The Colorado Avalanche got off to a quick start in Boston and never looked back, keeping the Bruins to the outside most of the game and shutting them out 4-0.

How did each player perform?  Let’s find out…

Sven Andrighetto (B-) – Ghetto got the scoring started early, finding a soft zone in the high slot and getting a little luck after the initial shot hit Rask’s glove.  He still has some room to clean up some things in the defensive zone, but a better showing today.

Tyson Barrie (A) – Without question the Avs’ best defender through three games.  He didn’t have as many shots today but kept the puck moving and has been pretty strong in his own end.  He struggled a bit in Bednar’s system last year but has had no issues thus far.

Chris Bigras (B) – A very encouraging start for the young defenseman, who is likely keeping Barberio in the press box with his play.  He’s using his skating to escape pressure in the defensive zone and hasn’t been afraid to join the rush.

Blake Comeau (C) – The fourth line had a bigger role today with the addition of Colin Wilson, and played better.  He played over 16 minutes today, which is not ideal, but he didn’t make any glaring mistakes.

J.T. Compher (C+) – That goal was perfection, and from watching the team practice, I think he may have the best wrister on the team.  He spent a lot of time defending the first two periods, but that line gained a little momentum in the third.

Matt Duchene (C) – It’s a little confusing to see him having played only 12 minutes, third lowest among all the forwards, but that line still continues to do good things.  He would have had an assist in the second if Yak hadn’t gotten robbed by Rask.  He didn’t take a single shot attempt at even strength.

Erik Johnson (B-) – He had a horrendous giveaway in his own zone in the second that led to a real nice chance by the Bruins, but was once again a tank, eating up 28 minutes of ice time.

Tyson Jost (C) – Moved up the lineup for a full game, Jost had a very so-so performance.  You can see there are still a lot of things he has to work on, and it almost makes you wonder if AHL time wouldn’t be the worst thing.  He got outmuscled down low a few times.

Alexander Kerfoot (B+) – The Avs didn’t have much sustained pressure in the offensive zone in the second period, but Kerfoot had their best sequence, as the puck seemingly kept finding him for a 20-second stretch.  He nearly scored on a mini-break and picked up an assist on the first Yakupov goal.

Gabriel Landeskog (C) – The Captain had five shots on opening night but has only mustered two since.  They need more offense from him, but at the same type, he’s being used heavily in the defensive zone, only starting 1 shift in the offensive zone today.

Anton Lindholm (B-) – The penalty was a little rough, but Lindholm cleaned up some of his issues with the puck from the other night.  He’s being used so far as a defensive specialist, with only one offensive zone start through two games.

Nathan MacKinnon (C+) – A better showing but there is so much more he can do.  He’s having issues in the defensive zone with the puck, both with getting it out and making the right play.  He looked really good on the PP, even though the Avs only got one.

Patrik Nemeth (B) – Through three games, the Avs pro scouts deserve a pat on the back for this find.  He’s been very steady and a perfect partner to date for Barrie.  He’s very good with his stick, both in the neutral zone and the defensive zone, and picked up another point today.

Mikko Rantanen (C+) – Even though he picked up a beautiful assist today, much like MacKinnon, you know there is a lot more he can give.  He took a penalty 200 feet away from his own net but was shooting a bit more today.

Carl Soderberg (B+) – The man without a nickname picked up another point, beating his man down the ice and feeding Compher for the two-on-one goal.  He did take a penalty after a turnover, but his play allowed Bednar to roll four lines today.

Semyon Varlamov (A+) – Varly loves this afternoon Columbus day game against Boston.  This isn’t the first time he’s gone into Boston and shut them out, and he was on top of his game today.  There were very few second chances for the Bruins.

Colin Wilson (B+) – Wilson played fantastic on the fourth line, battling hard and working his butt off in the corners.  His lack of speed is a bit of an issue but today was his best showing on the road trip.

Nail Yakupov (A) – ‘Teri’ led the Avs in possession today, despite playing the least among the forwards.  He was able to pick up his first two goals in an Avs uniform, and was very close to another but was robbed by Rask.

Nikita Zadorov (B-) – Big Z had a quietly effective game.  His advanced stats weren’t pretty, but there weren’t many high-end chances coming from his side.  Through two games he’s skating the puck more and picked up an assist on a very smart dump in.

The Avs head home to take on the Bruins again on Wednesday night for their home opener.  The game starts at 7:30 MST.

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Evan Rawal

An Avs season ticket holder since 2011, Evan has been watching and playing the game for over 20 years, coming up through the Colorado Youth Hockey system through AAA hockey and then juniors. Prior to joining BSN, he wrote for Sports303. He covers the Avs and grades the players after each game.

  • flyfysher

    The worst grade on the Avs D that you gave was a B-. Reflect on that for a moment.

  • Av-a-dabba-doo

    The Positive:
    – Varly: “A+” says it all; just stupendous
    – Nemeth: Loved him in this one. B+ if not A-. My favorite Av performance other than Varlamov’s.
    – Bigras: Strong game, and more importantly, solid trend developing. I wouldn’t have guessed it.
    – Yakupov: Liked it! Skillful third goal, and other flashes as well. B+. Keep on that upward trajectory.
    – Soderberg: Was sitting out that first game just what he needed? Go, Combat Carl!

    The Neutral:
    – By no means a ‘good game’ for MacKinnon, but at least an improvement. Something to build on?
    – I confess that before his goal, I really was not liking the play of Andrighetto — then he scored. Yay!

    The Negative:
    – Blake Comeau: Unlike ER, I thought he was terrible out there — the only Av who was.

    • spoon9z

      Agree on Comeau, he was the worst Av on the ice ans actually had two big turnovers early that Varly and his team bailed him out on. He only got credited with one turnover, but he was def involved in two early and also fumbled a puck in prime shooting positon late in the game.

      Also, this team is young and I get faceoff skills seem to take time in the nhl, but 29 and 34 HAVE to be better as two vet centers. 9 at least hit 50%, but even that is light for our best guy in the dot.

      • Av-a-dabba-doo

        Oh, I meant to mention the face-offs. Good call, Spoons. Not sure what’s going on there, but let’s hope it is soon remedied!

  • Charlie Anderson

    Come on, C+ for Compher? WTF?? That was the best shot by anyone in an Avs jersey in years.

    • He’s rating the whole game, not a single shot.

  • I generally agree with your ratings again. One thing I definitely agree on is your opinion on Jost. I think some AHL time would be very good for him. I’d hate to see him lose his confidence playing in the NHL too early. Bring up someone like Grimaldi and even Gabriel Bourque in his place and I don’t think you’d lose much at this point in terms of play.

    I also want to comment on how good the D looked in that game. Many of the forwards are still very disappointing a lot of the time, but all of the defensemen had good games. Bigras especially has impressed me.

    Finally, what is with the minutes for Duchene’s line? Based on the time on ice they’re our third line *at best*. I’d love to see what would happen if they got a couple more minutes per game. Maybe Mac and Rantanen could stand to play a few less anyway.

    • Charlie Anderson

      Bro I don’t care if Compher was asleep on the bench the rest of the game. He was the only guy on either team to score a goal that wasn’t a fluke. And it was an insanely nice short handed goal.

      • Well we’ll have to agree to disagree. Scoring goals is not the only thing that matters in a hockey game. If you score a goal but then take a bunch of penalties than lead to a loss, did you have a good game? I’m not saying that’s what Compher did, but he didn’t do anything outside of scoring the goal to deserve a high grade.

        • Charlie Anderson

          He’s a rookie that’s playing all the tough defensive zone starts and assignments. So there’s that. Also that wasn’t just a goal. It was the ONLY goal by either team that wasn’t a flukey one. It was short handed. It was as nice a shot as any I can remember. AND I’m pretty sure it was the goal that broke the Bruins back for that game AND the home opener. Therefore, we can directly link JT and that goal to the Avs season sweep of the B’s, their home opening victory, and the majority of the Avs success so far this year. So yes, I will continue to disagree with you sir. JT for President!