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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.

$20 Dollar Bonus Voucher!

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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Casey Pond

OMG Kelsey, I wish you were my teacher for every class I would have been a Rhodes Scholar (unless you graded everyone like this!).

You ever hear of a normal distribution? Did not think so. Or do you just grade A or B only, like in first grade? You have your favorites for sure. No matter how poor favorites play they are always an A in your mind. LOL!


Last edited 6 months ago by Casey Pond
Ryan Krueger

Agree w/Kelsey that everyone played solid except for the line change and Toew’s penalty was kind of payback. Bennington was great which I don’t expect to see continue.


Yeah, like we want to hear her rag on guys after a game like that? There were no C’s or below out there for the Avs in this game. They all contributed at a high level. I saw extra jump in EVERYONE out there tonight. Solid comments.

Donald Victory

I agree with Casey. I think he was referring to the power outage on the powerplay. 0-3 is not going to het it done. And MacKinnon struggled with zone entry and turnovers like he usually does. And some players were not so good. JT was MIA though his face off win percentage was excellent, Helm totally wiffed on a breakaway, EJ wiffed on a wide open net. Sammy vaG’s clear on the power play was not good enough,, change on the penalty kill unit cost a goal. Not perfect but good enough. 54 shots and five posts was a nice… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Donald Victory

Am I the only one who thought that Mac was trying to save the world by himself? Hopefully he will settle in with more team play next game.

Thor's Hammer

MacKinnon is a bit of a puck hog and his zone entry is suspect. Yes he needs to play a team game and settle in. Burky was a puck hog too and had some better passing options than his usual miss the net stuff.

Donald Victory


Tim Apple

Replying to your own posts? Believe me, it’s fantastic!

Donald Victory

He is so engrossed on wooooing the crowd he misses open passes to teammates in a better position to score. So no, you were not the only one. Even TNT announcers and studio crew were mocking his overly happy stick work. Once again, some see it for what it is and some live in denial!


My main quibble was the comment on Sturm: “I didn’t like the change on the penalty kill though that led to the Blues tying it late.” Sturm was the one who hustled hard enough to actually get his stick on the puck but he was unable to knock it away as Kyrou toe-dragged past him. Can’t blame him for the change since he was coming on to the ice.

Thor's Hammer

Girard’s weak clear allowed it to happen. A little stronger and that play never would have happened. A bad change is coaching, and we have a Badone!

Donald Victory


David Dennison

You’re just a humble bot farmer.

Sean Washington

I am sure he does not care. Just sayin’

Donald Victory


Matthew Benedetti

Donald, do us a favor and quit spamming the comments. We get it, you hate bednar and MacKinnon.

Karl Keen

I think Kuemper deserves a D. I am not blaming him for the first goal which was a bit fluky, but he had to come up with one major save that entire game and he didn’t. I’m talking about the 2nd goal. Kyrou shot it right into him and he didn’t make the save. I’m sure he was expecting Kyrou to go upper 90 and maybe he was anticipating that, but the puck came low to his left and that should have been saved. Given that it was 3 on zero though maybe St. Louis knocks in the rebound anyway,… Read more »

Karl Keen

If Manson did tip the puck a bit on Kyrou’s shot then I’ll take back what I said above.

Donald Victory

Oddly enough, the first goal was off a MacTurnover event, a turnover. Shocker! And agreed on the second goal. Kuemper, or is it Kamper, was not ready for the shot and from 10 feet away getting to the butterfly timely is not possible.

Donald Victory

Maybe a C-

Jordan Leonard

Did you miss the fact that he actually had several amazing blocks? We should have had 10 goals with the 6+ (they keep saying 5, which is bad math because we hit the post three times in the first and at least twice in both the second and third periods) post hits, another on the miffed EJ chance, and we had a goal not counted even though Binnington had the puck in his glove that then went across the goal line. But if not for Kuemper multiple times in the third, and a few times in the first and second,… Read more »

Aaron Rud

Toews and Makar did not have good games. They’d even tell you that.

Jordan Leonard

I do think there is a slight bias towards Mikko and Mack in these grades. I would definitely say that in round 2 game 1, multiple guys you gave a B grade to played better than both Mack and Mikko. They didn’t play horribly, don’t get me wrong, but they didn’t play at an A grade level and weren’t the best guys on our team

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