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Avalanche player grades in 2-0 win over Vegas



David Becker/AP

Viva, Las Vegas

Jack Johnson: B – Quiet night for the Johnsons. But did a good job on the Vegas front and shutting them down in the third. 

Erik Johnson: B – He had six attempted shots and four hits. When you shut out Vegas, it’s always a good night.

Devon Toews: A – When things get crazy in the offensive zone, Toews is the calm voice of reason. Great poise and decision

Cale Makar: A+ – Kept the puck in and whipped it to Landeskog. It was a rolling puck too. No challenge for Makar. Six points in six games for Makar. 

Valeri Nichushkin: C – Even when he has the puck he’s trying to go through the opposing team. Four hits and almost 19 minutes played. 

Nicolas Aube-Kubel: C – 8 minutes played and a couple of hits. Love his consistent energy. 

Tyson Jost: C- –He wasn’t noticeable tonight and had no shots, hits or really anything. 

Alex Newhook C+: A fast-paced game like tonight calls for the guys to keep up and compete. He looked decent out there early on. 

Logan O’Connor: C+ – Still in a scoring drought but added five hits tonight.

Nathan MacKinnon: A – Scary hit in the first on Nolan Patrick. He never gives on the play and creates opportunities when most players would have given up. Beautiful passing tonight as well. 

J.T. Compher: B – Back-checked hard tonight and had a couple of shots. His line matched Vegas’s intensity and speed.

Darren Helm: C+ – Almost 8 minutes played and a couple of hits. He keeps trucking on.

Sam Girard: B+ – Looked really good deep in his own zone. He would make a couple of moves and get it out. He had five blocked shots as well.

Kurtis MacDermid: B – Little over 7 minutes played. He’s getting better every night.

Nazem Kadri: C+ – He had a couple of shots on a mostly quiet night. I would love to see him really get going on the power play. But that’s nitpicking some.

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Gabe Landeskog: A+- Pinged it off the post and it rolled away from the goal line. Powerful shot from the captain that broke the 0-0 tie. Big player make big plays. 

Andre Burakovsky: B – He played fast tonight. There was almost a costly turnover early in the first but Vegas couldn’t capitalize.

Mikko Rantanen: A – Came out firing and simmered down in the second. This felt like a chess game for the most. He put the game away with his 25th of the season.

Darcy Kuemper: A+ -This was a big test. He stayed square to the puck and in position. Made some huge saves and kept the team in it. Back-to-back shutouts for #35. 

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Svein Lister

Nice grading Kelsey, although I would probably give A’s to both Jonsons in this game. They really did exactly what they are there to do, which is to shut down the best players of the opposition. That’s what the Avs were missing last season.

Aaron Rud

I was gonna same the same thing. Jack and Erik have been invaluable this year, IMO.

Karl Keen

A’s for sure for the Johnsons. Burky in a major scoring slump. Not sure the last time was he even got a clean shot off. Keeps missing the net or having his shots blocked or stick whacked prior to shooting.


Burky trade bait if the right deal comes. To me – – that’s Chiarot first and possibly Giroux, but only with salary retention by Philly. And – – Burakovsky’s obligatory two turnovers a game.


Absolutely. A total miss on those big Johnson’s. E.J. crunched a couple of players like a wrestler coming off the top turnbuckle. And he did it with bad intentions – – all clean hits but with tremendous ferocity. Kemps (Kuemper) was an “X” in my book. He stopped a couple of breakaways and was spectacular in net.

Ryan Krueger

Kemper is on a roll…hope the team isn’t peaking too early


Enthusiastically agree on MacDermid. Watching the last few games you can really tell this guy is putting in the work to improve himself as a hockey player. He’s elevating his game above being only hired muscle.


I notice that he’s been smart with the puck on clear outs and will sacrifice his body to make the right play.


If there was an overall/intangible grade I would give that an A as well…early on (up until Mac’s penalty – which didn’t look so bad in slow-mo but was unnecessary…except for what he just went through, so I think it was a good thing) there was a stretch that looked like seasons past where just getting the puck out of the defensive end at even strength was a struggle…but after the penalty, things turned…would love to think of this, in AD’s parlance, as being like Avs-Wings in 97, only this time in favor of the good guys…


It was an interference, sure, but the hit was not really bad in itself. Patrick keeps his head up and no contact to the head is made at all. Mack wasn’t trying to hit him in the head, and you clearly see that it is Patrick with his head down turning directly into Mack’s shoulder.


I agree Patrick was at fault…but it’s indisputable that Mac also didn’t pass on the opportunity to move his elbow up and back with authority…and I think it was good, against that opponent, and him coming off of the injury in Boston (including his chirping at Vegas players one the way to the box).


Bura definitely does not deserve a higher grade than LOC, Nuke, or Kadri. None of those three played less then a B grade performance. Nuke constantly broke into the zone for us, and would have had a great 1v1 with the goalie if the knights didn’t hold his stick

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