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Game 15 Fancy Stats Recap: REGRESSION SETS IN

There were a lot of great moments for the first 35 minutes or so of play and then EVERYTHING WENT HORRIBLY WRONG! OH GOD THE HORROR! Okay so here's what really happened.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Remember how we said that the Flames were playing well above their skill level with an inflated PDO, goal differential, and just about everything else? Remember how we have been cautiously preparing readers and fans to be aware that the good times this season won't last forever? We're not trying to be negative, just realistic. Last night was an example of what will probably happen lots this season and probably next season.

We saw a few great things come of this game and a lot of bad. It's bound to happen and we'll roll with it. Monahan had a great goal that was needed. Brodie and Giordano continued to assert their dominance as the most amazing pairing ever created. Oh, and Sven Baertschi had a great game until he was benched inexplicably.

Via the one, the only, and the amazing Greg Sinclair's

Corsi - All Situations

The first period would be the Flames strongest period easily regardless of Tyler Johnson's shot on net 0:16 into the game. Calgary within two minutes of play had five Corsi events was a full 360 to the tire fire of possession against Washington. This steadily rose around 10 minutes into the game when the Flames continued a strong push of shot attempts on Tampa. It was nice to see a stronger focus on zone entries and possession in the offensive zone.

The wheels on the bus would derail a bit at times in all situations including a Tampa power play that is inhuman and unfair to the opposition. Calgary did battle back at times with their power play and it did generate lots of attempts to even the situation in all-situations. Although this chart looks close, it's because of the amount of penalties in the game. If you exclude the two pair of hooking-embellishment calls (seriously what was up with that!?), Calgary had four power plays. They went 1/4 with 9 shots on net, along with a number of blocked and missed shots.

Corsi - Even Strength

That first period, like we said: complete 360 and then the second period happened. The flat line is due to the penalties in the second period and shortly after Tampa did finally take a lead of events at ES. Calgary, valiantly for a moment battled back but that would be it for that.

The third period, if you watched the game (personally I don't, I just look at the numbers in my basement) and/or read Ari's very passionate post-game, would have seen Jon Cooper's aggressive team take score effects and say "fuck off" to it. They didn't let up. It was relentless. Tampa's second line of Palat, Johnson, and Kucherov was a beast throughout the game but also in the third. Stamkos' line did woke up later in the game as well plus Tampa's third and fourth lines did a number on the Flames, too. Tampa simply outplayed us when it mattered most.

Fenwick - Even Strength

I'll make this quick since it's basically the same as the ES Corsi situation:

  • Good first period!
  • Meh second period
  • Tire fire
  • *intense sobbing occurs*

The Flames could have benefited from adjusting lines, match-ups, and ice time but they didn't. It didn't help and when you pull a goalie with 3:03 left in the third down 4-2 (Patrick Roy level move) with five minutes (roughly at ES, a bit more in all situations) at a time between shot attempts, you have no chance. It wasn't a smart decision. I could have seen it working if the Flames had generated more chances regularly in the third than the sporadic nature.

Let's break down the period by period data of all situations courtesy of NaturalStatTrick:

Flames vs Tampa - All Situations

  • The numbers (for many readers) put things in better perspective period by period and it shows here exactly what's going on. I think moving forward we may combine the charts with these to compress these recaps.
  • What doesn't exist on NST is a period by period breakdown of each player; and I think it would paint better pictures with data. I think long term for the recaps we'll do, we may adopt those until it's built into either Greg's site or NST.
Flames vs Tampa - Even Strength
  • Everything you can say already has been said here and in the post-game. Which is why we'll do something a little bit different with tonight's recap to show some other data involving Tampa.
Something Great: The Flames vs Tampa Bay's Top Line

One of the legitimate positives to come from this game was how the Flames played against the Tampa top line of Ryan Callahan, Valtteri Filppula, and Steven Stamkos. The line hasn't been as hot as expected and Tampa relied more on secondary scoring last night than primary scoring. That being said, I didn't screen cap the period by period breakdown of this -- I probably should have as it ended up being one of the more fascinating stories from the game.
Tampa - Even Strength

I've highlighted the two top lines which were two very different cases this evening.
  • I can't figure out if it was someone on the Stamkos line dragging down their numbers that allowed the Flames to take advantage of them. However...
  • Brodie and Giordano did match up against Stamkos in particular (as expected). Brodidano along with Paul Byron's line did the most work to them.
  • Brodie was 14-11, Giordano was 17-12, Byron at 13-7, Devin Setoguchi 11-7, AND SVEN! Sven was 12-6 in ES Corsi events against Stamkos.
  • Filppula and Callahan similar in slight ways with Corsi as well.
  • Fenwick wise, a little bit less than Corsi which is to be expected at times.
With regards to the Lightning's second line, they did pretty amazing. To go a bit further, they were far more effective with more difficult zone starts (excluding Kucherov). Johnson is developing into a fantastic top six guy and Palat is a steal at this point for what he has done, being a 7th round pick (208th OV). They were able to generate significant presence in our zone AND take on our top line with limited to no problems. Taking advantage of undrafted and late round talent and refining their skills is exactly a trait that Calgary is capable of doing.

I don't want to cover the Lightning more than I have to with regards to tonight's game *cough* 2004?! IT WAS IN *cough* but they are extremely talented from top to bottom. They played the top line more so but matched up against the second pairing more and were successful.

You can examine some of the match-up data on the NST link further up; data was examined and pulled from the Lightning - Opposition section with EV selected. Now let's get back to the Flames with an examination of their "fancy stats" from last night.

Even Strength Corsi and Fenwick Data
  • See post-game recap notes about Bollig. Not touching that any longer.
  • Same goes with Engelland.
  • David Jones, who had been playing with some of the better talent on the team, was exiled to Bolligland, the most unhappy place on the ice. He suffered because of it. We know he is overpaid, we know he won't attain those goal totals, the shooting percentage, and live to the contract... BUT he is decent in the bottom six WITH the right players.
  • I want him with Stajan on the third line. It'll work out there with him and Byron or Glencross for example.
  • Despite Jooris' strong play on the top line, they did get slaughtered later in the game possession wise. That's not to say he was bad at all. Jooris had a great game and the kid's story is just remarkable. I hope he beats the odds and becomes a full-time NHLer.
  • Monahan was great tonight getting more difficult zone starts and taking on top six competition. The Palat-Johnson-Kucherov line decimated him though. But, everyone is noticing the evolution of Sean this season. He's doing a lot more than we expected and the regression in a sophomore season hasn't really hit yet. We know it won't always be positive at times for him but he's beating the odds for now.
  • Paul Byron continues to impress. He primarily saw the top line and did a lot on the ice but he still can't put it in the net. Give it time though. He's bound to do it at some point. We're rooting for you, Paul!
  • Setoguchi had some good numbers but I think it's more from guys like Giordano, Brodie, Sven, Byron, and etc. He needs to get the hell off the PP too. He isn't useful in it and he should be used in a fourth line role more so.
  • Raphael Diaz is in a predicament of sorts. His numbers are being hurt (since he is paired with Smid or Engelland) and his play wasn't completely solid. That being said, being played for just under 11 minutes a night isn't a good way to utilize him. Given the chance to expel Wideman from Calgary may be beneficial to seeing Rafa play more minutes with Russell and become a better second pairing.
  • To end on a positive note, Brodie and Gio. God damn they are spectacular. We retweeted a great article on Twitter last night for you guys to check out. It details how gosh-darn amazing they are and it's coming from an East coast based writer too! They faced off against top competition and proved they could do well with extremely difficult zone starts. Bollig and Jones are the only ones with worse starts. Their point streaks continued as well!
We're going to skip the player spotlight for last night's game as we've covered some alternative perspectives. The main focus of these recaps will give you the standard insight but at times if something unusual or note-worthy takes place, we want to focus on that as well. These recaps are dynamic and throughout the season, you're going to see a lot of information displayed to fully understand the true growth in this young team.

One thing I'd like to do at some point for these is include video breaking down some positive and negative sequences in games to illustrate these stats more fluidly but also add another valuable piece of information to the discussion here.

The Flames take on the ever improving and intriguing Florida Panthers on Saturday at 1PM MST. So stay tuned to Matchsticks for more analysis on the Flames and our preview of the game! We promise Ari and I will be calmed down by then.