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The Anaheim Ducks Put an End to the Calgary Flames Remarkable Season: Game 5 Stats Recap

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The Anaheim Ducks were the better team throughout the series, knocking the Calgary Flames out of the second round of the playoffs in five games.

The bitter end
The bitter end
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

This stats recap feels like an unnecessary lambasting of the Calgary Flames, salt in the wound of a season-ending playoff defeat at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks, but the stats are the stats. Perhaps we can learn something. Or at the very least, appreciate just how good a hockey team the Ducks really are.

To the Flames' credit they kept the game close, but the Ducks' relentless pressure produced the inevitable. In two and a half minutes of overtime Anaheim took 11 shot attempts, 7 of which were shots on goal and 5 of which were scoring chances. Calgary didn't produce a single shot attempt. In those two and a half minutes Anaheim produced a third of their total 5v5 scoring chances in the game. They were not going to lose.

Team Stats

Like I said, Anaheim was not going to lose this hockey game. They consistently stood up the Flames in the neutral zone, forcing turnovers and transitioning into the offensive zone with speed. If they didn't get an opportunity off the rush, the Ducks cycled the puck until one presented itself. When they dumped the puck in, they recovered it. Anaheim won nearly every foot race, every puck battle, and in the end the game and the series.

Player Contributions

The player contribution numbers paint the same dominant picture of the Anaheim Ducks, but show us exactly who was producing the offense. There are three types of player contribution stats, defined as follows:

  • Shot Attempt Contribution (SA-Co): This is the total number of shot attempts a player contributes to, either as the shooter or the primary or secondary passer to set up the shot.
  • Shot on Goal Contribution (SOG-Co): This is the total number of shots on goal a player contributes to, either as the shooter or the primary passer.
  • Scoring Chance Contribution (SC-Co): This is the total number of scoring chances a player contributes to, either as the shooter who takes a shot from the home plate scoring chance area, or as the primary passer who sets up the shooter in the scoring chance area.
Shot Attempts

That's a lot of Anaheim at the top of the chart, led by Ryan Getzlaf who contributed to 16 5v5 shot attempts. Of the top 15 shot attempt contributors, 13 were Ducks' players.

Shots on Goal

Scoring Chances

Matt Beleskey contributed to more scoring chances than all of the Flames combined. He scored in every game this series.

This chart highlights the Ducks' players who generate quality offense. Namely, Getzlaf, Beleskey, Jakob Silfverberg, Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler, and Patrick Maroon. Defensemen Cam Fowler and Francois Beauchemin also contributed.

The war-on-ice Shot Plots

5v5

Powerplay

Summary

The Calgary Flames had a hugely successful season. It was disappointing to see them lose in this fashion, but it's a testament to how far they made it. Only the top teams in the league remain by the second round of the playoffs, the Anaheim Ducks being the best in the west.

Johnny Gaudreau exceeded expectations, tying for the rookie scoring lead during the regular season and leading the Flames with 9 points in 11 playoff games. Veteran Jiri Hudler had a career year and sophomore Sean Monahan didn't slump. The future arrived early with Sam Bennett, who for an eighteen-year old had an incredible post season. On the backend TJ Brodie proved he's an elite defenseman.

As a team the Flames demonstrated character, poise and determination. They truly never quit, winning games throughout the season and playoffs in tremendous comeback fashion. When their captain and Norris-calibre defenseman Mark Giordano went down with a season-ending injury with 20 games to go, that should have been the end of the playoff run. That could have been the end and the hockey world wouldn't have held anything against the Flames. Yet the team held on to their spot, fending off the defending champions in the Los Angeles Kings.

For such a young group, the playoff experience was invaluable. The Flames tasted success by knocking the Vancouver Canucks out of the first round, but they also experienced a matchup against a true Stanley Cup contending team. This gives both players and management a benchmark with which to approach the off-season and prepare for next season. And let's be honest, there is a lot of work to be done if the Calgary Flames want to be better.

Questions or comments about the stats I track? Let me know in the comments below.