The Colorado Avalanche dominated the Boston Bruins for the majority of the game and came away with an impressive 6-3 victory.

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

Sven Andrighetto (A) – After a so-so start in his first two games, he’s come on in his last two, and scored a crucial power play goal tonight for a team that needed one badly.  There has been less fumbling of the puck for him the last two games, and he looks a lot more comfortable.

Mark Barberio (C) – It was a mild surprise to see him get into the lineup, and an even bigger surprise to see him fight.  You can tell the internal competition on the team is making guys give a little more than what they normally would.  He had a so-so night overall, and the Bigras/Barberio pairing had some sketchy moments in their own end.

Tyson Barrie (B-) – The bar has been set high for Barrie early in the year, and this was probably his weakest game overall, but that doesn’t mean he was bad.  He has consistently led the team in shots on net and led them again with 5 shots tonight.

Chris Bigras (C) – Tonight was probably Bigras weakest effort of the season, but he wasn’t terrible.  He was maybe a little too aggressive on the Bruins’ first goal, but he also had players backing him up so it wasn’t technically a bad pinch.  He had a few turnovers in the defensive zone, but once again, used his skating to escape from pressure in tough spots.

Blake Comeau (C) – I think the majority of people would agree they’d rather see Nieto in this spot, but Comeau hasn’t done anything terrible to be taken out just yet.  In fact, Bednar seems to be getting more comfortable playing that 4th line.

J.T. Compher (C+) – Another tough game for Compher matchup-wise, as he only got to start one shift in the offensive zone.  He’s still got 3 points this season despite not having much offensive zone time, and he was robbed late in the game on an odd-man rush.  He did have a better night in the faceoff circle.

Matt Duchene (A) – He’s holding up his end of the bargain in terms of his play right now, and that line is on fire.  That goal of his was a pure snipe, and that line got rewarded with a little bit more ice time.

Erik Johnson (A) – I would say tonight was probably EJ’s most complete game of the year, and the pairing of him and Zadorov was dominant against the Bruins top line.  It’s remarkable that he doesn’t have a point yet, but he’s still a +7.

Tyson Jost (C+) – Nice of him to get on the board this year, even if it was an empty netter, but even nicer to see him back on the ice after the scare in the second period.  Outside of that crazy shift in the third where that line had some great chances, they were not able to create much.

Alexander Kerfoot (A) – This guy’s hockey IQ is off the charts.  The goal was great, but he created the play by not panicking in the defensive zone with the puck about 20 seconds earlier, allowing the Avs to successfully break out of their own zone and enter the offensive zone.   I don’t know why he didn’t get an assist on the Duchene goal.

Gabriel Landeskog (B) – Still looking for more consistent pressure from that line, but Landy was good on the power play, and showed nice patience behind the net, drawing a defenseman to him just prior to the Andrighetto goal.  His role early in the year seems to be to babysit the kids while they get their feet under them.

Nathan MacKinnon (B+) – A much better showing from MacK tonight.  It would be nice to see him get on the board, but primary assists are very important too, and the backhand pass to Yakupov was perfect.  His struggles in the faceoff circle are a little concerning, but it’s early.

Patrik Nemeth (C+) – There were a few more kinks in the armor of his game tonight, but he still managed to pick up another point and is a +7 right now.  He looks like a younger Jan Hejda.

Mikko Rantanen (B+) – Mikko was the Avs best forward in terms of possession tonight, and he’s still not fully in gear and you know he’s capable of more.  Tonight was hopefully the start of him picking it up.

Carl Soderberg (C) – Soda has taken a couple of bad penalties the last few games, and that is something that will need to stop as he’s looked pretty good when on the penalty kill.

Semyon Varlamov (B-) – Varly wasn’t really tested through two periods, and was having some trouble freezing the puck on the two goals in the third.  For the most part, though, he looks very calm in net and there haven’t been any mobility issues, which may be the most important thing.

Colin Wilson (C+) – I thought Wilson was having himself another fine game until that really bad penalty in the third, which allowed the Bruins to get a little bit closer.  He looks like a guy that’s going to move up and down the lineup all year.

Nail Yakupov (A) – It’s hard not to be excited at what we’re seeing out of this guy.  It’s not just the goals, as the Avs haven’t had a pure goal scorer in a long time, but he’s shown some nice vision and playmaking skills as well, including another assist tonight.  We’re going to enjoy this while it lasts, and it sure looks like Yak is as well.

Nikita Zadorov (A) – Big Z was dominant on the ice tonight, and the Avs were dominant when he was out there, controlling 66% of the shot attempts.  He was particularly good against the Bruins top line and was only on the ice for one scoring chance against on 5 on 5.  You’d prefer not to see him fighting much, but you know his teammates loved it.

The Avalanche are back on home ice on Friday night, taking on the visiting Anaheim Ducks.  The game starts at 7 PM MST.

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.

  • cerveau

    Glad to see Jost is ok.
    The Bruins were outplayed, but might have done better if Kudobhim had started in net. They showed they were capable of putting the pressure on.

    It’s not just our players that have me excited, it’s the lines. I’m really glad to see the chemistry happening in the lines, and that now that we’ve found the right line combinations Bednar is not constantly changing things around.
    Even if the Mac – Mikko line is not on the boards they’re still a major threat.

    I wonder if we can find some good line mates for Jost?…

    • Charlie Anderson

      “Good line mates for Jost”??? What, sir, do you call Landy and JT? So far this year those two have a goal and an assist each. That’s 3 points each, as many as Rantanen has. At that pace they are both 60 point players. I know they might not hold that pace, but Compher should actually get even better, as this is his rookie season, and he’s shown nothing but upward trajectory so far in his NHL career, including as nice a short handed goal as anyone is likely to ever see. It was that goal in the first game against the bruins that smacked them down and they weren’t able to get back up. AAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNDDDDDD Landy and JT are posting those #’s while shouldering the lions share of the tough defensive zone starts and assignments.

      • cerveau

        I agree and I love Landy and JT and their stats and potential are great, and Jost has huge potential too etc, plus Jost needed to be moved up from fourth line etc, but somehow I still don’t sense the chemistry that I sense with the Mikko-Mac or Yak-Duchene lines. I still get the sense Jost is struggling, and he seems to frequently get out-muscled. Maybe he’ll just grow into it the way Rants needed a little time to grow into it.
        I hope so. In fact I think so.
        And you may be right in that at this point there are no other options, at least that I can imagine for Jost. He could eventually be a top two guy but there’s no room for him there now unless somebody gets injured (I don’t even want to consider Duchene getting traded).
        I guess it’s a good problem to have.

        • Charlie Anderson

          For sure. I hope the Avs develop into one of those teams with 3 first lines, you know, the ones that win Stanley cups 🙂 Could happen if Jost and Compher blossom into the top notch NHLers they seem destined to become.

          • cerveau

            I could be a hopeless day-dreamer, but I honestly see the potential for the Avs to become the next Blackhawks. Especially when Cale Makar comes on board, which will hopefully be only a year from now.
            At that point, if Dutchy is still around we’ll have a one year window of opportunity to go really far before Dutchy takes off.
            Maybe… maybe… we could even have FOUR first lines…
            Somebody pinch me and wake me up…

          • Charlie Anderson

            I too, am daydreaming and it feels good. Also Timmons…..very exciting. Go Avs!

  • Av-a-dabba-doo

    As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I took my two daughters to the home opener, and we all had a great time. For quite a while, though, there was a bit of angst b/c it seemed like one of those games where the Avs were playing 5x better than their opposition (no exaggeration), yet the score tallies weren’t reflecting this. I’m sure Bednar will address the sag that we allowed to happen in the third, as the game got much tighter than it ever needed to (Boston had looked utterly lifeless). As good as Varly had been up till that point in the season, he definitely had a bad lapse that could’ve cost us. (I think a C-grade is generous enough for his overall performance.) Still, a very encouraging result at the end of the night. Fast, exciting, skillful hockey for much of it. Keep growing, boys.