... Afternoon Delight!
The Flames almost never win these afternoon games, do they? At any rate, great game, great win, and (mostly) good effort.First
EV Shots On Goal : 8-7
EV Shots Toward Net : 17-12
EV Faceoff Starts : 7-2
EV Shots On Goal : 5-12
EV Shots Toward Net : 9-18
EV Faceoff Starts : 2-8
EV Shots On Goal : 8-1
EV Shots Toward Net : 14-3
EV Faceoff Starts : 6-0
EV Shots On Goal : 21-20
EV Shots Toward Net : 40-33
EV Faceoff Starts : 15-10
My perception of the Flames EV game went like:
1st period: Almost even due to lots of neutral zone play
2nd period: Ice tilted towards Flames net
3rd period: Ice tilted towards Kings net
I may have been a bit off on that 1st period. There definitely was a lot of turning back at the neutral zone by both teams. Apparently more by the Kings though. Your impressions?
In aggregate, I liked the Flames EV game. They weren't at all good in that 2nd period, getting pinned in their zone for long stretches. But they got it all back and more in the third. Consider that
- LA is a good team
- If anything, LA should have been pushing back after the SHG
In that context, it was a fantastic third period at 5on5 by the Flaming C.
The Flames PK was also good in aggregate. The Kings PP is good - they keep the defenders rotating and move the puck into dangerous areas. The Flames first PK was atrocious, they didn't get into the passing lanes at all. But from there it was fine, they took away the options from the points, battled hard when the puck went to safe zones, cleared the puck and forechecked like demons. The SHG was icing, and a bit lucky tbh.
The Flames PP was disgustingly bad though. Dear lord. This game could have been put away in the first, but the Flames did not do anything worthy of the cherry ice time. No finding open lanes, no creating space, no options, no success.
The Charlie Simmer motto of "moving your feet" applies somewhat here. More than that though, it's just this: when you're on the PP, no style of defensive zone play will make up for the fact that one guy can always escape coverage. So try to put that guy in a dangerous spot and try to get that puck to him!
And of course, the best way of doing that is to "move your feet". But not necessarily so. Last night I watched a DET-MTL PP where Datsyuk, on the right half-wall, suddenly stops moving. You could almost see the MTL PKers mouthing "what the fuck". Seconds later, he passes to an uncovered Zetterberg beside the net who proceeds to try and stuff the puck in quicker than MTL fans can go "Ole Ole". Uncovered guy, dangerous area, puck on his stick. Nice.
If it weren't for the heroics of Jay Bouwmeester on the 5on3, the PP would have been a complete disaster. His move was brilliant, and as I said last night, you could practically see him thinking "enough of this shit". Quite frankly it pisses me off, since the PP at the beginning of the year was excellent (and not just in results). Good play drives good results, and bad play drives bad results. Who'da thunk??
So with the win, thoughts of the 7-1 blowout to Chicago are pushed to the backburner. Thank God. If you want to see how blowout losses are really earned, look no further than CHI-EDM last night.
- Lundmark looked decent in his call-up, but let's not get ahead of ourselves - he is not a realistic first-line LW option. CP is creaming its pants over his play on the Iggy hat trick goal. Who did LA have on the ice for said goal? Richardson, Simmonds and Parse up front, Johnson and Jones on defense. Worthy candidates for the 142nd Team All-Stars. I expect Iginla and Jokinen, with Bouwmeester manning the point, to dominate this 5some, and they handily did so. But Lundmark, in that situation, basically had the cherriest of cherry ice time.
- Speaking of Iginla and Jokinen, the fact that they dominated a third line is a massive step forward from season's beginning. Your top players have to do two things: 1.) break even or outplay the other team's top players, and 2.) dominate their lesser players. They certainly did #2 last night. And as far as #1 goes - Iginla vs. Frolov was the premier matchup last night (~8 of Iggy's ~13 EV minutes). There was the panic shift in the second where Frolov scored, which was gross. In total, Frolov vs. Iginla resulted in a 4-3 chance differential at EV in favor of LA. Still some work to be done.
P.S. Sutter, please acquire Frolov. You love trading with LA, do it one more time.