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ONE MORE! Avalanche Grades from Game 3 Win Over Oilers



Fantasy hockey
Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire


I dug for oil, but the wells were empty”

Another WIN! One more, and it’s either New York or Tampa Bay to play for the Cup! The grades…

Jack Johnson: A- – He played a little over 5 minutes going into the third. At one point I thought I might have missed an injury because of how little he played. He finished with a little over 8 minutes and a minus one. But you know what? I thought he did a lot of things that didn’t show up on the scoresheet. He made some solid plays in his own end.

Bowen Byram: B+ –  He played some big minutes tonight including time on the power play. The assist on Nichushkin’s first-period goal, brings his total to seven. I have to remind myself this is his first real playoff experience in the NHL.

Erik Johnson: B –  He and Byram have been playing well still. Very complimentary hockey. He had a great sliding block early in the third to stop the Oilers rush. 

Devon Toews: A- –  Couple of assist tonight bringing his total to 12. He was defensively sound with Makar and they continue to shut down McDavid.

Cale Makar: A – This might be Makar best defensive series yet. Sprinkle in a couple of points throughout as well, he’s having himself a heck of a series. 

Andrew Cogliano: B – His consistent play on the penalty kill is where we see him shine. He mans the point and gets his stick in the way. 

Valeri Nichushkin: A+ – This was exactly what the Avs needed from him after Kadri went out early in the first. Big game from Big Val. He was robbed of what would have been a hat trick in the second period by an incredible pad stack from Smith. 

Alex Newhook: B- – I thought he was forcing it a little tonight but he skated hard and fought for the puck all night.

Logan O’Connor: B- –  Not much from the depth lines tonight. I love how he is involved or stands up for his teammates in post-whistle scrums.

Superstreak Bonus!

Nathan MacKinnon: A –  At one point he drove hard to the net and took three Oilers with him. The puck popped out and the Avs got a good chance. Those are things MacKinnon can do and not many others. Also…a plus-four tonight.

J.T. Compher: A – He had no idea he scored. What a play. He plays physically to get control of the puck and goes five-hole on Mike Smith. Hard work created that opportunity, coming out of the box and outmuscling his man. What a play (and, yes, it was a horrible goal allowed by Smith, but anyway..)

Josh Manson: B – He needed the first period to gain his footing it seemed like. He went hard into the boards in the third period but finished the game. He finished with almost 13 minutes and one shot on net. He’s one tough hombre.

Darren Helm: B –  Similar to Cogliano, these guys look great on the penalty kill. I can’t imagine it being easy to stop Kane, McDavid and Draisaitl while down a man. Took a dirty cross-check at the end from Malone.

Artturi Lehkonen: A- –  Another great performance forechecking. Lines were shuffled a little bit after Kadri went out. He was on the Oilers like white on rice and had a couple of HUGE blocks in the final minutes.

Nico Sturm: B- – This was his first game back since May 19th against the St. Louis Blues. He didn’t play horrible and took a few faceoffs winning 3 out of 4.

Nazem Kadri: NA – Took a hard cross-check from Kane less than five minutes into the game. Bednar confirmed after the game he will miss the rest of the series.  What a shame if he can’t play in the Cup Finals. All because of Evander Kane, who…no comment.

Gabe Landeskog: B+ – Really impressive in the faceoff dot tonight going 85% other than that, it was a fairly quiet game from the Captain. 

Mikko Rantanen: A+ – The puck was flying off his stick tonight. He had eight shots and a well-deserved empty netter. The effort and work he put in to block those last few shots are what true leaders do. 

Pavel Francouz: B – He looked a little rattled after Connor McDavid scored on the first shot of the game. He probably wants the second goal back but he absolutely robbed McDavid on the power play midway through the third.  It’s still Frankie’s net to lose right now I think.

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Nichushkin’s 3rd was a desperate glove – not a pad stack –


Evander Kane has been a dirty hack, is now a cheap shot goon and will always be a dirty, cheap shot fool. Hopefully the NHL has the guts to suspend this mental midget for the rest of Edmonton’s short lived playoffs. I’m so passed right now about how dangerous and cheap that hit was.

Zach Heiman

I’ll make the comment for you, Kane is trash and hopefully he is suspended at least one game and no one signs him next year. Wishful thinking for sure.

Thought Frankie did well to battle back after two really soft goals. If the goalie is only letting two past him the Avs are going to win more often that not.

Great composure by this team, they are really proving they only care about winning and are letting the other team be stupid and beat themselves. Such a fun team to watch, 11 down and 5 to go!!


Coach Bednar MUST play MacDermid next game if only to be sure justice is served, starting with Kane.

Zach Heiman

I disagree on many levels… So getting justice on a dirty play is to go and do the same thing to him? The Blues tried that kind of crap last series and look where it got them. Also, this team is way too focused to start playing revenge, it does no one any good to start head hunting. The mission is to win the Stanley Cup, not get petty revenge on garbage like Kane. MacDermid is also a huge liability…McDavid would run circles around him and could potentially shift the entire game leading to a loss that wouldn’t otherwise have… Read more »


The only justice would be to quickly put Edmonton out of their misery by closing the series out in front of the Edmonton fans. I really enjoyed the Oiler’s fan exit, en masse, after Rantanen’s open net goal.

Aaron Rud

This is 100% correct. I’m mad too, but the best retaliation is a win, skate by Kane, and point at the scoreboard. The amount of people calling for McDermaid is insane. I’m a new hockey fan, but I’ve caught on quickly and learned a lot. The fact that so many people don’t understand boggles my mind.

Karl Keen

MacDermaid may need to play simply because Burky and NAK are still banged up tomorrow night.

Zach Heiman

If that is the case than absolutely. I don’t see him as a huge liability playing forward and he did seem to progress as a player this year. As long as he is in the lineup for those reasons and not with the directive to go out and get revenge I’m okay with it.


And take who out of the lineup? Which player do you think should be out? Whose contributions are worth sacrificing for a player that would likely cause a loss?

For revenge? C’mon man. Tamp down the emotions.

Revenge will happen next season in the regs, same way Kadri experienced it with the Blues.


Let’s see. Bottom 6 have performed better with Bura out of the line up then with during these play offs. NAK isn’t much offensively himself, and MacDermid can bring more physicality than either of those guys. Plus, both those guys are still a little shaken up. MacDermid also stopped being a liability back in December.


People, wanting MacDermid to play does NOT mean we want him to go on it up. MacDermid brings a natural toughness to our team, and his presence alone is a strong enough deterrent, he doesn’t even need to drop the gloves, but to have him available to do so is a huge bonus. He also was actually good at the end of the season, both on the blue line and as a winger. There is a strong chance that oilers try to goon it up even more and having MacDermid play is beneficial. He would also be on the 4th… Read more »


Regarding Frankie – the first goal was a five hole, quick release from McDavid. He’s done that before. I wouldn’t call the second goal soft as it was a rising shot, much like Manson’s goal was earlier in the series. Those are deceptive shots with velocity that rise just as they reach the net. More difficult to track for a goalie. Otherwise, I thought Frankie was solid and with a little luck on the goal post shot and then a Compher goal to win the game as he was coming out of the penalty box.

Zach Heiman

The biggest thing for me is how he reacted after both goals, by shutting it down and coming up with some big and timely saves. I can see what you are saying on the second goal, but I see that as one an NHL level goalie simply needs to save. Soft goal or not, only giving up two goals in two games against this team is damn good

Glendon Gulliver

On Kane, just one word is needed and it comes from Craig Berube, “reputation.”


Man, that goal from Compher was HUGE! I was watching the game on my outside TV with a couple of like-minded friends. I think we set off a couple car alarms and got all the neighborhood dogs barking.

Zach Heiman

Such a great effort play, simply put worked and out muscled his way into a breakaway

Donald Victory

MacK needs to learn how to dump the puck deep then change. His weak dumb on the first shift of the game led directly to the first goal. He MacTO gave the puck directly to the d’man who sent the puck up ice and turned into a goal. Someday he will learn! B

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