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Flames vs Ducks Game 4 stats recap: Thanks a lot, Joe Colborne's errant stick

Lessons the Flames need to take away from this? Be more disciplined, be better on special teams, and don't mess with combinations that have already proven successful.

womp womp
womp womp
Todd Korol/Getty Images

You know what? The Calgary Flames weren't all that bad. Not at first, at least. Three goals in quick succession in the first period had the Flames absolutely flying. Johnny Gaudreau doing Johnny Hockey things to quickly tie the game not even a minute after Jakob Silfverberg took the lead, then followed up by Micheal Ferland scoring just over a minute after that, and it looked like it was the Flames' game to lose.

And then they lost it.

All situations corsi chart, via HockeyStats.ca:

r2g4anacgycorsiALL

The Flames weren't able to maintain the level of play they had throughout the first 15 minutes. The Anaheim Ducks started to take over at the end of the first, and as the second period went on, you started to get the feeling the Flames would have to play a pure prevention game, because it didn't seem like Anaheim was intent on letting them get any more chances.

An excellent Frederik Andersen save here, a post there, and otherwise, Calgary really didn't get that much more going offensively. Even when granted a five-on-three to tie it up with plenty of time to go in the third, the Ducks repeatedly brushed the Flames aside, denying them even as they recovered from an abhorrent second.

The Flames, meanwhile, couldn't hold off the Ducks' onslaught forever.

One of the major killers of this game? The Ducks' four powerplays to the Flames' two. Enter even strength situations only, and things look a lot different:

r2g4cgyanacorsiES

The Ducks still end up pulling away, but the Flames make it more of a game. And when you remember both Flames goals came at 5v5 even strength, while only one of the Ducks' four did, the special teams problem just hurts all the more.

Ultimately, though, the Flames got outworked, and the Ducks fully earned their win. They out-corsied the Flames, 67-52 in all situations, 49-46 at even strength. However, while Anaheim outshot Calgary 29-27 overall, at even strength, it was the Flames: 24-21.

Want to compound just how big a difference special teams made? Check out the scoring chances, via War on Ice. In all situations, it's a pretty clear cut victory for the Ducks:

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But at 5v5 even strength only, things are much closer:

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The shot plot agrees. At 5v5 even strength only:

r2g4cgyanashotsES

The Flames and Ducks both have their stronger side, but for the most part, that's a healthy mixture of chances between the two teams.

When you take the powerplay into account, however:

r2g4cgyanashotsPP

The Ducks were creating chances. The Flames did next to nothing, and that's with a five-on-three.

Discipline - primarily Joe Colborne's errant stick - may have been the biggest reason the Flames couldn't tie the series up.

Colborne's errant stick wasn't the only reason things went the way they did, though. There are a lot of players out on the ice, and each one has their own impact on the game. Here they are, sorted by  CF +/- in all situations:

All Situations Power Play Penalty Kill Score Adjusted 5v5
T G A I SC I CF BS Ht FO% + - G A I CF TOI SC A g +- TOI CF CA CF% OZS%
ANA 4 5 32 67 14 25 .500 -1 2 4 17 6:24 2 0 3:00 46.6 41.6 .528 .533
CGY 2 2 22 52 23 27 .500 1 0 0 4 3:00 8 -2 6:24 41.6 46.6 .472 .467
Anaheim Ducks Players
All Situations Power Play Penalty Kill Score Adjusted 5v5
# G A I SC I CF BS Ht PN +- TOI FO% + - G A I CF TOI SC A g +- TOI CF CA CF% CF% Rel OZS%
19 1 0 6 7 0 2 0 17:42 N/A -1 0 0 2 4:06 0 0 0:00 16 9.1 .637 .152 .778
33 1 1 2 7 1 0 0 19:54 N/A -1 1 1 3 2:36 0 0 1:18 18.6 15.4 .547 .030 .286
10 0 0 5 10 0 1 1 19:48 N/A -1 0 0 2 3:48 0 0 0:00 14.8 14.1 .512 -.024 .778
23 0 2 2 6 2 2 1 22:36 N/A -1 0 2 3 3:00 2 0 1:24 17.5 15.5 .530 .003 .167
47 0 0 2 3 1 0 0 18:48 N/A -1 0 0 0 2:42 0 0 0:42 14.3 13.7 .511 -.026 .250
45 0 0 1 4 3 0 0 18:54 N/A -1 0 0 0 3:24 2 0 1:18 15 10.3 .593 .091 .667
17 0 1 4 6 0 3 0 19:30 .577 0 0 1 2 2:42 0 0 1:42 8.8 9.6 .478 -.064 .231
15 0 0 4 6 0 1 0 22:06 .381 -1 0 0 1 3:42 2 0 1:18 17.3 14.9 .537 .014 .778
3 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 15:12 N/A -1 0 0 0 0:00 0 0 1:06 16.9 10.2 .624 .138 .571
4 0 0 0 4 3 0 0 23:18 N/A 1 0 0 3 3:24 0 0 0:30 14.1 16.9 .455 -.113 .583
7 1 0 2 4 1 2 -1 12:06 N/A 1 0 0 0 0:00 0 0 0:18 16.1 12.2 .569 .060 .667
39 1 0 1 2 0 3 0 16:30 N/A 0 1 0 1 2:24 0 0 0:00 10.1 14.4 .412 -.161 .250
21 0 1 0 3 1 2 -1 12:06 N/A 1 0 0 0 0:00 2 0 0:24 11.3 5.5 .673 .179 .800
44 0 0 0 1 0 5 0 11:54 .615 1 0 0 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 14.2 11.2 .559 .043 .500
67 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 7:30 .375 -1 0 0 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 6.3 5.9 .516 -.014 100%
24 0 0 2 3 1 1 0 20:12 N/A 1 0 0 0 0:24 0 0 1:00 15.3 16.6 .480 -.076 .583
18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5:30 N/A 0 0 0 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 1.8 4.5 .286 -.261 100%
14 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 8:24 N/A -1 0 0 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 4.4 7.8 .361 -.194 100%
Calgary Flames Players
All Situations Power Play Penalty Kill Score Adjusted 5v5
# G A I SC I CF BS Ht PN +- TOI FO% + - G A I CF TOI SC A g +- TOI CF CA CF% CF% Rel OZS%
3 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 12:48 N/A 1 0 0 0 0:30 0 0 0:00 11.3 6.5 .635 .205 .600
13 0 1 2 3 0 0 1 19:30 N/A 0 0 0 1 2:24 0 0 0:00 18.5 19.1 .492 .035 .833
8 0 0 0 0 1 3 -1 17:54 N/A 0 0 0 0 0:48 3 -1 1:06 13.6 9.8 .581 .149 .583
63 0 0 2 2 0 1 0 8:36 .600 0 0 0 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 7.1 5.9 .546 .087 .333
21 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 10:24 N/A -1 0 0 0 0:30 0 0 0:00 10.2 10.5 .493 .028 .143
24 0 0 0 4 1 0 0 16:18 N/A 1 0 0 0 2:12 0 0 0:00 14.5 16 .475 .005 .800
33 0 0 2 2 2 0 0 7:30 N/A 0 0 0 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 5.7 5.2 .523 .059 .000
23 1 0 5 9 2 0 0 21:24 .529 1 0 0 1 2:12 4 0 2:48 18.5 19.4 .488 .029 .667
11 0 0 2 3 2 1 0 20:24 .520 -1 0 0 0 0:48 3 0 3:18 13.6 9.1 .599 .172 .636
79 1 0 1 2 1 4 0 11:30 N/A 1 0 0 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 8.5 11.9 .417 -.071 .500
6 0 0 2 4 4 1 0 27:54 N/A 0 0 0 1 2:24 4 0 3:48 20.5 20.6 .499 .051 .588
19 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 11:18 .000 1 0 0 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 7.5 11.8 .389 -.106 .500
25 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 6:54 N/A 0 0 0 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 2 7.1 .220 -.281 .000
4 0 1 1 6 7 0 0 27:30 N/A -1 0 0 1 2:24 5 0 3:48 18.2 20.6 .469 -.005 .588
7 0 0 0 6 0 0 1 25:18 N/A 1 0 0 0 0:30 4 -2 3:00 15.7 20.8 .430 -.071 .364
17 0 0 1 2 3 4 -1 14:24 N/A 0 0 0 0 0:00 2 -1 3:12 4 7 .364 -.123 .143
29 0 0 1 3 0 4 0 18:48 N/A 1 0 0 0 0:00 3 -2 2:18 12.8 19.5 .396 -.119 .125
18 0 0 1 1 0 4 0 13:12 .400 1 0 0 0 0:00 4 -2 2:30 5.8 12.2 .322 -.188 .429
Goalies All Situations Power Play Penalty Kill 5V5
Name T SA GA Sv% SA GA Sv% SA GA Sv% SA GA Sv%
Frederik.Andersen A 27 2 .926 1 0 1.00 2 0 1.00 23 2 .913
Karri.Ramo H 28 3 .893 0 0 N/A 8 2 .750 19 1 .947
Data from War-on-Ice - Hold cursor over player number or stat abbreviation to show player or stat name
Snap Ducks observations:
  • Francois Beauchemin and Hampus Lindholm take a majority of their team's defensive zone starts, and yet, have extremely good possession stats to show for it. The Ducks have an excellent top pairing.
  • Silfverberg, meanwhile, is an outstanding player. He didn't just open the scoring; he controlled much of the play, all while starting from a position of extreme disadvantage. He had a better game than linemates Ryan Kesler and Matt Beleskey, even despite the difficult circumstances he played (he saw a lot of the Flames' top three defencemen and top line).
  • The Ducks have exploitable depth. The sheltered Kyle Palmieri, Rickard Rakell, and especially Tim Jackman and Tomas Fleischmann couldn't hack it against the Flames at all. Hopefully they'll continue to be exploitable, even without Hartley controlling the matchups.
  • Patrick Maroon, Corey Perry, and Ryan Getzlaf were put in positions to succeed, and they did.
Snap Flames observations:
  • David Schlemko is an excellent depth defenceman. And uh, considering how Rafa Diaz wasn't granted a single offensive zone start and still came away a positive possession player, he's not bad, either. The Flames can afford to give this bottom pairing more minutes.
  • Mikael Backlund is fantastic, and continues to be his line's driver. For all his disciplinary faults, Colborne didn't hurt his team at even strength.
  • The fourth line had no help in terms of zone starts. Mason Raymond and Brandon Bollig were completely thrown to the wolves, while Lance Bouma, in his first game back, didn't have an easy go of it, either. Raymond didn't fare too badly, and neither did Bouma, necessarily, but Bollig was a disaster.
  • Sam Bennett got let off the hook a bit when he got to actually spend time with Backlund.
  • The Flames' top line was put in position to succeed, just like the Ducks'. While Gaudreau and Sean Monahan created that great goal together, and had a few more excellent scoring chances themselves, they were not on par with the Ducks' top line. Jiri Hudler is especially invisible out there.
  • Just like Monahan had the worst circumstances of his line and his possession stats suffered for it, so too did Matt Stajan. The life of a centre.
  • Deryk Engelland in primarily defensive zone starts maybe doesn't work out so great.
  • Kris Russell and Dennis Wideman continue to not be top pairing guys, but there's so little choice at this point you just have to hope for the best, however much that hope may be continuously decreasing.
  • The Flames had a grand total of four corsi events for on their powerplay, thanks to Gaudreau, Monahan, Wideman, and Russell. Considering the context of the powerplays especially - a five-on-three down by a goal in the third - that's just not acceptable.

The curious case of removing Sam Bennett from Mikael Backlund's line

And finally, let's take a base look at some of the more telling Flames WOWY stats, all via NaturalStatTrick.

Backlund spent much of the second half of the season centring Bouma and David Jones, but in the playoffs, he's taken Bennett and Colborne on his wings, and the trio haven't looked half bad together.

That was disrupted in Game 4 when Bouma went back on the second line, and Bennett was left to centre the fourth.

Backlund with Bouma was a disaster, for both parties. Over the 9:04 even strength minutes they spent together, they were 44.44% CF: bad. When separated, Backlund was 73.33% CF, and Bouma, 0.00%. Bouma not only needed Backlund, but was dragging him down.

Things do a complete flip when you reunite Backlund with Bennett. The two have worked well together in the playoffs, and their brief reuniting for 2:26 gave them an additional spark: one to the tune of 100.00% CF.

Now, that's not going to keep up over an entire game, but if those two can completely control the play over two and a half minutes, they should not be split up.

Bennett's linemates were the other major flipside of this. Of the 5:29 he spent with Raymond, and the 5:19 with Bollig, the trio were at 25.00% CF together. When Bennett was taken off the fourth line... Yup, he was at 100.00%.

Bollig was 0.00% without Bennett. And even when Raymond was separated from Bollig, he went from 22.22% CF to 75.00% CF.

So what should the Flames do for Game 5? Keep Backlund and Bennett together, and reconstruct the fourth line. Because brief goal outburst aside, the Flames had a poor offensive performance, but things looked a lot better when Backlund and Bennett were sharing the ice, as they have all playoffs.