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Flames vs Sharks Stats Recap

Another two goals for Jiri Hudler is excellent. The Flames continue their winning ways but the ongoing issues at even strength continue.

Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Give it up for Hudler though who had one of heck of a game last night. With 10 goals and 10 assists on the season, the fatherly veteran forward is helping nurture and assist in the development of our youth yet again this season. With the emergence of Sean Monahan this season (so far), it's optimistic that next season Johnny Gaudreau and Markus Granlund can make the same strides Monahan has this season.

That said, the continued issues of possession at even strength stand out as a topic of discussion about the Flames this season. On the TSN Analytics Podcast from the weekend, Travis Yost added to the conversation again about the track record of teams like the Flames. The comparisons of the Toronto Maple Leafs (2013) and Colorado Avalanche (2013) continue to mount up. Those are fair comparisons and justly so. That said Toronto has improved this season slightly although Colorado as many predicted have regressed.

Onto last night's game though starting with the standard possession charts from

Flames vs Sharks - All Situations

  • The first minute of play in opening period may have been the best start I've seen from this team in the last five or six games.
  • The teams continued at neck and neck pace with opportunities until the late penalties. That's when San Jose really opened up and took an edge in possession heading into the second period.
  • The second period is convincing a possession victory for the Sharks. The penalty troubles allowed the Sharks to dominate the game. Fortunately Karri Ramo was there to keep the Flames in the game
  • The only interval of play in the second worth noting for the Flames would be the around the 35:00 mark which lead to the first goal of the game. They would trend up a bit more but not enough to even consider this game close
  • The third is just a disaster possession wise. The team clearly prepared to shell up and protect the lead as the VERY VISIBLE display of score effects kicked in. San Jose did everything possible at times to try and solve Ramo but it wouldn't work out.
Flames vs Sharks - Even Strength
  • First period was essentially the same as in all situations. Nothing more notable.
  • Two solid intervals of shot attempts in the second just after the 25:00 mark and near the end of the period.
  • Final period made me talk to my therapist about the PTSD I suffer from after watching this club.
Flames vs Sharks - Fenwick ES

This club was a lot better at shots on net and shots missed. The reliance on shot-blocking isn't something to be proud of one bit. If we're a top five shot-blocking team we're a team that spends too much time without the puck. The pride in grit and intangibles to step up and block a shot is all well-and-good but not something that will vault ourselves into the playoffs with.

Flames vs Sharks - Period Breakdown Data courtesy of NaturalStatTrick:

Flames vs Sharks - All

Flames vs Sharks - ES

Flames - Even Strength - Corsi, Fenwick, and OZS%

  • Brandon Bollig somehow came out at 50% with 0% OZS. One is going to assume it has something strikingly similar to Sven Baertschi's numbers, Raphael Diaz, and Ladislav Smid. All of them were given difficult starts and limited ice time but did well. Which is weird to see. Give them a bit more but within reason and compliment them with the right players.
  • Monahan had a rough night. A few big giveaways and a bit too much ES TOI attributed to a lot behind his numbers. He had some of his most difficult zone starts of the season and we saw him pay for it. Sophomore season and you don't expect him to be put out there in those situations but he is. It's one bad game but let's see how he rebounds.
  • Curtis Glencross had the worst night of all. Playing on that top-line with David Jones too and they didn't generate much. Instead they had the toughest competition and did not succeed in possession numbers.
  • The second pairing of Kris Russell and Dennis Wideman was not good. Russell is a great 4/5 but paired with Wideman doesn't yield the right support for Brodie and Giordano. If we can find an option (say Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Scott Harrington) for the right price, it may be best to adjust the blueline that way.
  • So that would give us: Gio - Brodie, Wideman - Harrington, and Russell - Engelland/Diaz/Smid in theory.
  • The second line of Johnny Gaudreau, Hudler, and Granlund has been good but last night may have been one of Granlund's worst games numbers wise. He's getting there but with 16.67% OZS it's honestly not fair to put him out there like that.
  • Gaudreau had a great game driving play and creating chances from his zone entries though. He needs to slow down play a bit more and think things through a bit further but he's getting there. The best moments he has are when he is in control, confident, and a bit slower with his decisions. Allowing the opponent to come to him and dangling around him or finding the right pass is what he excels at so far; along with zone entries and his fearlessness.
  • Hudler had one of his best games of the season when you factor in zone starts. His goal and the empty net goal capped off a great evening.
Overall an interesting evening, the team was punished mercilessly at even strength and down a man but they snuck out a 2-0 victory. Now an idea that I want to suggest:

Sven Baertschi + Curtis Glencross for Scott Harrington

Why? The Flames need a better option in their top four and the Penguins need wingers to compliment their top nine. Sven is consistently not receiving ice time even though he is improving (albeit slower than other talent now) but this could benefit him more as a fresh start. Current Penguins coach Mike Johnson coached Sven down in Portland during his junior days so there is a connection there. That might be the benefit him allowing a second chance at becoming the scoring talent he was projected to be.

Glencross, well he's a UFA at the end of the season so he'll probably walk anyway. There was talk at the beginning of the season that he wasn't interested in a hometown discount and may expect a pay raise. Health and injuries have always been a concern of his along with streaky play at times. With 125 goals and 129 assists in his career, he would be a great fit on the second line in Pittsburgh if it happened.

Harrington, drafted 54th overall (2nd Round) in 2011 is currently playing for the Penguins AHL affiliate and has 24 points (5 goals, 19 assists) in 76 games last season. To add to that, he has a goal and assist in 18 playoff games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He's sort of fell down the depth chart in a lot of ways with Pittsburgh. With talent like Derrick Pouliot in the system (another player Mike Johnson coached in Portland) along with a more "veteran" blueline, he could benefit from joining a team who is young and needs a better two-way defender on their team.

I don't know, it's an idea. It's something to consider moving forward. Our third pairing is arguably the weakest link with regards to defense and having Deryk Engelland PLUS Ladislav Smid play doesn't drive play at all. IF the Flames fall out of the Jack Eichel/Connor McDavid sweeptakes, Noah Hanifin is the next best option right now but with the way the team is playing we may be a 5-10 pick.

Calgary takes on Arizona next on Saturday in Glendale so we'll have you covered this weekend with our preview, post-game, and stats recap.