Last night was not a fun evening and the goal just over a minute into the first period was a brief taste of what existed for the Flames. Against the Blues this year, the Flames are literally feeling the blues. Points are a necessity and they're becoming harder to get as the season nears it's end.
St. Louis did nearly exactly what they did last time they played the Flames: they systematically defeated them.
- St. Louis was dominate for the game in all fronts of shot generation. Score effects aren't even becoming useful enough for Calgary as teams are able to overwhelm that and continue on the same beaten path towards victory.
- Two penalties in the third period and attempting 6v5 play did impact the Flames numbers quite a bit in the final frame.
- Calgary's ability to generate anything in the second period is among their worst in second periods this season.
- It took 2:43 of play before Calgary registered their first shot on net. In that time, the Blues had six shot attempts and one goal for.
- St. Louis was able to generate eight individual Corsi For events on the PP. David Backes would generate two individual Corsi For events on the PK. They played complete in all fronts.
- Matt Stajan was able to generate one shot attempt while shorthanded for Calgary. Leading the way on the PP, Dennis Wideman had three attempts. Overall the Flames ended up with 11 shot attempts while on the man advantage.
- The closest the Flames got to the Blues was within the first five minutes of the game. After that, it was all St. Louis. In comparison to the all situations graph, you can see how the Flames' PP ended up being the real driver of shot attempts.
- In a two minute span in the second period, the Blues generated eight shot attempts after a brief interval of Flames shot attempts. From there, it was steady gains at even strength combined with their overall superiority that drove further success.
- The final period of play was essentially the same. The sparsity of Calgary's ability to enter the zone cleanly and spend abundant time is very clear here. St. Louis used every chance to obstruct the Flames from really creating anything threatening.
- In the first period alone. Calgary's nine of a total 17 ES scoring chances happened. It was their best period in terms of creating chances. The second period was not kind by any means: three scoring chances generated sparsely among an onslaught seemingly never stopped.
- Scoring chance leaders for the game: Jiri Hudler - three, Lance Bouma, Joe Colborne, Mason Raymond, and TJ Brodie all had two.
Calgary found success inside the mid-slot scoring their loan goal courtesy of Sean Monahan. The remaining of the shallow shot attempts happened in sparse locales that may or may not have been quality. Herein lies the issue with the possession conundrum: the Flames are playing the same game they have all year even strength. Nothing has changed. Just the "bounces" have dried up.
St. Louis on the other hand bombarded Jonas Hiller from in close in the low slot, the mid-slot, and in variety of point locations. Calgary was able to block shots in the mid-slot but St. Louis' aggressive game plan found ways around the defense.
We've added the iCF (individual Corsi For) column to help illustrate individual shot attempt drivers and make it clearer for readers.
- Ignore Brandon Bollig here. He never played a single shift again after his dumb hit on Barret Jackman. Even then, he rode shotgun to Matt Stajan and Drew Shore. Michael Ferland could have provided better play and less stupidity.
- Sean Monahan relative to the rest of the team made a huge difference. Overall though the entire team was subjugated to trying to survive the game. One thing to consider is how nearly the entire team starting a bulk of their starts in the defensive zone. Still inside all of this is Sean Monahan's 30th of the season. He is amazing.
- David Jones found a little bit of success while playing against David Backes (2:10), Robert Bortuzzo (5:30), and Barret Jackman (6:21). Those match-ups produced above 50% CF and 50% FF against. Beyond those, like the bulk of the team he was below 50% CF/FF all night.
- In 3:09 played with David Schlemko, TJ Brodie was 66.67% CF and 50% FF. With Deryk Engelland he was 33.33% CF and 35% FF. It's visibly clear on the ice but when examining this after a game that the pairing isn't working. I did give props to Engelland the other day for a smart play but it's benefiting the team long-term.
- Jiri Hudler had a rough night between the Steve Ott slash and the loss. Still he managed to be a significant possession driver and he was above 50% CF against Dmitrij Jaskin, Backes, and Patrik Berglund. Though regarding FF he was only 50% and above against Jaskin and Backes.
- Matt Stajan finally got more ice time in the walk of Bollig being Bollig. A positive note was him shutting down Olli Jokinen. Stajan kept him to 33.33% CF and 0% FF while on the ice against each other. Away from Stajan he was 69.23% CF and 66.67% FF.
- Drew Shore had a rough go of a game. Still, he deserves to be above Bollig in the depth chart. Using him and Ferland with Stajan will be the smartest decision if this team has any aspirations towards the post-season.
The Flames need to find some sort of semblance in their ability to limit shot attempts and zone entries. The bounces are drying up against great teams because they stop a lot of those bounces. As I've said before and I'll reiterate: it's the same game every game, nothing has changed. Two games against teams in the McEichel Tank War (Edmonton and Arizona) and two against formidable playoff bubble teams (the Kings and Jets) are all crucial in the likes we've never seen before.
Plus you know, Edmonton really didn't help us out at all last night.