Oh hey look, a “complete” game. What looks great on the surface still sees some underlying issues arise. Especially the Flames 3rd period play when they have the lead. In 15:15 of 5v5 ice time in the 3rd the Flames posted a CF% of 36.11%. I’d personally like to see a stronger late game push from them instead of intentionally playing on their heels, but Geoff Ward said it himself, he doesn’t want the Flames to be a goal scoring team.
Corsi King - I’ll give Sam Bennett some love here, as he was the leader at 83.33 CF%. He only got 9:40 at 5v5 though. Solid night for the 4th line, and playing them in a game where you do have a big lead makes sense. See what you really have or whatnot. Noah Hanifin played his best game of 2020, finishing with a 63.64% and really looked like a top 4 defenceman is supposed to look like.
Corsi Clown - Well at least he combined for a pretty goal. Sean Monahan finished in the dumps with a lowly 25% CF% in 13:58 of 5v5 ice time. The “top” line didn’t get as much chemistry back as everyone suggests, but their chemistry the built was based on being able to score goals, not prevent them. Maybe let them do their thing and you’ll see 99 point Johnny come back, instead of suppressing the talent that made them all stars.
Taken By Chance - This section we won’t touch on the 4th line but instead look at Mikael Backlund. A 75% SCF from him with his old pal Tkachuk riding shotgun with him. Mangiapane looked a little lost on that line, but his tenacity can more than make up for it in the long run. They ate up Vancouver’s 2nd and 3rd lines.
xG% - Monahan and Elias Lindholm were miserable here. Both sub 30% scores (along with Kylington). It’s interesting to note that Johnny Gaudreau finished at 57.33% despite his linemates getting holed in, so basically when he took shift at 5v5 without them he was able to create quality chances. An anomaly i’m thinking, but i’ll watch for that trend over time.
Game Flow -
Flames did win the overall Corsi battle, but the Canucks did get better quality chances. A large push from VAN in the third period allowed this, if we want it to stop we should start by asking Geoff Ward why he wants it that way.
Game Score - The top 9 scores were Flames, led by Noah Hanifin (3.42) and the 3rd line of Dillon Dube (3.22), Derek Ryan (2.89), and Milan Lucic (2.85). Only 2 negative scores came about, from Mangiapane (-0.32) and Oliver Kylington (-0.32)
Shot Heatmap -
Flames got in tight on Vancouvers D and just peppered Markstrom with shots. Canucks tried on Ritter to a lesser degree of success.
Player Spotlight - David Rittich - He wasn’t anything out of this world this time, but you don’t always have to be. He faced 1.80 xGA in 45:12 of 5v5 TOI. Letting in 1 high danger chance and 1 medium danger chance. This translates to “no weak goals, made the stops he needed to”. This was crucial in the Flames getting their first 2 goal lead in over 825:06. You don’t need stand on your head performance from your tendy every night, but Ritter did his job when he needed to get it done.
Flashylitical 3 Stars -
- The 4th line. Bennett - Tobias Reider - and Mark Jankowski all came away with fantastic possession numbers, a high rate of xG% and SCF%. It translated into 1 ENG for Toby, but hey that puts us 9-11 more TOby goals from the playoffs.
- Noah Hanifin - Best game i’ve seen him play in what seems like forever. Lets keep him separated from Travis Hamonic for awhile and see if he keeps this up.
- Dillon Dube - I’m not a monster folks, I respect a good boxscore night too. Props to Doobs, helluva game.
(All stats from NaturalStatTrick.com, game score from HockeyStatCards.com )