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Panthers vs Flames: Mauled (Stats Recap)

♫ Straight outta Vancouver, crazy motherf*cka named Aaron Ekblad, from the gang Panthers Wit Attitude. ♫ The Flames fell 6-5 and it was because of a lot of sloppy play, bad luck, and bad goaltending.

Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Game one of the post-Brian McGrattan era began last night. It was capped off with a loss, an unfortunate one at that. That said, we have a new member of the Flames organization in Drew Shore. I'm optimistic that we could see him play sometime soon as everything I saw online yesterday eluded to high praise from Panthers fans.

The Panthers however, not focused on the trade they made with their opponents, wanted to continue their recent success on the road and were looking to enact some revenge for the 6-4 loss back in November. Courtesy of our pal Greg Sinclair and we have our period graphs.

Panthers vs Flames - Corsi All Situations

  • The most impressive thing about how disappointing this looks is that Matt Stajan's goal was the first shot attempt we had on net and it resulted in a goal. Positives right?
  • Beyond that, the team was flat. Florida's attention to aggressive forechecking, smart line matching, and getting setup was key to their success in the first period. That said, the Hiller gaffe that lead to Florida's first goal was well...not super great. Oh well though.
  • The power play didn't help us out at all in the opening period. Limited shot attempts didn't result in much.
  • The only sustained pressure was a four shot attempt interval near the end of the period.
  • The second period would have one power play for the Flames in which they generated three shot attempts total heading into the third when the power play ended. Four if you count the six attackers on the delayed call.
  • The play of Gaudreau, Backlund, and Hudler together in the third was very fascinating to see. Was very pleased with how confident the trio worked together in the offensive zone generating chances and keeping pressure.
  • Score effects would be the trigger at the end of the game as the Flames tried to draw even but failed as time expired.

Panthers vs Flames - Corsi 5v5

  • Another disaster of a first period for the Flames at 5v5. The return of Mikael Backlund might help over the coming games (and the other night) but last night they struggled again. 9-22 in the first period is not something to write home about.
  • The second period was 100% better in terms of volume of shot attempts but their overall play didn't increase that much. Beyond a smart decision by Joe Colborne that lead to the Backlund goal, it was very fractured and inefficient. You see a large lull 25:22 to 33:04 when they generate a whopping three shot attempts.
  • They do get a small burst shortly after but it doesn't sustain and the Panthers immediately kick back potentially due to score effects and they make it 4-4.
  • The Hayes goal is just a clean one-timer that beats Hiller and due to positioning mistakes by Bouma; Hayes is fed the puck or at least it appears that he is a bit too far up looking to converge and take the puck from Jussi Jokinen.
  • Nothing but love for what Gaudreau - Backlund - Hudler did together in the third. One of the very limited bright spots in the game.
  • Beyond that not much more happened in favor of the Flames as they lost the battle primarily at 5v5 and due to some very sloppy decisions at times.

Period Summaries and Flames possession data via Natural Stat Trick:

Panthers vs Flames - All Situations

Panthers vs Flames - Even Strength

Flames - Corsi / Fenwick / SF% / OZS% Data

  • Jiri Hudler, now a father had a great evening despite the loss. His season has been nothing short of spectacular so far and he often finds himself driving play and creating offense. He spent a bulk of the night with his son Johnny Gaudreau (10:12 TOI together) and former son of last year Sean Monahan (7:33 TOI together). Realistically with either of them he was 50% CF/FF or higher which is what we need consistently from him.
  • David Jones also when you're one of four players 50% or higher CF or one of two 50% or higher in FF had an okay night. Spending much of the night with newly freed man Matt Stajan and sluggish skate Curtis Glencross they seemed to be a moderately okay line though Glencross had a less than stellar evening.
  • Stajan however matched up against a lot of tougher competition like Brian Campbell, Aaron Ekblad, and Nick Bjugstad. All of which had Stajan less than  50% CF while playing against them. Though what should be noted is that the two goals Stajan scored is exactly what happens when he isn't completely banished and left with Bollig on his line.
  • Johnny Gaudreau had an average evening and a bit tougher zone starts than usual. He broke even but was less average when it came to FF% and SF% while on the ice. Gaudreau primarily saw the secondary pairing of Willie Mitchell and Erik Gudbranson; and the line of Vincent Trotcheck, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Brad Boyes. He was incredibly successful overall and flourished against them though a majority of his starts were in the offensive zone.
  • Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie as usual faced off against the toughest competition, faced the toughest starts (for the defense), and generally had the overall toughest night. The Flames overall around them played less than acceptable, Brodie had a bad giveaway in the game, and it didn't seem to be perfect for them. This is an extremely alarming situation for the entire blueline to be below 50%.
  • Lance Bouma, not a bad game at all. Three assists, toughest zone starts, and came out with probably his best game of the season in my opinion. Though much of his success came from short intervals (examined in his WOWYs) were others actually boosted his performance. If he can find a way to actually drive shot attempts rather than block them; he could round out into a really great fourth line player. With David Jones? 60% CF / 55.56% FF. Without? 44.44% CF / 46.15% FF.
  • Finally to touch on the bottom performers of last night. Mason Raymond had an atrocious game stats wise. Though his zone starts seemed to be much more of the difficult side than we're accustomed to. I liked this signing during the summer and I hope he finds his stride soon because he isn't working out well at times.
  • Paul Byron had a rough night. No finish on his scoring chances and generally played against weaker competition like Derek MacKenzie, Scottie Upshall, and Tomas Kopecky. Even against a guy like Dave Bolland he went 20% CF / 25% FF in 2:51 TOI against each other.
Player Spotlight - Lance Bouma

I figured Bouma would be a fantastic example of the problem with just looking at numbers on the surface before digging into them. If you're newer to the "analytics world" I hope this explains the WOWY principle. If you're a new reader, WOWY is With or Without You. Meaning you examine a player WITH a certain player to see how they fared together; and you see what they were like WITHOUT the aforementioned player.

I've talked about my concerns about Lance Bouma before and how he is a blackhole in terms of possession. Part of it is his skill-set, part of it is his abilities, teammates he is playing with, and part of it is his deployment. He is meant to kill penalties, block shots, and chip in occasionally. The problem with this is on a weaker roster, having him out on the ice ends up costing the Flames at times when it comes to shot attempts.

Because of his particular skills and I guess "peak" when it comes to talent, he is best suited for the fourth line. Though we see him used in other lines at times, he tends to bring down the performance of others around him.

Example - his WOWY data from last night

  • Because WOWYs are a great sample of in terms of small examinations and at times, large examinations; we can see a few interesting things here.
  • Due to the nature of facing top compeition, Brodie and Giordano WITH Bouma are quite low while away from the pair; he is 60%. Great right? Well not so much.
  • The further you go down based off varying sample sizes you see his WOWY with others high, while away from them low and around team averages. In some very small samples like with Smid; he was only on the ice for one shot attempt so he took a hit.
This doesn't account for his opposition or even the players on the ice at each shot attempt (though we could go into it) or even the situation itself. It's just a proxy for examination. Now you may say: "Well it's only numbers in one game". You're right, but over the season Bouma has continued to drag others around him down possession wise.

Bouma - WOWY (Opposition)
  • As you can see he played a lot of minutes against some more talented competition and slaughtered while playing some small intervals against Boyes, Trocheck, and Huberdeau he excelled exceptionally.
  • The one noticeable trend with Bouma is the overwhelming amount of players he matches up against and is below 50% CF / 50% FF because of his skill-set. This poses a few problems; primarily the leagues further pursuit of becoming a puck possession league.
  • The Flames are clinically finding themselves on the negative side of shot attempts, shots on net, and leading the league in blocked shots. All of which are symptomatic of larger issues. A roster can't solely be based around intangibles and qualities often "immeasurable" by standard approaches.
Overall, I think Bouma was the product of the players around him that found him with decent possession numbers and three assists on the night. The fact that he is a fourth line player and has 13 points on the year is something positive overall but we can't get ahead of ourselves here. He's still young enough that we could see more growth and maybe he rounds his game out well. Though his never say die can't be calculated, I do what he brings at times. Be it hitting someone, chipping in offensively, or flying over the bench missing a check.