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Avs Grades in Shutout Win over Kings



I just can’t wait to be King

Jack Johnson : B – Another solid defensive performance. He had a couple of blocked shots and over 15 minutes played. There really isn’t need for him to change in his game. 

Erik Johnson : B – He seems to have found his stride again after a rough couple of games. Check out Terry Frei’s article on EJ’s role with the team.

Devon Toews : A – Over 20 minutes played, like it was nothing. Great game…again…like always. It’s really challenging to write about Toews because he is one of the smartest and most consistent Avalanche defensemen I’ve ever watched. 

Cale Makar : A –  He can score from the point with wrister, slapper and snapper. It’s just another tool in his tool bag being able to shoot the puck different ways. 

Val Nichushkin : A – He’s so big and strong when he forces his way to the front of the net, no one can move him. Loved how he found the empty spot on the ice and capitalized. One goal and an assist tonight.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel : C – He was third on the team with five hits. Nothing else really from him.

Alex Newhook : B- – I liked him on the line with Kardi and Burakovky. He’s taking the shots and playing confidently. The goals will come! …hopefully. 

Logan O’Connor : C – It’s to the point where his contribution to the team is on the penalty kill. He’s got six goals and 14 assists this season. 

Ryan Murray : B-  –  He was much more involved tonight with his new line mate Josh Manson. Sometimes a change in who you’re playing with is all you need for a spark. 

$20 Dollar Bonus Voucher!

Nathan MacKinnon : B+ – He wasn’t his normal “best player in the world” self but he still had an assist and three shots. The team is going to lean on him a lot the last four weeks of the season. 

J.T. Compher : A – There was one shift where he was hit down and w hile trying to get up, he was hit again in the back but then got up as if nothing happened and created a scoring chance with Rantanen. I love those plays when the player just never gives up. Rewarded with a goal tonight.

Josh Manson : A – The rumors were true…Josh Manson is  physical! 10 hits for the newest big guy and a really good defensive game. He didn’t have to play flashy and he did his job. That’s all the Avs need him to do. 

Darren Helm : B – Right behind Manson’s 10 hits, was Helm with six. When you aren’t scoring you have to figure out other ways to contribute and Helm is grinding away.

Kurtis MacDermid : D –  Took his first penalty since February 23rd then his second penalty of the night late in third. He’s usually better than that. 

Nazem Kadri : B – 67% on faceoffs tonight and three shot attempts. Tonight wasn’t his night offensively but it’s been his night plenty of other times. 

Andre Burakovsky : B+ – Back to the basics sometimes. He received and passed the puck right back to Rantanen to really put the game away from the Kings. 

Mikko Rantanen : A – 29 goals on the season for The Moose. Incredible season and it keeps going. Overall solid game and continues to help the team find a way to win. He makes it look so easy. 

Darcy Kuemper : X – Back. To. Back. Shutouts. Haters gonna hate but he has proven he can handle the number one spot. He wasn’t heavily tested tonight but those can sometimes be the most dangerous games for goalies. He was sharp in both games, earning the “X”

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Seems NAK and LOC have become Kelsey’s red-headed stepchildren. I feel they deserve a bit more credit. Tell me where you could find a better pair of plumbers for less money?


Agree with you on LOC. Not so much on Aube-Kubel. Do you think a player like Cal Clutterbuck could contribute more? I’m really put off by Giroux and believe J.T. Miller & Tomas Hertl will be too expensive. I’d like to think not but that’s what I suspect. So far, with the Manson and Sturm acquisitions – – I believe the Avs are well positioned as is. But another grinder/hitter/PK man like Clutterbuck or even Copp would be a welcomed addition.


Side note – – I’d add another grinder/hitter/PK man like Clutterbuck or even Copp. When Landy comes back, slide him in for MacDermid, Sturm eventually for Aube-Kubel and say a Clutterbuck or Copp for Helm. Sit Girard or better yet, trade him. EJ, JJ, Makar, Murray, Toews and Manson will work well on defense. That’s your Stanley Cup Playoff Avs Team.

Last edited 8 months ago by ricoflashback

Of course, I would love Clutterbuck to replace NAK. But right now we have NAK and LOC at $1.8 AAV. Like I said, they’re plumbers and they’re cheap. Clutterbuck (not in the plumber category) should be expected to contribute more as he gets paid double what NAK + LOC get.

Copp is now injured. His deadline status is in question now.

I think Helm will stay, I’m betting JT is gone by next week.

Lastly, I don’t have a whole lot of trust in the Johnsons. But I don’t like Girard as playoff blueliner either…


I’m surprised you’re down on the Johnsons. They’ve played excellent this year, IMHO. What in EJ & JJ’s play do you see not trustworthy? We’re watching different hockey games, I guess. Forget about any salary cap issues. Landy will go on LTIR and that settles that. JT will stay – – still has speed and plays hard. He’s disappointed in the past but I don’t think he’ll be traded. Helm will stay, as well, for PK insurance. Girard? Please find a way to trade him and his $5M a year albatross around the Avs neck. Someone out there will adore… Read more »


I feel the Johnsons are inconsistent, a series of bad games slotted in to an equal amount of good games. They can be relied upon to make huge mistakes just as much as great plays.

I’m not concerned with cap either, I mention salaries only to help quantify perceived value in comparison with other players. The NHL is a flawed meritocracy, but a meritocracy nonetheless.


We certainly disagree. I don’t see the huge mistakes you are talking about. Not at all. This is a far better defensive club than last year. The size and grit of both Johnson’s are a big part of this turnaround.


The Avs are objectively not a better defensive club than last season.

Here are some defensive metrics to back that up…

Last season in all situations:
CA/60 = 45.23
SA/60 = 25.27
xGA/60 = 2.15
SCA/60 = 21.26

This season in all situations:
CA/60 = 55.02
SA/60 = 31.28
xGA/60 = 2.81
SCA/60 = 26.43

Normally I’m defending this team against you I think. Here we are…

Bob Neal

I think that Joe having learned his GM training from Pierre is adamant about keeping secrets during trade negotiations. We never heard any rumors prior to the Manson trade that he was coming here. Therefore, I don’t think that either Giroux or JT Miller are actually coming here. Joe will bring in somebody that will be a surprise to all of us. I think that he really would like to add Clutterbuck.


I really like what Joe has done so far. Quality additions filling major holes. And he’s swung these deals early so you don’t end up in a bidding war. A Clutterbuck or Copp like player will beef up the fourth line and provide more physicality and checking/penalty killing skills to a team that already has enough firepower.

Last edited 8 months ago by ricoflashback
Adrian Dater

Sadly, yes he did learn that lesson only too well.

Terry Frei

In my return to hockey, I was coming off gabby, calculating leaks of NBA and NFL.(My favorite was the NBA GM floating something to me and denying it to the other newspaper, saying it was ridiculous and never discussed. wasn’t mad. That’s the way it worked.) I’m sure Adrian agrees, Pierre’s answers were: 1, Shrug of shoulders. 2, “You should know better than to ask me that.” 3, “How’s your family.?” He managed to drop The Cone of Silence over everything. And we knew he had told other GMs, “If this gets out, don’t bother calling me again.” Again, I… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Terry Frei

Sadly, I fear we may end up with Hotdogs come Monday…


That’s o.k. by me. Because Joe has already made this team stronger for the playoffs. Much stronger and more physical. Forget Giroux. Let other teams outbid each other for a player who really doesn’t want to leave Philadephia and has no fire in the belly to pursue a Cup unless it’s in Philly. I’d rather not overpay for a player unless you can get a Hertl or J.T. Miller. That’s it for me. With Kadri possibly leaving, you could look at signing one of those two players. But in reality – – I much rather see a Clutterbuck type acquired… Read more »


The Avs have offensive upside out the wazoo. Hotdogs is not a defensively responsible player, which you of all people know we need. I agree with you about Cal, as I’ve stated many times.

Bob Neal

I agree with Rico in that I think that this team is currently strong enough to possibly go the distance. Another strong forward would be nice along the lines of Cal.. Again, I’m with Rico in that I don’t see the downside with the Johnson brothers. I think that they’ve played great this year. At least the three of us are in agreement regarding Sammy, whom I feel sorry for as he seems like a really good person.

Terry Frei

As long as they’re Sabrette.


Delicious. But I prefer Hebrew Nationals.

Jared Moss

Agreed Joe keeps everything tight lipped never see his trades coming. Both trades so far no rumors were made about either. Both trades shocked me, especially the jost trade I thought for sure he’d be in a bigger package

Yan Girard

Good game on the road for the Avs. The energy level was very high during the game. The players seemed glad of the news acquisitions! I believe that they have the feeling that Sakic is doing moves to win. I am expecting that the energy level reduces after the trade deadline in early April. Manson played well. Before the trade, he had on average 2.4 hits per game. He had 10 hits at his first game with Avs. I hope that he will keep some hits for the playoffs! Since the departure of Ryan Graves, I consider that there was… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Alexander A.
Bob Neal

Good post Yan and good to see you back. I heard Chariot went to Florida tonight so that’s that. I’m plenty happy to see Manson here. Joe and staff seem to be getting very good at their jobs. All things considered I think Manson is probably a better fit for here.

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