You know, this unsustainable PDO train we're on is pretty fantastic. We've got fans of the team clammering that the rebuild is over (legitimately, I don't kid) to fans willingly accepting that the Flames are playing well above themselves. I don't want to break hearts but it's going to end soon. It's okay though because we do have a bright future ahead of us.
With the pursuit of the team evolving and transitioning we've hit a point where the team is quite literally playing like last season's Colorado Avalanche (minus some of their talent but in the same principle). I love it because we all know how that ended and all the doomsayers who predicted it are quickly coming to chant that Calgary is the next victim. I'll agree. Everyone who examines the analytics side of things sees the red flags.
Listen, I love this team. I love how hard they work under Bob Hartley- I also love the feeling as a fan knowing if they lose, they're losing games trying (for the most part). We know they'll have some rough games when it looks like they aren't moving their feet (Charlie Simmer drinking game fans you drink now please) or they look sloppy. It's bound to happen. Elite teams have games like this, declining teams have games like this, and rebuilding teams have TONS of games like this.
Regardless, win or lose; it's exciting to be a fan of this team and watch amazing talent - often not of the 1st round selection process make the team and excel beyond all set expectations.
Ducks vs Flames - All Situations
- For the first part of the game, you know the Flames weren't doing too badly. You need to look closer however because the first few attempts are the fourth line of Brian McGrattan, Brandon Bollig, and Lance Bouma. Hey, Lance is good but well, you know...
- Anyway, thankfully Tim Jackman took the instigator penalty which allowed a few chances on the PP, which unfortunately didn't find the back of the net. The entire time it looked a little disjointed and never fully flushed out.
- Three-quarters of the way through, the Ducks ended up taking control again to end the period with a considerable edge possession wise.
- The 2nd period is just a disaster to even look at. We'll examine the numbers closer further down but just for a moment soak it in. It's not going to get easier, it's going to get harder as the season goes on.
- The sporadic possession numbers in the 2nd period don't really highlight any particular player or players standing out. It was just bad.
- It would be easy to say (minus OT) that the first ten minutes of play in the 3rd period were the Flames best TOI. With 12 Corsi events in 9 minutes of the period, it looked a bit better. The Flames are a great final period team (the broadcast team made sure to tell everyone about 902849034 times about it too). It's not a sustainable way of playing hockey though.
Ducks vs Flames - 5v5 Corsi
- The Ducks are a really good even-strength team. It doesn't help having all these injuries either but this is pretty much what you would expect from a team with some elite level talent.
- Things might get better when Mikael Backlund, Kris Russell, and Matt Stajan come back from the IR; but for the time being it's going to be a lot like this against top teams in the West.
- Seriously, this was painful to look at all game.
Ducks vs Flames - 5v5 Fenwick
- You know what, get rid of all those blocked shots in that boring ol' Corsi and you have a closer looking situation. According to the league stats, the teams combined for blocking 39 shots. Calgary with 22, Anaheim with 17.
- The Flames were definitely a better team with Fenwick numbers during the first part of the 1st period and the first part of the 3rd period. Regardless, the Ducks still battled back generating more attempts.
- Overall though, if you really think about it: It could always be worse.
Ducks vs Flames - All Situations
- Powerplays sure help pad numbers when looking at all situations. There isn't much beyond that. The colours help, I guess.
- As confirmed in what we've examined so far, the Flames battled back considerably in the 3rd. Score effects played a huge factor in the game itself.
- To continue with the discussion of score effects, given then nearly ingrained logic behind it (teams with a lead will move into a defensive "shell" to maintain it while the trailing team will take more shot attempts in hopes of scoring), the Flames seemed to have followed that approach last night. Even if the numbers are questionably skewed in Anaheim's favour more so.
- If we could have taken the play of the OT period and well...did that in the first two periods, we might have had a different ending. Then again, sample size is a factor when you bench half the team in OT and roll two lines.
- At least we can sleep and live with being a positive Fenwick team in the 3rd period.
Ducks vs Flames - Even Strength
Flames - Even Strength Data
- You know what, Hartley did good. Ari caught that Bollig and McGrattan never saw ice time after 34 minutes of play in the game. Good. He limited their TOI when it was needed and the responded. That said, in their extremely irregular and small sample size they had a few good shifts. Let this be the one time you see me praise their play unless they do something magical moving forward.
- Deryk Engelland, gets beat up by Jackman. Then he gets beat up possession wise. We need to upgrade. I'll keep beating that drum until it happens.
- I saw someone praise Ladislav Smid's play tonight. Please stop.
- Josh Jooris was absolutely murdered tonight. A lot of the team had some more positive OZS this evening and yet his corpse was found on the ice. RIP JOSH JOORIS. Seriously though, I feel like Hartley could have adjusted lines a bit more to maybe give Jooris a better chance but at the end of the day: it probably wouldn't have helped.
- TJ Brodie, Mark Giordano: The gods. Both reasons why the Flames came out of this game with a win -- hell even a point. They did everything necessary tonight to do what it was needed to keep driving possession when it counted. Particularly when they were 83.33% CF in the second period (not factoring zone starts).
- Raphael Diaz drew into the line-up tonight for the injured Kris Russell. He was also greeted with a death possession wise. I love Rafa and I think he along with Russell would be the optimal 5/6 while we upgrade the 3/4 spot but he needs a pairing that benefits him, not hinders him. He got some PP time but he needs a bit more ES time to maybe show off what he can do.
- Sven Baertschi was 0% at ES. He had a rough game but his play prior to tonight had improved. I hope Hartley understands that.
- Sean Monahan. Goal in the shootout, positive possession last night against the Ducks, and had a 44.44% OZS. Not bad. He keeps playing fantastically and hopefully he continues as we see his OZS decrease more and more.
- Johnny Gaudreau, slaughtered in zone starts. His CF% and Corsi Rel% were among some of his worst this season. Then again, he had rough starts and the data for seeing proper head-to-head TOI isn't showing right now. Either way, rough night for the kid possession wise but had some strong plays in the game.