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.
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”