David Rittich. I have to start with him. The Toronto Maple Leafs offence is absolutely dynamic and he stopped 26 saves @ 5v5. He only faced an expected Goals against of 1.67 at 5v5, and 2.45 in all situations, PK’s and OT included. The stat that jumps off the page (besides the W) is that Dave faced 8 High Danger chances at even strength and turned all of them aside. The Flames as a team didn’t get too much going, but it’s hard to gain momentum successfully when you’re consistently trying to regroup after coming off the penalty kill. All-in-all Rittich stole this one for the Flames, in a game that Leafs fans have a right to be upset that they lost their 2nd point. BSD! BSD! Okay, now onto the numbers.
Corsi King - His first appearance since i’ve started reviewing, Mikael Backlund lead the way at 60 CF% (15 CF, 10 CA). I was very critical of Noah Hanifin before the game, and in recent past games, but i’ll eat crow as he was one of just 5/18 skaters with positive possession numbers (53.33 CF%). Remember, even in games where you lose, there’s typically a few individuals who still had good games, the same goes for dominant games where you’ll always find a dud or two at the bottom. As a whole the Flames did bad, and didn’t really deserve a win. (Thank you Dave, again)
Corsi Clown - Last night the 4th and 3rd lines played roughly the same time at 5v5, as Ward leant heavily on his top 6 with the game tightly contested. The bottom 6 was atrocious, and we have a 3-way tie for last between Mark Jankowski, Sam Bennett, and Tobias Rieder (25.00 CF%). Kylington followed up a couple of strong games with a 26.92 CF% game, but his immaculate skating did stop a (pretty much) breakaway chance. My review style tends to focus on positive impacts and who did well, but the Leafs destroyed us as a team, and the numbers as a whole are NOT pretty. (Thank you Dave, again)
Taken by Chance - Mikeal Backlund AND Rasmus Andersson lead this category with a SCF% of 62.50%. Backlund did it on 10 chances for vs 6 against, Razz had 5 for and 3 against. Backlund pushed possession and spent the majority of his game without skating around in his own zone, he essentially had time to create against his Leafs matchup. Andersson did not have that luxury and this tells me, despite his 41.67 CF% he was strong defensively and was able to create on his limited time in the offensive zone. Number paint quite the story for each player. I thought Razz wasn’t buried in his own zone like the numbers suggest, which brings about a stark difference between an eye test and analytical findings. Always a fun debatable topic.
xGF% - Now we can take my analysis of what i thought about Rasmus Andersson in the “chance” section and see here my suspicions were right. Razz lead the team with an xGF% of 66.05%, meaning when he was in the offensive zone he created and in his own zone he limited chances. Everything you want out of a defenceman (by definition anyways). He may have had those poor possession numbers, but he was a pain in the leafs side for the whole game. The whole team actually largely had over 50% of the xGF, relative to what they did as individuals. This shows me that when the Flames did get the puck out of their own zone and got on the attack they put up quality chances against the Leafs before being pushed back into their own zone. Despite being limited to their own end for the majority of the 48 mins of 5v5 they did a great job of limiting chances, while creating. Leafs fans should take from this analysis that your team defence is indeed as brutal as it looks, and without Rielly and Muzzin they could be in for some hard times.
Game Flow -
The Flames kept it fairly close until they scored. All of the PK’s they had to endure made it hard to reveal momentum in the game, and really made it look like they were in survival mode. A good pushback to start the third, catching the Leafs sleeping and limiting the amount of time their potent offence had to attack.
Game Score - Tops amongst Flames players at 1.96 was Derek Ryan, to which of course scored the Flames only statistically counting goal. The man everyone has been talking about, David Rittich, actually sat 4th on the list with a 1.45 score. Bennett, Rieder and Jankowski were the only 3 Flames to finish with a negative game score value, which in a 1-1 regulation ending game, is impressive in its own, sad, depressing, kind of way.
Shot Heatmap -
Toronto got a lot of opportunities from the front of the net and the slot, but Calgary actually had more. Flames jumped on a defensively weak and inexperienced Leafs d to try and expose what had been previously a shaky Frederick Andersen, but he stood strong and stopped quite the onslaught from the Flames.
Player Spotlight - I already focused on BSD in the intro paragraph so here we’ll focus on the man a maligned in my predictions and in the last review, Noah Hanifin. We’ve already stated his positive 5v5 possession numbers, but what did he do with them? Only an xGF% of 59.69 and a SCF% of 55.56. He basically told me to shove my opinion where the sun don’t shine, and i’m grateful he did. Noah is signed for long term at great value, he’s still under 25 years old and i wish nothing more than to see him develop into a consistent top 2 d-man. With all these young guys having Mark Giordano to look up to, my hope for that is quite strong.
Flash’s Three Analytical Stars -
- David Rittich - (Thanks again, Dave)
- Rasmus Andersson - Limited tonnes of chances, and created even more. Freddy Anderson played strong on the other side of the ice too.
- Mikael Backlund - Best game we’ve seen from him in a long time, I miss the days of 3M past.
Noted Dud: The 4th line was, well…. It was bad, real bad. Good moments, bright spots, but overall a consistent liability.
(All stats compiled from NaturalStatTrick.com, Game Score from HockeyStatCards.com)
Any Questions or inquiries about stats feel free to comment or ask - @MatchsticksCGY or @Flash_33