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Avs Player Grades: Massacre in Minnesota



Avs blown out by Minnesota 4/7

Gabe Landeskog (C-) – I thought the captain was pretty strong on his stick tonight. I noticed on more than one occasion his willingness to hang on to the puck and try to make some moves, rather than just being a conduit of the puck to his linemates. Still, he ended with a minus-1 and a giveaway.

Nathan MacKinnon (C+) – He played a typical Nate MacKinnon game, in that he was moving his feet and creating chances. He was awarded with two points…But he also cost his team two goals by taking two pretty avoidable penalties. To me, that’s a wash. He ended with a minus-2.

Mikko Rantanen (B-) – He was probably the team’s best player tonight, which isn’t really saying all that much. He scored his 22nd goal of the season, which is the most in the West, finishing with two points, a minus-two and a reactionary cross-checking penalty.

Brandon Saad (C-) – Was a contributing factor to the sixth goal on a bad breakout. Saad needs to be the veteran in the driver’s seat of the Avs second line. He and his line have had a rough go at it of late.

Nazem Kadri (C) – I feel like Kadri has been very quiet this season. He’s only had one goal in his last nine games, as he and his second line continue to struggle. He did draw a couple of penalties though, one of which turned into a power-play goal for his team.

Andre Burakovsky (C-) – He scored a goal, but he also had a bad giveaway in his own zone that led to the dagger goal in the third period. He also led the team in most penalties served, so there’s that.

Valeri Nichushkin (C-) – This might be the first time all season that I saw Big Val get pushed around and beat up physically. Not a great game, but nothing to rip him apart for.

Tyson Jost (C) – Didn’t think Jost was a problem this evening. I didn’t mind the third line all that much, honestly. I think they continue to be among the Avs best lines. Or at least most consistent. Jost was 56 percent on the face-off dot.

Joonas Donskoi (C+) – I thought Donskoi had a pretty decent game. Had some nice looks at the net, but couldn’t cash tonight. Either way, he’s having a very nice season for himself.

J.T. Compher (D-) – Hardly noticed the fourth line at all tonight. I most definitely didn’t notice any contributions from J.T. Compher. Coach Bednar gave him a team-high 4:10 on short-handed time, but then again, the PK gave up three in a row.

Liam O’Brien (D) – I would’ve liked to have seen more of that Liam O’Brien nastiness he brought against St. Louis the other day. That’s what he’s here for, right? He was too casual throughout the game, and then when he finally got aggressive, he was kicked out. C’est la vie.

$20 Dollar Bonus Voucher!

P.E. Bellemare (C) – Had a team-high three blocks. He certainly wasn’t a liability on the ice.

Devon Toews (D) – Devon Toews has had a couple of rough games in a row here. That giveaway in the second period that led to a Wild goal was big-time yikes. The penalty in the first period doesn’t help his grade either.

Cale Makar (C+) – He was trying his best, but couldn’t seem to corral the puck at times, but we’ll chalk that up to some poor puck luck. He still had two assists.

Ryan Graves (D) – A slightly sub-standard Ryan Graves-type game. He was a part of a penalty kill that was atrocious tonight, but you can’t blame any one person for whatever that was.

Jacob MacDonald (C-) – He had an assist tonight and fired four shots on net. He might be getting a call from Player Safety though for this high hit.

Sam Girard (D) – I didn’t love his lack of effort on the Wilds’ seventh goal. Was caught staring and didn’t even really try to swipe at the puck or anything. An unusually off night for Sam Girard, who finished with a minus-two.

Kyle Burroughs (C) – The kid scored his first point on Burakovsky’s second-period goal. He seems calm and cool with the puck and makes the smart play with the puck. It’s boring and not too fancy, but that’s all the Avs need from him at the moment. He was also the only Avs player to finish with a positive plus/minus.

Philipp Grubauer (D-) – Not a great game for Grubauer. It certainly doesn’t help when the guys in front of him hang him out to dry with giveaways right in his zone. He got the pity pull in the third too. Finished with a .611 save percentage. Woof.

Jonas Johansson (F) – Wasn’t put into the best situation, but he still allowed a goal on his first and only shot in the game (again). Does GM Joe Sakic pull the trigger on a legitimate backup by Monday? That is the question…

Avs Penalty Kill (F) – Brutal day at the office today.

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A graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, Scott has so far spent the early parts of his young career covering Colorado hockey — from the Avalanche to the Colorado Eagles to the DU Pioneers. His work can be found across sites such as, and SB Nation, among others. Scott currently resides in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver, where he works as a Marketing Executive when he's not writing.

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Matt Briggle

I can’t disagree with the grades too much, this game was bound to happen eventually. My question is that since we’re no comfortably in a playoff position (even if not officially clinched) do they start looking at resting guys on a limited basis? Honestly, I would not mind at all if Johansson got both games in ANA just to give Grub a break. I also wouldn’t be opposed to them putting Jones in as his back up for those games just to make absolutely certain that Grub gets a few days of rest. I also wouldn’t mind seeing some of… Read more »

Jared Moss

What’s goes up eventually must come down… but that was a pretty brutal showing by the team, grub got pounded and was pretty poor on his glove side but hey have to lose sometime. “Back to life, back to reality” song was playing through my head pretty much all game.
Side not the ref have to let some of this small hook trip crap go, I felt the whole game was played with someone in the box, horrible flow to the game, can wait to forget about this one.

Richard Trujillo

Wow, Grubauer was awful, again. Goaltending will once more be this team’s downfall.


I’d sneak MacKinnon up in to the B range. He had some real juice at times last night, but yeah that slashing penalty was done purely out of irritation and was unnecessary.

Avs D allowed way too many open lanes in front of their net.

Hard to believe the Wild found Kaprizov in the 5th round. He’s going to be good for a long time and will make Minnesota fun to watch when they come to town.

John Mauss

MacKinnon, Rantanan, and Landy have all been taking retaliation leading to penalties in the last several games. Some of those games were still in doubt at the time. Should expect more unselfishness from the three guys wearing letters on their sweaters.


Get Grubauer help now!!!

Joel Stefaniak

Three goals allowed on three first shots. JJ isn’t going to cut it.

Jim Strohmeier

Last night’s result was bound to happen, with Grubauer playing too many games on this tight and revised schedule. The team probably was reading their own press too much as they fought their way into first place. It’s one game, time to move on. If it brings this high-flying, very skilled group back into focus, it will have been worth it.

Karl Keen

The score wasn’t pretty and some of our defensive turnovers were concerning, but despite being outplayed most of the night we still only gave up 19 shots! We have played a lot of hockey this last month and just looked tired. It is particularly showing on our PK, which was dreadful. Sakic needs to get in a serviceable back up and I would look to add a stay at home defenseman who can replace MacDonald (he has done well and can be first reserve) and team up with Byrum. I am ok not trading for another foward unless we can… Read more »

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