The Battle of Alberta is always scheduled viewing on my calendar, but after last night’s showing it didn’t seem like much of a battle. I mean the Oilers completely controlled possession after the second started so it’s only natural they ran away with i- oh wait the Flames won? I guess a good goaltender can take you to a few W’s every now and then, eh Oilers fans?
Corsi King - It’s no surprise the Flames best line last night was the Friendly Swedish Bread line (Yeah, yeah. I’m working on it). Elias Lindholm, who more often than not is tremendous, led the way for the forward corps at 53.85%. Mangiapane and Tkachuk were behind him at 50% even and the rest of the forwards had negative possession numbers, all at 5 on 5. TJ Brodie led the D tonight charging forward with 56.67% CF%
Corsi Clown - Finishing under 40% last night were Frolik, Reider, and the pairing of Kylington and Andersson. Oilers with last change got McD out against the Flames bottom pair as often as they could, so that’s understandable, but to be honest it was a relatively weak game for the Flames possession wise as it went on. After the 4-1 score they fell into “protect the lead” mode, which is something not uncommon since Geoff Ward took over behind the bench.
Taken by Chance - Mikeal Backlund had 6 chances for, to only 4 against to lead the Flames on the chance front. The shorthanded goal against Mike Smith will also go down as one of my favorite moments of the entire season, so thank you for that Backs.
xGF% - They had the puck on their stick more than the others, and they also created the most scoring chances. TJ Brodie (62.50%) and Elias Lindholm (59.19%) led the way. Someone who had a not so good game at creating chances, despite getting an assist, was Johnny Gaudreau (35.99%). The Oilers were able to “successfully” quiet his game.
Game Flow -
The Oilers clearly took the possession drivers seat in the second period, that’s not up for debate. What I find interesting is that it happened almost immediately after the Flames took a 3-1 lead. The more I watch the Geoff Ward era Flames the more i see them playing “Protect the Lead” style hockey. Come out early, try and grab a lead, and then play dump and chase instead of charging in. Is it overly fun to watch? Last night it was. Does it win hockey games? A 9-3-1 record under Ward suggests, yeah it does.
Game Score - Not a shock that after a career night Andrew Mangiapane (4.43) would lead all Flames. A 3 point night for the former 6th round pick. Fun Fact I got from looking at HockeyDB.com’s draft section, Mangiapane (166th) has more career points than 1st round picks Senyshyn (15th), Svechnikov (19th), and Gurianov (12th)…. combined. Tkachuks goal where Mangy fought off Darnell Nurse for half the ice then casually spun out and made a perfect pass is the exact reason he continues to see his ice time go up. The worst Flame tonight was Kylington at a score of -0.77