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Avalanche Grades From Tough Game 5 Loss



David Zalubowski/AP

Tangled up in blue

Jack Johnson : C – Started strong like the entire team, then it all blew up. Quiet night from the vet who had a little under 13 minutes and one shot on  net. 

Bowen Byram : A – What a series for Byram. He played as well and consistent as anyone on this team. He had two assists and I thought was one of the few Avs with a good game from start to finish.

Erik Johnson : C+ –  Some shifts were great and other shifts he couldn’t get the puck out of the zone cleanly. 

Devon Toews : C+ – A wrister from the point finds its way through and Landeskog tips it in. There were a couple of plays in the final minutes that he just was blindly throwing the puck away. Uncharacteristic of him. 

Cale Makar : C-  Again, the final minutes for everyone was a struggle. The team gave up a 3-0 lead and then a 4-3 lead. It was Makar’s guy who scored the game-tying goal with 56 seconds left. 

Andrew Cogliano : C+ –  He continues to sacrifice his body in front of big shots. It looks painful and I’m in the 300 section.

Valeri Nichushkin : D – He struggled out there tonight. Not a lot offensively and a minus-three tonight.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel : C –  He chased down his own rebounds and really skated hard but in a game like this you gotta dig deeper.  

Alex Newhook : C –  Love his speed and effort but no shots on net and the Avs are head to St. Louis for Game 6. He might be back on the pine next game, with Andre Burakovsky back in. 

Logan O’Connor: C- –  Finished the game with 9:53 TOI and a minus-two. Just not good. 

Superstreak Bonus!

Nathan MacKinnon : X – Felt like he was the only one who wanted to go to the Western Conference Finals. Unbelievable third goal that made it 4-3, but the team couldn’t hold it together. Incredible individual effort. 

J.T. Compher : D – Nothing out there. I hardly noticed him. Almost 12 minutes played and one shot. 

Josh Manson : C – He was involved with a few chirping battles but never took it over the line. Just a collapse as a whole team tonight. 

Darren Helm : C+ – Tell me if you’ve heard this before…tied for the team lead in hits. 

Artturi Lehkonen: B – Played well, engaged at both ends. Until the third period, that is, when he was more of a passenger.

Nazem Kadri: C- – Unintentionally hyped up the crowd all night. Honestly one of the more memorable moments here at Ball Arena. The fans covered the glass with “Stand With Naz” signs and chanted his name at one point. But, he was a minus-three tonight and really couldn’t transition well.   

Gabe Landeskog: C – Moments like this in the locker room is when I would love to be a fly on the wall. What was said between the third period and overtime? He played well tonight but as the captain of this team, you can’t let them fall apart like that. He made a poor decision with the puck at the end with the goalie pulled, which contributed to the tying goal at the end of regulation.

Mikko Rantanen : C+ – He just can’t buy a goal right now. It’s not all doom and gloom as he still has 10 assists. The Avs need their regular-season point scorer to get going. Copy, paste for the entire playoffs. 

Darcy Kuemper : D –  Couldn’t make the big saves when needed. Three goals in the third is unacceptable. The team didn’t help them out but man, when you have the lead with 56 seconds left, you need to make the save. The overtime goal looked soft from my view and likely one he would like back. 

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Ryan Krueger

Agree it’s time for Burky to return and Kuemper was awful.

Thor's Hammer

Let’s not forget Jared Bednar. The coach without a clue. Time to turn off the televiion and watch no more. This team is not ready. And has the wrong coach.


Charlie Anderson

WTF are you talking about? This is on the goalie and the collapse on the ice. Bednar didn’t tell them to go collapse…WTF


If ever there was a game to give a player an F it was Keumper in this one. 4GA in the last13 min of an elimination game. On 8 shots. 8…shots. 4 goals.

Sv percentage less than 90 overall. What an abysmal outting.


Agreed. Compounded by 5 of 6 D-men being totally checked out.

Eric Sandage

Darcy Keumper is a loser. Jared Bednar is a moron. One of the worst performances in Colorado/Denver playoff history. Disgraceful.

Sean Washington

Could not have said it better myself

Charlie Anderson

I have a hard time blaming any of this on Bednar. He damn sure didn’t tell the whole team (except Mackinnon) to turtle halfway through the 3rd. He didn’t tell Kemps to give up juicy rebounds and 5 goals. How about our highest paid ghost of a player Mikko Rants? Where’s he been at all series? A goal or two from our 9 mil guy at any point in this series and it would be over already.

Thomas Wilgus

The Lightning look like a team on a mission for a SC 3peat and that starts with their goalie, Vasilevskiy, who is money when playing in the post season. IF the AVs are able to advance to the SC final, it’s hard to imagine Kuemper matching up and leading the AVs to victory.


They have the best HC in the NHL.

Karl Keen

Agree on the grades Kelsey except I thought Kubel was a bit better than his grade.

Byrum, EJ and Mac three best players

Put Burky back in for Newhook and put Sturm in for Compher.

I would still consider suiting up MacDermaid for LOC as well


LOC isn’t the problem. He is still a very high energy player and one of the few players besides Cogliano that applies pressure on the forecheck. I agree on Burky and Sturm. A little shakeup wouldn’t hurt. If you still like Compher’s speed then how about Sturm in for Helm? He looks his age in this series. And reunite the MGM line (get Rants going) and on defense, EJ/JJ, Toews/Makar & Byram/Manson. Those combinations worked the best in the regular season. I’m not confident in Bednar’s coaching and his constant obsession with mixing lines for mixing sake. The penalty kill… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by ricoflashback
Aaron Rud

Compher is useless, IMO. $2-3 million for that production? Pfft.

Charlie Anderson

Burky for Rants or Nuke at this point


EJ one of the three best even though the national announcers were pointing out that two of the third period goals were mostly his fault? Byram and MacKinnon, definitely. I’m all for Burky coming back, but I’d give Helm a rest for a game and leave Newhook in there. He hasn’t been that bad in two games and has made some nice plays as he adjusts.


The entire D except Byram were horrible. Jack Johnson was really bad, yet somehow Toews was worse…I don’t understand.

Kuemper was sieve, and the D did him no favors. A deadly mixture.


Toews has been noticeably off in this series. He maybe be playing either sick or injured, but his level has dropped.


That would explain why he didn’t attend the morning skate yesterday.

Sean Washington

MacK A on offense, D on defense. Still coughed up the puck too much in D-zone.


Love people down voting when a comment hurts their feelings. MacKinnon is a dumpster fire, generally, defensively in his own end. He looks lost largely. If you don’t like the comment add some words regarding why you disagree.


At least give him credit for beating ROR on a key defensive faceoff that should have clinched the win if Landeskog would have shot when he reached our blue line.


Mind you this was one of the most schizophrenic performances the Avs have put out in a long time. First period and part of period 2 were absolutely flawless. Why they chocked it away so ridiculously is unfathomable and frankly also raises some questions about leadership. You could see Bednar imploring them after MacKinnon had the hat trick. But it seems like things just didn’t get through to them.

Charlie Anderson

F- for Kemps. Going 50% on saves in the 2nd half of the 3rd and overtime in the most important game of the year is F – material. I don’t understand these weirdo’s that want to put that on the coach.


I am not a fan of Nicolas Aube-Kubel on the third line. The third line production has dropped off because NAK’s doesn’t offer much in the way of playmaking or goal-scoring – JT Compher and Burakovsky’s production took a nosedive after NAK was inserted. NAK is an energy hustle guy with some speed better suited for the fourth-line role. The third line should be Newhook, Compher and Burakovsky – much more scoring potential. Having a revitalized 3rd line is long overdue.

Shayna Bionica

Spot on! I’ve been sharing this article quite a few times today with friends. Thank you! I might give Val Nichushkin extra demerits for standing in the Kuemper’s line of sight and helplessly providing a back board for the shot to bounce off him into the net for the Blues first goal

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