Well that was…. Something. Columbus really locked up their neutral and dzone’s tighter than a jar of compressed marinera. Flames had the puck the majority of the night, racking up a team CF% of 52.05% in 55:08 of 5v5 TOI (SVA). This is where the numbers tell a peculiar story, Calgary had only 39.84% of the Scoring chances, but of the high danger variety they had the majority at 53.81%. So the Flames got the more dangerous chances, but the Blue Jackets got the majority of all the classified chances, despite the Flames having the puck more. Further yet, the Flames had the more dangerous chances yet finished with an xGF% of 44.81%. Honestly this game was weird.
So to summarize, Flame had the puck the more and put more high danger chances on net, but Columbus had more of the medium & light duty chances to such an extent that they won the xGF battle. Let’s break down how the individual players did in this trick room of a game.
Corsi King - It seems every time I call a player out they come out the next game and slap me in the face with great play, and I’ll always welcome it with open arms. Elias Lindholm (85.84%) finished well ahead of the 2nd best skater Johnny Gaudreau (66.90%). Lindholm had one hell of a game and we’ll read about him in other sections. Mark Giordano (66.85%) being back can not be understated either, this guy DRIVES the Flames uphill all game, every game.
Corsi Clown - I mean they can’t dominate any game, even though for 2 weeks that’s what it seemed like was going to happen. Matthew Tkachuk (36.82%), Andrew Mangiapane (38.68%), and Mikael Backlund (38.68%) finished the lowest, but i’m not giving them the clown title. With the game on the line that little pile of Italian muster made a helluva play and sparked the Flames comeback, and Tkachuk was able to send it to OT. Columbus focused on this line, suppressed them, and failed. 3m 2.0 now, 3M 2.0 forever.
Taken By Chance - Only 4 players finished above 50% in SCF% (5v5 SVA). Elias Lindholm? He had ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. Now albeit that’s the score venue adjusted, at regular 5v5 play he was 80%. SVA can sometimes slightly skew numbers, or in this case majorly alter them. Players that posted good numbers look great, and players that played just below average look horrible, but such is the game of using equations here.
Knowing how to read the numbers as presented and understanding them is key to not freaking out over a single game performance. After patterns establish themselves over a larger sample size of games is when the panic (or simple adjustments) need to happen.
High danger chances is an area where the Flames actually did excel, Lindholm (100%) led again, but was joined at the top of the leaderboard by Dillon Dube (100%). Dube he of a regular SCF% of just 16.42% put up a HDCF% of 100%. Wha- Ho- Bu- ANYWAYS. Our high danger dud of the day was Sam Bennett (21.60%)
xGF% - Tobias Rieder (16.38%), Sam Bennett (27.04%), and Mark Jankowski (30.49%). Big Oof, but once again when it’s just your 4th line faltering you can survive way more often than not. Now as discussed SVA can majorly skew numbers, that wasn’t Toby’s case. He literally got crapped on all night allowing so many quality attempts against. Still, rather him than Rinaldo. Lindholm (91.10%) led here with linemate Johnny Gaudreau (65.17%) also having a good game. New guy Erik Gustafsson (55.23%) was tops in this department from the back end.
Game Flow -
Do you see how close the moving line hugs the center line? Every time the Flames tried to grab momentum in the first and second Columbus would shut it down defensively. Very frustrating for fans/players alike. CBJ executed their game plan almost to a T, minus you know, the win.
Game Score - No surprise Elias Lindholm (2.56) topped this category for the Flames. He scored the kickstart goal for the Flames on a great retrieval by Mangiapane (0.64). OT hero TJ Brodie (0.66) and buddy-cop partner Mark Giordano (1.21) put up strong games compared to the bad showings from Forbort (-0.46) and Rieder (-1.32)
Shot Heatmap -
The visual representation of why Calgary led in high danger chances. Someone should tell the Blue Jackets they can use the left side of the offensive zone. Seriously they just used the right side of the ice? Flames didn’t get too many attempts, but when they did the cake from the middle of the ice.
This will pain needs to say, but Geoff Wards system worked last night. If the Flames, with the revamped 2nd D pair and a redound 3M 2.0 line might have a shit at winning a playoff round, providing they actually get there first.
In The Crease - No fan, no coach, no anybody would want that first Columbus goal back more than Cam Talbot. Good news statistically as that was classified as a medium-duty chance and not light-duty, but I wouldn’t think he cares. The 2nd goal was because of an absolutely brutal neutral zone turnover that led to a 2 on 0. Not his “best” game as he allowed 2 5v5 goals on an xGoals Against of 1.77, but he locked it down from that 2nd goal on and allowed the Flames the opportunity at the comeback.
Player Spotlight - Noah Hanifin - being as he was the primary subject of my article I wrote earlier, I thought I’d take a look at him specifically. His (and Razz’s) 5v5 TOI led the team with 21:12 logged, Hanifin was able to build a stat line of: 50.10 CF%, xGF% 45.34%, SCF% 41.83%, & HDCF% 49.08%. Well what a great day to praise him only to have this be the outcome. One game isn’t enough to throw me off my newfound respect for Hanifin, but if he comes out flat-footed the next 2 games everything i have currently expected for him might collapse in on itself. Which is just a fancy way of saying I expect the HaniRazz pairing to bounce back Friday against the Yotes in a big way.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars -
- Elias Lindholm
- Johnny Gaudreau
- Mark Giordano
(All stats compiled from NaturalStatTrick.com // Game Score from HockeyStatCards.com) // For all Q’s and inquires see @Flash_33 on Twitter.