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Game 17 Fancy Stats Recap

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♫ The Flames went down to Raleigh. They were lookin' for some points to steal. They were in a bind 'cause it was rebuildin' time and they refuse to make some deals. They already had a captain, scorin' points, and lookin' hot. The Flames decided to ice some young players and said "Carolina, please don't pound our butts." ♫ - Mike FAIL, bad song writer and interpreter of the Flames 4-1 loss last night.

Johnny Hockey and Paul Byron played against 'Canes small man Nathan Gerbe. It was adorable.
Johnny Hockey and Paul Byron played against 'Canes small man Nathan Gerbe. It was adorable.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

As we recapped in last night's rage inducing loss, after beating the Hurricanes last time with a 5-0 victory and at the time, a "more NHL" looking lineup the Flames dressed and played more so at times of their AHL affiliate. This is humbling and a more realistic expectation of what we will see of the team throughout the season however.

Given what we know about how well the Flames have been performing (often with their heads above water), we knew that the Florida portion of the roadtrip would most likely signal the regression to set in. I had a sinking feeling going into last night's game that it would be more visible against a Hurricanes team who seemingly have found themselves in the last four games (five if you include last night's win).

Courtesy of HockeyStats.ca by the amazing Greg Sinclair:

The first period was a snooze-fest and really didn't generate much. Max Reinhart was responsible for the first attempt towards Cam Ward and from there it was some very minimal back and forth attempts that sporadically continued until the David Jones goal. Calgary flat-lined for a huge section of time until the essential end of the period.

With only four power plays this game, the Flames special teams didn't make a significant difference between Corsi ALL and Corsi ES aside from the Jones goal. As expected, the Hurricanes would have a stronger power play generating a slide edge in events and being generally a better team. We'll examine the differences below.

Corsi 5v5

There is a stretch in the second period that the guys behind Natural Stat Trick mentioned last night.

We used HockeyStats.ca's data to examine it a bit further. 23:17 to 25:47, during the second period Carolina generated 14 attempts at even strength against a Calgary. I was examining it further but Photoshop wouldn't line up the charts from War-On-Ice properly to show exactly who had shifts during that period. From what I could tell, Russell and Wideman appeared to have been on ice for the bulk of it.

I want to go through it further with the game video (I recorded it) and try to get the data to match up to give an accurate report of who was on, why it happened, and what maybe could have prevented it. So stay tuned for that, I want to try and tackle it sometime today.

Peters also took advantage of matching top lines on the ice against the Flames' 4th line comprising for most of the night as Lance Bouma, Brandon Bollig, and young Josh Jooris. That would change after Setoguchi's turnover, penalty, and subsequent PP goal against though.

Fenwick 5v5

Calgary performed much better later in with regards to non-blocked shots than Carolina. During a stretch from the late part of the second period leading late into the third, the Flames held fenwick of 39-35 until Carolina continued to storm Calgary's end generating more and more at even strength.

We're going to break down the period data for each player along with the team-level data as well for this recap which will give some fans a closer look at players by the period as opposed to the game level.

Nerdy numbers via Natural Stat Trick:

Hurricanes vs Flames - All Situations

  • Flames power play in first helped push them above 50% in the first in CF% and FF% which is nice to see. However, the reliance on a PP to keep possession numbers up isn't going to last or even be viable long term. The team (once healthy and shedding of dead weight) will be (HOPEFULLY) a better even strength team.
  • With all the penalties in the second, the Flames finished at a 50% CF and 52.50% FF which is also a good sign but realistically not sustainable for this team.
  • Final period, yeesh. Carolina was a really great team in the third and proved why they're trending upwards. Are they in the same situation as Calgary for the season? Probably not. A lot of people expected them to trade off assets if injuries and the team didn't rebound. I have them as a bubble team who are a few years away still.
Hurricanes vs Flames - Even Strength

  • Hurricanes push late int he first period was responsible for the slight edge leading into the second.
  • The Flames commanding start to the second was overshadowed immediately by that aforementioned storm of 'Canes chances that was truly remarkable to examine. That being said, it was nice to see the Flames finish the second period above 50% rather than below which is a common theme for the team.
  • The game would be close throughout the remainder of the game until late in the third when Carolina's relentless push was too much for the Flames to overcome.
Team Data - Courtesy of  HockeyGoalieEh who was posting it in the Gamethread
  • This doesn't have zone start data so it's just looking at all the Corsi data.
  • I do know for a fact that TJ Brodie and Mark Giordano had some of the toughest zone starts in the first which explains them at 50% for the first period. They would continue to get the toughest assignments for the blueline and because of that, they did suffer a bit. It also doesn't help them at times playing with lower possession players like Bouma, Bollig, and Jooris.
  • That being said, we know the rookies/youngsters will have issues with possession so it's not necessarily a knock against Jooris, Granlund, and company but a sign that it takes time to be a possession player.
  • Johnny Gaudreau and Markus Granlund had a fantastic second period and ho-hum third. Although the entire team for the most part was ho-hum in the third. Both are proving to be useful on the team and probably won't be sent down at all at this point.
  • Engelland, Smid, Bollig, and Setoguchi are well..we've said it before.
Flames Even Strength Data

  • Despite the loss and only one goal scored, we're still seeing the same trends come through nearly a quarter of the way through the season.
  • We all know Devin Setoguchi isn't working out. He shouldn't be on the power play, he should be on the fourth line and/or in the press box. The game against Carolina really showed that any decent possession numbers were because of his line-mates.
  • Bollig, product of padded zone starts was a positive possession player...because of Lance Bouma and Josh Jooris predominately. We saw the play of that line in the game and we know for a fact that during that game Booma (as Sportsnet calls him now) and Jooris were doing more entering the zone than Bollig. We know this because Bollig is either skating well behind the play or he sits near the net. Yeesh.
  • Giordano and Brodie are going to need that second pairing to either be improved by trade OR by by someone's play improving. The Flames cannot rely on Brodidano to consistently have the toughest zone starts for defencemen on the team and drive possession. It's just not a great way to play the game.
  • As stated earlier, Gaudreau has had some padded zone starts but it shows he has a knack for driving possession. His ability to carry the puck in with confidence and actually set up plays has been sorely missed by past Flames teams. The era of the dump and chase could be over soon as more offensively gifted talent will be added and hopefully reshape how the Flames control play.
  • Granlund has been rounding out slowly to be a great centre for the team. He's been decimated at times on zone starts, quality of competition (often playing top lines or second lines), and having to take tough face-offs. He showed some good numbers against Carolina which is optimistic.
This loss gives us perspective on how things are truly going to be at times for this rebuilding team. The Calgary Flames have a long way to go and examining this data game by game, month by month, and year by year will really show how the team performs as the league evolves into a focused possession game.