Avs-Devils Grades – Missed Opportunity

Mistakes cost the Colorado Avalanche in a tight game against the New Jersey Devils, and they dropped to 1-2 on their homestand with a 2-1 loss.

How did each player perform?  Let's find out...

Sven Andrighetto (B-) - Dropped back down to the 4th line again, but I think he had a lot more jump tonight and was given a bit more ice time as the game went on.  Made a great play to Rantanen in the first but Mikko whiffed.  Had the best possession #s on the team.

Mark Barberio (D) - He has a tendency for taking penalties in the third periods of late, and took two more tonight, although I'm not quite sure why he got called on the first one.  It looked like two guys battling for a puck behind the net.

Tyson Barrie (D) - There's obviously something up with Barrie.  He has no acceleration and looks bad.  At one point on 4 on 4, he tried to break away with the puck and was caught with ease.  He's still picking up power play points but his even strength play is not good.

Gabriel Bourque (B) - Thought that was one of Bourque's better games.  He was noticeably good on the PK and threw a nice hit in the first.

Blake Comeau (C) - I liked Comeau's game for the most part but he killed a few rushes tonight with poor decisions.  There was a 4 on 2 in the 2nd period where he didn't even attempt a shot and ended up turning it over.

J.T. Compher (A) - Hard not to love the way he's playing right now, and he's earning every second of ice he's getting.  The goal was huge and he had a few other chances.  He was rewarded with a move up to the top line.

Samuel Girard (B) - Girard had a bounce-back game, at both ends of the ice.  Made some really nice plays defensively, including a 1 on 1 rush late.  With how much he touches the puck, would like to see him shoot it a bit more.

Erik Johnson (B) - EJ just had a steady and solid game overall.  He's basically been taken off the power play to focus on even strength and penalty kill, and he's creating a bit more at even strength.

Tyson Jost (C) - Jost had some more good flashes this evening, with some nice chances in the slot, but too often he just kind of disappeared.

Alexander Kerfoot (C+) - He decided to shoot the puck on the power play and it helped create the Avs only goal of the game.  Had a great chance in the slot in the second period but waited too long to shoot and it got blocked.

Anton Lindholm (D) - Lindholm had a brutal icing in the 3rd period where he just didn't use any of his options and made a poor decision with the puck.  The eye test really wasn't that bad for him but he was far and away the Avs worst possession player at 31%.

Nathan MacKinnon (C) - He had some chances, and made a great play to set up Soderberg late that was stopped.  He was almost a nonfactor on the power play tonight, and maybe the Devils deserve some credit for that.

Matt Nieto (C) - Another game where Nieto ends up with strong possession numbers but didn't like the penalty in the first period.

Mikko Rantanen (D) - The Avs just straight up need more from Mikko at even strength.  He's not producing there.  He had two glorious chances tonight and whiffed on both.

Carl Soderberg (B) - Another strong game from Soderberg and he led all forwards in ice time.  Hopefully, the production comes back for him.

Dominic Toninato (C) - Another game where Toninato was basically not used for the last half.  He somehow made it on the ice late in the game, winning a key faceoff and almost scoring a goal to boot.

Semyon Varlamov (C+) - Another game where he can't hold onto a puck and it ends up costing them a bit, although he's hardly to blame for the game tonight.  It's just a little strange how some of these pucks just aren't sticking to him.

Nail Yakupov (D) - Yak started on the top line, but surely didn't finish there.  Zero shot attempts at even strength, and a dumb penalty in the defensive zone.  Not sure why he tried to get so fancy in the first period behind the Devils net but it didn't work out too well.

Nikita Zadorov (D+) - This is a difficult grade to give.  Some may want to give him an F for the giveaway, but the numbers back it up.  99% of Z's game was tremendous.  He was flying out there and physical all night.  He led the Avs D in possession again at 73%.  He led the team with 6 shot attempts at even strength.  He was on the ice for 11 scoring chances for, and 1 against.  The problem is that 1 against.  There's just no defending the turnover, which was hideous, and it badly hurt the Avs.  He knows it too.  It was nice to see the coaches not hesitate to put him back out there right after the giveaway.

The Avalanche continue their homestand tomorrow night with a game against the Dallas Stars.  The game starts at 7 PM MST.

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