Avs Game 19 Grades: Grind it out
Anton Blidh – C-
Got moved up to the Newhook line in the third term, not quite sure why. A relatively calm game with not much physicality, one of the reasons why he is here.
Andrew Cogliano – B
I guess LOC’s shot into the empty net hit something on Cogliano, because that’s his goal now. Had a good look in the first period of a 3 on 2 that Wedgewood caught with his glove. Super smart play in the second on the PK when he faked touching a hand pass that kind of stopped the Stars players.
JT Compher – C+
He took a LOT of face-offs. 25 to be exact. Almost broke even. Almost 20 minutes of ice time with all the injuries and now up to the top PP unit, where he didn’t do much of anything. All that ice age and still not even a power shot attempt.
Alexander Georgiev – A-
His only fault was that he looked a little out of position on the only goal, but it was a bounce. Great other than that. The Stars seemed to have a lot of outside shots, but he did a better job of controlling the rebounds than in previous games. Looking completely locked in and calm every night.
Sam Girard – B+
Fairly good on the breakaway and very good in the defensive zone. Offensively, still not quite forward. Had a good look in the third period, but fumbled a bit on the pass so the keeper managed to get into position.
Dryden Hunt – A-
Took one shot and it went in, but he was put on that line only to crash the net, so he did exactly what he had to do. Best shooting percentage on the team as well.
Erik Johnson – B
I’ll say it a million times, but a good EJ game is one where you don’t notice him and didn’t notice him much tonight. Very physical night on the stat sheet.
Martin Kaut – B-
Had some flubs off the puck on passes, but also picked up an assist on the nice zone entry on the Hunt goal. Still getting used to PK. Nice look for Newhook on a late power play.
Artturi Lehkonen – B
Blocked a big shot in the second period and then limped out of it. The last thing they need is for him to get hurt now. Picked up another assist, and looked good on a one-timer early in the game.
Jacob MacDonald – B-
Tough post in the third period on a bomb from a face-off. Ended the match with some pizza, after a big hit in the neutral zone and then had to fight, even though the hit was completely clean.
Nathan MacKinnon – B
Oddsmakers continue to increase goal-line shots for MacKinnon, but he continues to surpass it. Seven shots on net, including the snipe in the first period to get things going early. Could have had a few more, and even domed Wedgewood with one of his good looks.
Cale Makar – B
For all the ice time he had, he was very low event. Tried doing everything he could to avoid taking a penalty on the power play, even going as far as throwing his arms up in the air when MacKinnon would carry it in.
Josh Manson – B-
What an eventful game, and hard to characterize because there was good and bad, and he did it all in just 15 minutes of ice time. Three penalties, no matter what you think of them, is simply not acceptable and he takes a lot of penalties early in the year. The third was also very clear. On the other hand, he jumps into the game and makes some smart plays, picking up a goal on a simple rebound and an assist from a nice give and go with O’Connor.
Jayson Megana – B–
Was absolutely flying in the first period, and even thought he was going to go end-to-end, but tried to force a pass to Ranta that wasn’t there. Quiet after that.
Alex Newhook – B+
A very dangerous player when he moves his feet and holds onto the puck. The Hunt goal was created by Newhook carrying the puck and actually putting it on net, something he needs to do a lot more of. One of his better games at center this year.
Logan O’Connor – B+
Loved his fight with Heiskanen on the penalty kick, with Heiskanen trying to head him out of bounds and LOC not even budging to block the shot. Then after it clears out of the zone, he gives Heiskanen a hack for good measure.
Mikko Rantanen – B
Got no points one way or another, but had more than a couple of good looks, including a dandy backhand pass to MacKinnon on a 3 on 2 and a nice drop to Makar on another odd-man rush.
Sampo Ranta – C
I guess he wanted another Finn to feel his pain after a facial injury. Physical play, but not much happened in terms of attack.
Far and away the worst on defense in terms of shooting percentage, but there just wasn’t much in terms of quality from the stars so it wasn’t too bad.