Sigh. Another strong game where the Flames looked completely in control for most of it has been lost. It's hard to say what's wrong anymore, but let's look and see:
As always, from hockeystats.ca
I've been saying this from the very start of the season, and I'll have to keep saying it until who knows how long, but the Flames' biggest problems is the fact that they allow shot attempts when they are the ones that need it most. Down 4-2 at the end of the second, they pretty much just allowed the Canadiens to keep playing. That can't happen. That's what's killing this team.
Their inability to finish a game despite being in complete control of it is absolutely infuriating. This is the season where corsi is working in our favour. The Flames are looking like they could finish north of 50% at the end of the year. They're on pace to finish with less than 50 points by the end of this year. Not good.
5v5, score adjusted:
And to continue to drive the point home, look at this. Calgary's shot attempts were so meaningless down three or four goals, that Montreal won the score adjusted battle despite losing the non-weighted battle. Sigh.
Chart from war-on-ice.com. Goals are in red. Misses are in black. Blocks are in green. Saves are in blue. Rush attempts are larger and italicized. Rebound attempts are larger.
Look at how easily Montreal walked into the Calgary zone. All six goals are within the homeplate area, and three are within the high danger zone. That's poor defence, but you've heard that about forty times too many. Something needs to change, but you've heard that four hundred times too many.
|CF% All||OZS% All||CF% EV||OZS% EV|
- Mason Raymond and David Jones, yet again, are leading corsi producers but, yet again, barely received 10-12 minutes. These guys are playing well. They need to play more.
- Johnny Gaudreau and Sam Bennett seem to work really well with each other! That's so nice.
- Dougie Hamilton has made a player out of Deryk Engelland, which is incredibly improbable. He can drive play now, which is incredibly impressive considering not even TJ Brodie could do that last year.
- I'm not sure what's going on with usual possession studs like Josh Jooris, Matt Stajan, and Michael Frolik, but it's another issue that needs to be solved.
- Derek Grant had a bad game, so he's probably getting replaced by Brandon Bollig. Fun while it lasted.
Here's a special sub-segment for this sub-segment. Are you ready?
A personal plea to Brad Treliving: get rid of Kris Russell anyway you can.
Russell has been complete ass this season, and I still think that's letting him off a bit easy. He was on the ice for zero goals for and three against, and everytime the replay showed, Russell's name was mentioned. That is incredibly awful, but is somehow the norm for Russell this season. Below replacement level bad, and that norm is unlikely to change.
Speaking of norms unlikely to change, Hartley's going to play him again tomorrow. And give him top minutes tomorrow. And give him special teams time tomorrow. Russell will most likely make nothing good of this, and that is because he is an incredibly one dimensional player whose main skill is easily subverted once you make a pass across the ice. He is no longer of use to the team, and must be sent away for the benefit of it.
People want to trade Dennis Wideman, but that is a step backwards, because at least Wideman can drive play. Tonight, Wideman was 43.75 CF% with Russell, and a 57.14 CF% apart. Throughout the season, they have played 113:34 together, with a 41.4 CF% with 57% OZS. Wideman separate is 56.2% with a 47.3% OZS. Wideman isn't the problem.
Russell is a good player, he's got a lot of heart, and I certainly like him, but he's dragging this team down. The Flames have five total points throughout the season, and Russell is the one shouldering the blame moreso than any other of his teammates. He has to be gone. Hartley won't stop playing him, so take him away before this team slips further into the gutter.
What about the goaltending situation?
I think that this team might be better pulling the goalie for the whole sixty minutes. I don't really know how to solve this problem.
Welp, we're back at it tomorrow against the Oilers. Please don't embarrass us this time.