Avs-Panthers Grades – One-Man Attack

The Colorado Avalanche locked it down in the final three minutes, picking up an important 2-1 home win over the Florida Panthers after an extended road trip.

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

Sven Andrighetto (C+) - He appears to be spending the majority of his time with Wilson and Compher, and had another solid if unspectacular game.  He didn't shoot as much tonight as he has in the last little while, but pucks will start going in eventually.

Mark Barberio (B+) - Barberio has been used in a clear 3rd pairing role since getting back in, and it shouldn't be surprising he looks significantly better. The laser, rocket pass he sent to MacKinnon was perfect on the game winner.

Tyson Barrie (C+) - I think there's a lot of frustration around Barrie's game right now, but he's still picking up points and gave MacKinnon a perfect pass on the first goal.  The giveaways defensively are frustrating.

Gabriel Bourque (B) - A strong game from the de facto 11th forward out there.  Threw a nice hit in the second period, and played a role driving the net on the Avs' opening goal.

Blake Comeau (D) - This line has more or less died off offensively, and tonight they spent the majority of their time in the defensive zone.  The offensive zone penalty he took was pretty blatant.

J.T. Compher (C+) - Compher's shot metrics have improved significantly over the last little while, and a big part of that is he's being given more of a role offensively, rather than starting every shift in the defensive zone.  Has now gone 8 games without a goal.

Samuel Girard (D) - The turnover was brutal on the Panthers only goal, and his desperation slide was just as bad.  He didn't see a ton of ice time after that. The one thing I did like tonight was he was shooting the puck a bit more.

Erik Johnson (B-) - He didn't have to play 28-30 minutes because of the 7 D and had a pretty solid showing, but nothing spectacular.  It looks like he's been taken off the PP to keep him fresh.

Tyson Jost (B+) - Starting to gain some real momentum now with points in back-to-back games. It's a little weird because he seems to have no real line because of the 11 forward mess, but he's starting to find a groove and led all Avs forwards in possession.

Gabriel Landeskog (C) - The Captain has been pretty average since returning from his suspension. Given that MacK is running the show on the top line, maybe spreading out the offense is a good idea at this point.

Anton Lindholm (B-) - Lindy had a relatively solid game overall, and if he does that, it's usually because he's better with the puck. He did have a ghastly turnover late when trying to run a reversal in the defensive zone.

Nathan MacKinnon (A+) - He appears to have arrived as an elite player in this league, and he's carrying the offense right now. What he did to Ekblad on the second goal is illegal in most states.

Patrik Nemeth (C) - Nemeth finishing at the bottom of the Avs D in shot metrics happens a decent amount, and did again tonight.  The good news is that he was kept at the 15-minute mark rather than 18.

Matt Nieto (D) - Another quiet game from Nieto where you could have watched the whole night and not been sure he played.

Mikko Rantanen (B+) - Mikko picked up a much needed even strength point, and actually shot the puck a little bit at even strength tonight.

Carl Soderberg (D) - Most would agree Soderberg has been strong this year, but he's now gone 13 games without beating a goalie for a goal. That has to change soon.

Semyon Varlamov (A) - Varly kept the Avs in the game real early when they looked sleepy, and while he got lucky with a few posts, was strong throughout the night. The key is now for him to get a streak going.

Colin Wilson (B) - Wilson seems to have maybe found a bit of a groove playing with Compher and Andrighetto and is providing some offense. Made a great hustle play to get MacK a clear tap in, only to have him get robbed by Reimer.

Nikita Zadorov (B-) - Only EJ played more than Z at even strength on defense, and they spent most of the night together against the other teams best lines.  Z performed admirably against them. Led the team with a 77% scoring chance for percentage tonight.

The Avs continue at home, taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.  The game starts at 7 PM MST.

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