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Avs player grades from easy win over Wild



Well, how does a combined 11-1 score for the two-game series between the Avs and Wild work for ya, Avs fan? That was a dominant two games of hockey the Avs dished out to the Wild. Let’s do some grades:

Gabe Landeskog (A) – Another superb game, with a goal and two helpers. He’s been terrific of late. That goes for the defensive side of the puck too.

Nathan MacKinnon (A) – Three assists on the game, six points for the series. Is that good?

Mikko Rantanen (A) – Another goal. That makes 17 on the season now. He’s really dialed things up lately. Wild had no answer for him in the two games.

Brandon Saad (A-) – Had an assist and put four shots on net. His line was good defensively.

Nazem Kadri (B+) – No points on the score sheet, but he won 6-of-10 faceoffs and, like the rest of his line, was good defensively.

Andre Burakovsky (B) – Didn’t notice him much today, but oh well. It was a 6-0 game. Still skating real well these days.

J.T. Compher (C) – No points, no shots. Played only a little more than 11 minutes. Lots of fans were upset he took Logan O’Connor’s spot in the lineup.

Tyson Jost (A) – Scored off a nice slap shot that made the game 4-0. Also won 7-of-10 faceoffs.

Joonas Donskoi (A) – Had two assists and was excellent defensively. He breaks up a lot of plays in the neutral zone with his defensive presence.

P.E. Bellemare (B+) – Was foiled on a breakaway. He was active with his stick defensively and helped shut down Minnesota’s power play.

Bonus Voucher!

Valeri Nichushkin (A) – Scored a very nice goal, off the rush. Former Av Ian Cole flubbed a puck at his own blue line, and Nichushkin went from there.

Matt Calvert (B) – Still looking for some offense. But he’s contributing in other ways, as he usually does.

Jacob MacDonald (A) – Made a big block that probably saved a goal, on a Wild power play. He’s been very good so far.

Cale Makar (A) – Got the scoring started and added an assist in a little more than 21 minutes of work.

Ryan Graves (A) – Two assists for Gravy and strong work in his own end. He’s been excellent since the early part of the season.

Bo Byram (A-) – Good, solid game for No. 4. He went a plus-1 and had three hits.

Sam Girard (A) – A plus-2, playing more than 21 minutes. That works.

Devon Toews (A) – Scored a goal and was a plus-3. He’s a great player.

Philipp Grubauer (A) – Another shutout, his fifth of the season. Playing the best hockey of his career. Now, he’s got a new backup too.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies. Previously Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report to name just a few.

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Dater is spot on with the fans complaint about JT Compher pushing Logan O’Conner to the taxi squad (and a $525k salary cut). I’m a fan of Compher but thought Logan earned a longer hitch on the active roster. Since that punch in the gut 2014 playoff game where a 3-1 lead was blown and Avs season ended, I have despised the Wild (Matt Cooke on Tyson Barrie’s knee). Yeah, they’re a decent team, I’ll give them that, but the spanking our guys gave them is only part of the payback .. and payback, is a bitch .. lol The… Read more »


I personally think JT is being showcased to other teams for a potential deadline deal. LOC has more than earned a 4th line – special teams position with the Avs.

Matt Briggle

That idea has occurred to me as well Rich.


I really hope this is the case. I am completely baffled by the whole fascination with J.T. Compher.


Didn’t really notice Girard this game (other than the penalty). Which isn’t a bad thing. To me it just shows how he changes his roll. When Makar is playing G doesn’t need to be that driving force, so he sits back more. But when the team needs the push he can be that guy.


G is one of my fav Avs, but the last few games, he seems a bit hesitant and jumpy with last second ‘questionable’ decisions with the puck. Before that, he was playing at a level that was right there with the best players in the league, consistently. Makar’s presence seems to have an affect on him, particularly when he first showed up. Its kind of a cycle in my eyes, but he snaps out of it pretty quickly. A guy like Makar is bound to intimidate so there’s that.. The Avs have an embarrassment of riches with G, Makar and… Read more »

Matt Briggle

Good Lord, I thought last game was amazing. I have been watching hockey my whole life, I worked as an equipment manager in college and ECHL for 13 years. That is as thorough a beat down as I have seen at any high level. I have been racking my brain to try and remember if I have ever seen a team run a high cycle like that and the only thing that I can even think of is the old Red Army team of the Soviet Union when they were dominating international hockey during the Cold War. This is now… Read more »

John Mauss

Thanks for the memory on the Red Army Team,


Good post. Avs of years past, I’d be worrying if they were “peaking too early”, but now that Bednar and staff have them playing a superb, smothering, backchecking defense, that’s the new fallback if the scoring hits a dry spot or the occasional off-game rears its ugly helmeted head. . 2-0 or 2-1 instead of 5-1 or 6-0. Holy cow, a few more games against the Mild and we might be singing Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4”!!

John Mauss

Matt, On second thought, maybe the Harlem Globetrotters are a closer comparison than the Red Army team.


Hey Adrian, how would you grade Russo’s Twitter rants?


I better not opine, then. I’d hate for you to be accused of inciting a Twitter and CHN follower!

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