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The Colorado Avalanche lost 3-2 in a shootout to the New York Rangers. Below are player grades!
Tyson Barrie (B) – Very active offensively and took care of his own end nicely until overtime when he completely lost track of Jimmy Vesey but got bailed out when Vesey whiffed on the one-timer. Was an offensive catalyst throughout.
Gabriel Bourque (C-) – Got moved down in the lineup and had the kind of night that justified the decision. He made a couple of nice plays on the penalty kill, which is normal, but he made a ghastly decision to shoot a puck that got blocked and turned into a breakaway against. He had a wide open Girard but instead chose to fire a very low-reward shot that turned into a highlight for his goaltender.
Matt Calvert (C-) – I really thought he played poorly with the puck but I liked what he did away from it. Loved him defending himself with the fight with Claesson. Heart and soul. Selfishly, I enjoy watching him play every night.
Ian Cole (C+) – Some problems with the puck but I liked his physicality. He plays a very “blah” game overall but he holds his own more often than not. An imperfect player but I mostly like the role he’s in and tonight he got better as the game progressed.
Sheldon Dries (B-) – His fancy stats aren’t good but I loved his tenacity and energy. He and Kamenev had a little chemistry going out there and Dries made positive contributions when asked to play on the PK. It’s hard to accomplish much in limited minutes but Dries showed well tonight.
Samuel Girard (C) – The fancy stats were solid so he wasn’t as poor as the eyes might have suggested. Several turnovers from Girard turned into scoring chances for the Rangers. Just wasn’t quite as electric as we’ve seen in some games this year.
Erik Johnson (B) – I really liked Johnson’s game tonight. Defensively I thought he got stronger as the game wore on and he was just pouring on shots on goal as he jumped into play repeatedly. He was dangerous throughout and really had a whale of a night.
Tyson Jost (B) – There were moments when his line was the best Colorado had but they fell off a bit as the game went on. Another great tip by him turned into a goal but Jost hasn’t figured out the even strength scoring conundrum yet. A solid night for 17.
Vladislav Kamenev (B) – Like Dries, the shot metrics aren’t going to share a great night here but watching him excel in the faceoff circle on the penalty kill was a key for Colorado tonight. They’ve lacked good faceoff work since Matt Duchene was sent packing and if Kamenev can repeat his performance there tonight he just might carve out a job there. A strong performance from the young Russian.
Alexander Kerfoot (B) – Almost every game Kerfoot makes at least one pass that makes me laugh because I don’t know how he saw the opening. Tonight, it was a spin move into a backhand pass to Johnson for a one-timer that ultimately missed the net but the look was fantastic. He was strong overall and I liked what he brought. He should have had an assist on the game-winning goal to Landeskog but that tricky post.
Gabriel Landeskog (B+) – Were it not for the double-minor penalty that could have been disaster, this would have been an easy A for the captain. He was physical and stout and his two points were crucial. He should’ve had three but the post won the battle. Loved his game overall.
Nathan MacKinnon (B+) – He was really good driving play like normal and he broke the franchise record for most consecutive games with a goal to start the season. He was dangerous and fun to watch like normal.
Patrik Nemeth (C+) – I thought Nemeth was actually pretty solid tonight. That penalty he took in the first period was a necessary evil for a lazy change as he was preventing a breakaway. It resulted in a goal against anyway so that’s a tough break for Nemeth. Solid, unspectacular.
Matt Nieto (C+) – The guy who has become the focus of much derision from Avalanche fans, I thought Nieto was really solid tonight. Were it not for an unbelievable save by Henrik Lundqvist, he would have scored the game-tying goal late in the second period. It wasn’t a poor shot or anything; he just got flat robbed. Was much better tonight overall.
Mikko Rantanen (A) – He only had the one point tonight but he hit at least one post (maybe a second, I wasn’t totally sure) and was very dangerous offensively. He continued his assist streak and that was great. He reminds me of a three-point shooting point guard in basketball whose shot isn’t falling yet but he keeps racking up assists and finding ways to be productive despite his personal scoring being a struggle early on. When those shots start to find their way in, look out (see: shootout).
Carl Soderberg (B) –He was positive in shot metrics and solid overall. His best work might have been on the penalty kill in overtime.
Semyon Varlamov (A+) – His workload in the first period was unreasonable and he kept his lethargic teammates involved until they finally found their legs. He got beat by a deflection and just a perfect shot from Kevin Hayes. He was a huge reason the Avalanche got a point tonight.
Colin Wilson (B-) – He was so close to an amazing goal in the first period but the puck juuuuust squirted away from him. He was good overall but that was his best scoring chance.
Nikita Zadorov (B-) – I thought Zadorov was much better tonight than we’ve seen the last couple games. A much stronger performance overall and his puck management was greatly improved.