Wham Bam, thank you Ma’am. An electric start to a game the Flames were able to stay competitive in until the end. Yes it’s a crap result in the midst of an ever changing playoff push, and it’s unnerving being in a race instead of comfortably in (or out) of the playoffs like the Flames typically are, but this game gave me more hope than i’ve had in awhile. Going toe to toe with the best team (points wise) in the league is a good start, and hopefully the game Sun against Detroit doesn’t pull us back into mediocrity.
(PS sorry for missing the last 2 games, i was in TO/Buffalo watching the Leafs collapse live and in person)
Corsi King - Sam Bennett (63.16 CF%), since becoming a 3rd line center again has played well. Stay cautious my fellow fans, it’s been 4 years and i’m not expecting him to all of a sudden turn into what we wished from the start. Sam Bennett is at best a 3rd line player on this team, and since the deadline is coming up, if someone were to offer 2nd line value for him, I’d take it in a heartbeat. Oliver Kylington (60.87%) and Derek Ryan (60.00%) rounded out the top 3 for this game.
Corsi Clown - Sean Monahan (44.00%) and the other 2/3rds of the top line struggled this game. I’m not expecting 82 games of superior play, other teams do have good players, so i’m not upset by this. Fans on twitter have been roasting Monahan, leaving the Gaudreau train for a new scapegoat. Monahan has been the best Flames center in over 2 decades, show him the respect he deserves instead of crapping on him because he had an off day (kind of an off year actually, but i’m still defending him)
Taken By Chance - Sean Monahan (18.18 SCF%) followed by Lindholm, Jankowski, and Gaudreau were the bad end of things. The Bruins beat them up while our other lines did solid work. Bennett (71.43%) led the way with Dillon Dube and TJ Brodie right behind at 60% each.
Derek Ryan wasn’t on for a High danger chance for, or against, while Michael Stone was on for 0 high danger chances for, and 6 (YES SIX) against. Kylington (75.00%), Dube (66.67%) and Milan Lucic (66.67%) were tops in high danger ratios for the Flames.
xG% - Sean Monahan (17.89 xGF%) really did have one bad game, but as stated earlier lay off of him. Other bad players not being able to make plays while they share the ice can contribute to this. OH LOOK, Michael Stone (19.27%) sucked again. Maybe our worst defenceman to play all year shouldn’t get 20 mins a night just because he’s played 3-400 games already. More on that later.
Derek Ryan, Dillon Dube, and Oliver Kylington (and Bennett too) all were very good. 58% or better. Boston has had trouble with depth outside of their perfection line. That Kase steal of a trade will certainly help them, and if they get Thornton too, look out East.
Game Flow -
Flames came out strong (like duh) but in the midst of their strong start Boston still got 3 goals. That’s the stretch you need your tendy to make the big save, the one that keeps the lead. Unfortunately last night the Flames didn’t get that, and the Bruins did when the Flames grabbed the play back late. Close game against a team that’s known to score on limited chances, Calgary succumbed to be yet another victim.
Game Score - The top Flame, with 2 goals, was Mikael Backlund (1.71). As seen in the other sections of this, the best Flames to not hit the scoresheet was Derek Ryan (0.62). Points skew Game score so that’s why goal scorers and assist getters can show up relatively high. In bad game news, Cam Talbot (-2.06) finished low, but when you look at where the Bruins got their goals from it any goalie would be in that boat. Stone (-1.53) was the only skater with a -1 score or worse.
Shot Heatmap -
Look where the Bruins scored all 4 of their goals, then tell me Talbot was expected to save those. Terrible defensive execution by the Flames when they were carrying the play. Now the Flames needed Talbot to make one of those saves, but I wouldn’t expect him to. These Injuries to Gio and Hammer are putting this into a new light for me. Flames D depth is very bad, but maybe try someone other than a defensive black hole? (Cough, Stone, cough)
Player Spotlight - Alexander Yelesin - It’s a SMALL sample size of 5 games, but Yelesin has played above replacement level expectations for a D player. Last night he had a stat line like - 52.95 CF%, 56.88 xGF%, and a 66.67 HDCF% - whereas Michael Stone was - 48.00 CF%, 19.27 xGF%, 0.00 HDCF%. WHY in the world are we rotating this guy for Brandon Davidson when Davidson’s numbers are consistently worse than Stones? What is going through your damn head Geoff Ward? As a fan who is over invested in wanting team success, i can NOT understand what your obsession is with making terrible coaching choices. There are HARD NUMBERS to back up why playing Michael Stone is a guaranteed TERRIBLE decision. I get that there’s injury troubles, but after 400 games you know Stone’s play, and it’s sub-par. Just because he’s played a bunch of games doesn’t mean he knows what he’s doing, it’s the opposite actually, it proves he consistently does NOT play well. What’s the worst that could happen playing Yelesin in those minutes, he might play like Stone? Then you’re no worse off, and if he plays better than you’re better off. It is actually a ZERO risk, ALL reward move.
Everyone involved in running this franchise scares me right now, they’re going to ruin and waste a competitive roster by simply not thinking and not using the tools available in this modern age to make smart hockey choices.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars -
- Mikael Backlund - 2 G’s, 56.67 CF%, 51.93 xGF%, 56.25 SCF%
- Sam Bennett - no points, 63.16 CF%, 59.17 xGF%, 71.43 SCF%
- Oliver Kylington - no points, 60.87 CF%, 66.04 xGF%, 57.14 SCF%