of this world, helping spring Greer for a breakaway prior to Kamenev’s goal, and creating other chances the same way. He looked very confident tonight with the puck on his stick and took another step towards earning an NHL job.

Pavel Francouz – B: It’s hard to judge him too much, because he barely saw any action tonight, facing only 17 shots. The goal at the end looked a little questionable, but this should be a good confidence builder for him heading into the season.

The Avalanche close out their preseason on Saturday night when they take on the Dallas Stars.

Scroll to next article

Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?