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Colorado Avalanche Player Grades in OT Thiller



Jack Dempsey/AP

Nobody gets out without singin’ the Blues

Bowen Byram: B –  I thought he played very good complementary hockey with Erik Johnson tonight. While Johnson jumped up, Byram controlled the point. 

Erik Johnson: B+ – Chipped in when he needed to and played smart defensively in his own zone. He had a golden opportunity that Binnington robbed him on up close. And, EJ fanned a bit on the shot too.

Devon Toews: B+ –  He hustled hard on the backcheck to eliminate odd man rushes tonight. Throw in a couple of scoring chances, he a had a good night. Well, except for the penalty that helped lead to the tying goal late.

Cale Makar : B – A bit unlucky tonight, with hit posts and an unlucky bounce off him on the first Blues goal. But he was still real good out there. 29:12 total time on the ice. 

Andrew Cogliano: B – Really good forecheck tonight. He kept the pressure on. The fourth line played well against St. Louis. 

Valeri Nichushkin: A – Leave it to the big guy to score big goals. That was important as it was the first time the team had been down longer than five minutes and fought back. 

Nicolas Aube-Kubel: B- – Great play in the corners tonight and freeing up the puck. Tied for the team lead in hits with six. 

Nathan MacKinnon: A – Every game I ask myself how can he take it to a new level tonight? And somehow he does. He came out skating like a mad man tonight and had eight shots on net. 

J.T. Compher: B – He had a chance early in the first to bury one but just barely missed it. Depth scoring is going to be key this series. I really liked his energy and sticking with the puck tonight.

Josh Manson: A+ –  He played strong defense all night while both he and Girard chipped in offensively too. The growth he has made from his first Avs game till now is incredible.  Oh, and we haven’t mentioned how he scored the winner in OT yet.

Darren Helm: B- –  Played his physical game they needed him to play. He had five hits and a couple of shots on net. Can’t forget losing a skate blade.  

Sam Girard: A+ –  What a clapper from the point. He needed that. Low to the ground and five-hole. Can’t beat it! He had seven shots tonight, second on the team behind MacKinnon.

Artturi Lehkonen: B- –  You have to give credit where credit is due, Binnington made a ridiculous amount of saves that kept them in this game. His defense and forechecking are just tremendous. 

Nico Sturm : B- –  Skated hard and fast tonight. I didn’t like the change on the penalty kill though that led to the Blues tying it late. 

Nazem Kadri : B – He had five missed shots and five on net. He also was 89% in the faceoff dot tonight going 8-1.

Gabe Landeskog : A – The Blues seemed to be all over him tonight and he was still able to maintain control of the puck. His screen in front of Binnington was a thing of beauty.

Andre Burakovsky : B- –  Drew a penalty with a golden opportunity in the slot. Similar to Kadri, his shots were off tonight.

Mikko Rantanen : A – Naturally he would hit the pipe when in a scoring slump. He took the perfect shot though that created a rebound and Big Val punched it in.

Darcy Kuemper : B – There wasn’t much he could do on the Blues goals. The first one, the puck was fumbled right in front of him. He wasn’t tested a whole lot facing nine total in the second. He gave up a late goal that wasn’t totally his fault but holy cow he is going to HAVE to make a save he wasn’t supposed to. He is going to have to steal a game at some point. 

Russell Wilson : A+++ – Got the crowd PUMPED!

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