Avs-Wild player grades: Lost opportunity in Minny

Adrian Dater Avatar
October 28, 2018

Here are your grades for the Avs from their 3-2 road loss to the Minnesota Wild:

Mikko Rantanen (C) – Frustrating night for the league’s leading scorer. He put a couple of high-quality shots on net in the first two periods, but ultimately was too much like the rest of his team tonight: Too fancy, too tentative with the puck. His line possessed the puck a lot more than his Wild counterparts. Trouble is, they didn’t do much with it.

Gabe Landeskog (C+) – A late goal notwithstanding, it wasn’t a great night for the captain. His lost faceoff in the offensive zone with his team on a 6-on-4 led to the Wild’s crucial empty-net goal, by Jonas Brodin. He seemed uninvolved in the first two periods, and part of a power-play unit that overpassed all night long.

Nathan MacKinnon (D) – I thought it was his first truly bad game of the season, for him. Yes, I’m grading on a curve with him. He had a couple of moments, but otherwise he just wasn’t good – for him. He had three shots on net in nearly 25 minutes, with no points, losing 8-of-13 faceoffs as well. The Wild did a good job of taking away open ice for the Avs’ franchise player.

Alexander Kerfoot (D) – Another frustrating, pointless, “shoot the puck!!!” kind of night. He’s in a real slump right now, after starting the season so well. He’s rushing things when he gets the puck. He’s squeezing the stick. He had one shot on net and lost four of five faceoffs. With one point in his last eight games, he needs to take this coming break and work on what made him successful.

Marko Dano (F) – This isn’t working. He played only 5:07, a major sign already that Jared Bednar has no trust in him. So far, the only thing he’s shown a penchant for is taking penalties. He’s added nothing offensively and made a couple of bad passes tonight. Let’s see what someone with the Eagles can offer now.

Sven Andrighetto (D-) – Utterly invisible tonight in nearly 17 minutes of play. In the five games he’s played since scoring a second-chance goal in New Jersey, he’s put up zero points.

Colin Wilson (C) – Didn’t even play 12 minutes, another pointless night on the sheet. I thought he battled hard, at least, and was fine defensively. But, like many others on lines 2-4, he’s struggling offensively.

Carl Soderberg (C+) – No points on the sheet, but four shots on net and an OK night in the faceoff dot. I thought he was good on the penalty kill and one of the Avs’ more engaged forwards. That said, he’s not scoring much right now either.

Matt Nieto (C) – Had a golden chance at a goal in the first period, but one-timed a shot right at Devan Dubnyk. That was about the only time I noticed him, although he did some good work on the PK.

Gabriel Bourque (C) – As is often the case, he was essentially invisible offensively. But he did a nice job on the PK. I’m just trying to be nice.

Vladislav Kamenev (B) – He got his first NHL point in the first period, winning a faceoff back to Mark Barberio. After 12 games, Kamenev can now say he knows what it’s like to get his name on an NHL scoresheet. He also had three shots on net.

Matt Calvert (C-) – Nothing offensively, pretty good on the PK. He was involved physically a lot with Minnesota’s Matt Dumba, drawing a penalty with 2:49 left. That’s when Jared Bednar inexplicably pulled the goalie, though.

Mark Barberio (A) – Let’s hear it for the D-man who scored just the second goal of the year from the Avs’ blue line. I thought he played very well in his own end, too.

Nikita Zadorov (C+) – Was victimized by one of the worst calls ever, a high-sticking minor on Jason Zucker in the third where he didn’t raise his stick much higher than waist level. He was in and out of the game tonight, with a suspected hand injury. Only played a little more than eight minutes.

Erik Johnson (B+) – He was fine. He’s not making the dramatic impacts he had on games like he did in the early part of last season, but he’s still playing fine. He had 21 Corsi events for, seven against. That works.

Sam Girard (B) – Like counterpart Johnson, he had excellent analytics tonight. He wasn’t as engaged offensively, though, as I would have liked. Nights like tonight, where the power play is struggling the forwards aren’t doing much, he needs to find a way to give more offensively.

Ian Cole (B+) – He blocked eight shots in a little more than 19 minutes of action. His analytics (64 percent Corsi) were very good too.

Tyson Barrie (C+) – Like some on the power play, he was too tentative at times with the puck, but he got an assist and put four shots on net. He wasn’t awesome, but wasn’t the problem in this one either.

Semyon Varlamov (B) – Looked bad on the Eric Staal floater that broke the 1-1 tie in the third. He’s a bit weak on his blocker side at times, as evidenced by that goal. He made some good saves though, and gave the team a chance.

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