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Avs-Wild preseason game grades: Winning is still winning

AJ Haefele Avatar
September 29, 2018

The Colorado Avalanche beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 in overtime. Below are player grades.

Tyson Barrie (C-) – Did nothing on the power play and his reckless decision to try to play a bouncing puck at the blue line led to a breakaway against. This hasn’t been a banner preseason for Barrie.

Erik Johnson (C) – Didn’t do much tonight at all. Was just a guy.

Matt Calvert (B) – Was good and effective on the penalty kill, nearly getting a breakaway. Scored a tip-in goal for Colorado’s third goal.

Alexander Kerfoot (A+) – The star of the night, Kerfoot slew his passy demon in favor of a more shooty personality. It was a good decision as he was the best player on the ice tonight en route to scoring three points (1g, 2a).

Sheldon Dries (C) – I just didn’t notice him much outside of one offensive sequence where he passed the puck back to the blue line…where nobody was. Whoops!

Nikita Zadorov (D-) – I said in one of the earlier game grades I wouldn’t hand out any Fs in the preseason but Zadorov tempted me tonight. He was terrible on both Minnesota goals and would be best served to put this fiasco in his rearview mirror.

Tyson Jost (B) – Jost had a very easy goal when he scored on an empty net after a perfect passing sequence from Wilson and Kerfoot. His line was good tonight and he was one of the few Avs who was competitive in the faceoff circle.

Colin Wilson (B) – Another solid effort from Wilson. He had a great look for Kerfoot on Colorado’s second goal.

Ian Cole (C+) – Some good and some bad from Cole tonight. He was much better than his first appearance in which he was completely apathetic. He made a nice play with the puck to help create Colorado’s second goal. Also had a bad turnover in the third that led to a good scoring chance against.

Nathan MacKinnon (C) – A very strong start that included a near-breakaway. Like his first game, however, he tailed off as the game progressed and was overshadowed by the Jost line.

J.T. Compher (C+) – His aggression on an early penalty kill drew a penalty and gave the Avalanche an abbreviated power play opportunity. That was about it from an impact standpoint but he was solid.

Mark Barberio (B+) – A very strong effort from Barberio tonight coupled with Nemeth being pretty terrible two nights ago might give Jared Bednar something to think about when deciding which player will play on opening night. Barberio might have been Colorado’s best defenseman tonight.

Dominic Toninato (C) – A very quiet game from Toninato when he needed more of a standout performance. Like Dries, I don’t think he did enough to make the coaching staff keep him.

Samuel Girard (B+) – Girard was excellent in the offensive zone tonight and could have easily had more than the one assist he did record. He was great tonight next to Erik Johnson.

Gabriel Bourque (C) – I only noticed him a couple of times and both were in the offensive zone. Overall, just a quiet night for one of Colorado’s quietest characters.

Matt Nieto (C+) – I liked what little I saw of him tonight. He was solid on the penalty kill and had one great offensive rush. Nieto looks ready for the season.

Gabriel Landeskog (D+) – Some decent play early on but like the rest of his line, things got worse as the game went on, culminating in a short-handed goal against in the final few minutes to tie the game.

Mikko Rantanen (C+) – He was the least effective but also the least mistake-prone of the top line. A totally neutral effort…until his overtime game-winner. Boy, this kid can shoot it.

Philipp Grubauer (B+) – The line won’t look nearly as solid as Grubauer actually played. The goals against were mostly situations where he was helpless and he came up with several huge saves along the way.

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