Colorado Avalanche Player Grades: The Playoffs

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 20: Gabriel Landeskog
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 20: Gabriel Landeskog /
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NASHVILLE, TN – APRIL 20: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche pushes Ryan Ellis #4 into goalie Pekka Rinne #35 creating a scoring chance during the third period of a 2-1 Avalanche victory in Game Five of the Western Conference First Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on April 20, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

Core Players

Nathan MacKinnon: A

Center Nathan MacKinnon was the reason the Avalanche were in the playoffs, and he didn’t disappoint once there. He was second only to Gabriel Landeskog in points with six (3 goals, 3 assists). He came up big when the Avs needed him.

Gabriel Landeskog: A+

Captain Gabriel Landeskog was the beast of the playoffs for the Avalanche. He recorded four goals and three assists. What’s more, he led the team both on and off the ice as a captain should. The man was built for the playoffs.

Mikko Rantanen: D

Right wing Mikko Rantanen was the biggest disappointment of the playoffs. He had a stellar regular season, recording 29 goals and 55 assists for 84 points. Yet he fell completely flat in the playoffs, recording just four assists. What’s more, he looked lost about half the time. We were all hoping he was hiding an injury, but he went on to play well at IIHF Worlds. Chock it up to a sophomore slump, which he didn’t suffer in the regular season.

Tyson Barrie: B-

In the first couple of games, there was some question of whether Tyson Barrie would even survive the series — the Predators were going after him pretty hard. However, Barrie survived and even went on to record four assists. I gave him a little extra credit since the Preds really were targeting him.

Nikita Zadorov: A+

Defenseman Nikita Zadorov came out and scored the first goal of the playoffs to show he meant business. And he never backed down. Like Landeskog, he was a beast on the ice. He also never took a bad penalty — or not too bad, considering his history. Zadorov was also one of the few players who didn’t look spent in Game 6. At the end of the season, we discovered he did all that while suffering  from a shoulder injury.