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Avs-Red Wings player grades: Revisiting hate

AJ Haefele Avatar
December 3, 2018

Player grades from the Colorado Avalanche’s 2-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings.

Mark Alt (C) – He was definitely better today than against St. Louis a couple nights ago. He still played limited minutes so as long as he’s limiting mistakes, he’s doing his job.

Sven Andrighetto (C-) – He was okay. I liked his aggressive shooting mentality, especially on a night where the Avalanche were trying too hard to find the perfect shot.

Gabriel Bourque (C-) – There were some close moments on offense but the shot metrics were heavily tilted in the favor of Detroit while he was out there. The Kamenev benching should be short-lived.

Matt Calvert (B-) – I thought Calvert played a rock solid game tonight. While there wasn’t much offensively, there was even less for Detroit when Calvert was out there. He was also involved in the kind of moment that gets everyone real fired up. He had his stick held by several Detroit players on the bench and he definitely went back to try to spear one of them but getting grabbed and punched by players not on the ice is the kind of thing that should result in an easy suspension.

Ian Cole (B) – The shot metrics weren’t great for Cole but him being on the ice late as the Red Wings pulled the goalie slanted them just a bit. He was rock solid throughout and him standing up for himself after another huge hit is a big reason his teammates love him. He brings an edge to this team that they definitely needed.

J.T. Compher (C+) – Compher was quiet tonight but moved around the lineup quite a bit. It was an interesting role for him tonight but I think Bednar’s love for Compher is showing more and more with each passing game.

Samuel Girard (B) – He was really good both offensively and defensively. The shot metrics were big in Colorado’s favor with Girard out there and that’s a really good sign as he continues to make progress on becoming Colorado’s top defender.

Erik Johnson (C+) – I thought Johnson’s game was a bit of a mixed bag. There were some really good moments and some real frustrations all jumbled in there, sometimes even on the same shift. Ultimately, he was a positive for the Avalanche in this one but it could have gone very differently.

Tyson Jost (B) – I thought he was one of Colorado’s best forwards tonight. He was rock solid and nearly got another goal on a breakaway but he missed the net. A solid outing overall.

Alexander Kerfoot (C-) – Very quietly, Bednar dropped Kerfoot to the 4C slot tonight and then played him as such. His game wasn’t a great response to the demotion. It will be interesting to see what happens moving forward with Kerfoot.

Gabriel Landeskog (A) – I really didn’t think this line played a very good game overall but they were responsible for both goals. Their PP goal was absolute perfection.

Nathan MacKinnon (A) – MacKinnon’s game-winning goal was a great example of how talented and lethal the top line is. MacKinnon got bailed out in the first minute of the game when he inexplicably missed a puck that turned into a three-man passing drill in front of Varlamov. Luckily, Detroit is terrible and botched what would have been the easiest goal of the year.

Patrik Nemeth (C+) – Nemeth was rock solid tonight and avoided a lot of the silly pitfalls that crop up in his game so frequently. I have no idea how there wasn’t an instigator penalty when Mantha jumped him after what appeared to be a perfectly clean hit on Larkin.

Matt Nieto (B-) – Nieto’s strong run of play continued tonight but he didn’t generate any grade-A scoring chances like he had been and he took a reckless high-sticking penalty early on. He’s really settled into a nice groove.

Mikko Rantanen (A) – There were some hair-pulling moments when Rantanen was caught trying to do a little too much. And yet, here we are giving him another A grade and adding two more assists to his league-leading total. This line is a cheat code.

Carl Soderberg (B) – I liked Soderberg a lot in this game. He looked like he was constantly half a step from creating a ton of offense. He was really good defensively, though, and tonight that was his line’s biggest contribution.

Semyon Varlamov (A+) – Couldn’t have picked a better team to post the first shutout of the season against.

Colin Wilson (C) – I really didn’t notice him at all in this game. Apparently he played nearly 12 minutes. I believe you, NHL.com.

Nikita Zadorov (A) – He was one of the two Avs (next to Varlamov) who actually showed up for the first period. He showed up for the final two, as well. He was throwing huge hits again today and getting after fools. His best play of the game was easily his breakup of a potential Athanasiou breakaway. AA had the step on him but Zadorov’s reach was superior and he slapped the puck away before it turned into a real problem. His response to his benching continues to prove why it happened in the first place – it works with big Z. He’s been awesome the last few games.


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