I missed game ones recap due to extended work commitments, so here’s the lowdown on that: Top line sucked, like a lot. Talbot let in his first weak goal of the playoffs, but the Flames more or less dominated possession and walked on the Stars.
Now that emotional rollercoaster of a game 2 is on deck. From the time the Stars scored to tie the game at 1, until about the 4 minute mark of the third, there was absolutely no pushback from the Flames side. Matthew Tkachuk got dinged up and it really threw him off his game, the lines got split up, and the whole team just looked lost. They started to pushback and then Tobi Reider scored a workhorse shorthanded goal, followed by a positive powerplay outing after wasting a 4 min advantage earlier. Tie game. The Flames then proceed to appear to give up, stand still in their own zone while the Stars skated in circles around the offensive zone, penultimate by Johnny Gaudreau completely losing his man and Oleksiak scoring to win the game in the final minute. Heartbreaking, gut wrenching, and hopefully the perfect wake up call. It never really felt like Calgary was in this game, even at 1-1 or 4-4, odd feel.
Corsi King - The third (“third”) line was the best again, Milan Lucic (77.78 CF%) and Dillon Dube (65.00 CF%) were tops on the team. Only 6 players on the whole team were above 50% as the team really got steamrolled. Shoutout to the Flames 4th line for a second decent game, the fault here was completely on the Flames top 6 and the entirety of their defence corps. That doesn’t seem to be a problem, right?
Corsi Clown - Matthew Tkachuk (22.73%) was the worst, but i’m not gonna rip on a guy that got injured early in the game and tried to fight through it. I hope he’s okay. No today’s player that was terrible was Sean Monahan (31.25 CF%). He was getting praised after the series against the Jets for getting all those powerplay points, but as more and more games get played his personal effort has become a major question in what the identity of this team really is. Remember folks, we’re at the exact same spot as we were last year, one win in the first round. Having a number one center that can play without getting buried in his own zone for the majority of 5v5 play would be a positive start.
Taken By Chance - Today’s column’s not going to be about the positives. Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin put up a ZERO % SCF rate. They got NO CHANCES FOR when they were on the ice. The whole team was bad but those two, combined with Rasmus Andersson, we’re very much on the wrong side of things. Hanirazz had been our best pairing through the first 5 games, so i have a bit of faith they’ll bounce back tonight, but it was hard to see last night.
xGF% - Elias Lindholm trailed everyone with an xGF% of 10.87%. I don’t know how he got to that at 5v5 when he wasn’t on for a scoring chance but that’s what naturalstattrick.com says, and they’ve never let me down. It really hurts you if one of your top line is slumping, but all 3 players (13-23-28) at the same time could bury CGY quickly if they don’t figure it out.
Game Flow -
Dallas grabbed control early and the Flames spent 30 mins before they could get any momentum back. The fact that they still got it to a tie game is quite amazing, but then, we’ll, you saw what happened
Game Score - Despite the positive impact that came from scoring a goal, Derek Forbort (-1.38) had one of the worst game scores amongst all players in game 2. His partner Erik Gustafsson (-1.43) and the tendy Cam Talbot (-2.21) also fell at the bottom of the barrel. This stat takes PP success into measure here and when comparing it to the rest of the 5v5 stats it can skew how well a player actually performed.
Shot Heatmap -
the Flames got to the crease a bit, but they couldn’t get anything off the wings. Limiting yourselves to shots from the point is always gonna make Bishop look good. As for the Flames D that play the right side... keep your head up for the attackers in the slot.
In The Crease - The high danger chance against at 5v5 is fine, goalies will let them in, the shooters are just too skilled to stop every single one of them (unless your name is Joonas Korpisalo). Letting in two medium danger chances is about 1 too many if you want to keep your team in it, but the major dagger was a low danger chance from Miro Heiskanen hurt. That one getting let in hurts. It was Talbot’s 2nd LDC in as many games, if he can find the form he had against the Jets that would help, but for him to find that he’d first need better play from the squad in front of him. Your goalie can only do so much for the team, this one wasn’t completely on him, but he’s not innocent either.
Today’s Specials - Yes Sam Bennett scored a powerplay goal to tie it late. Yes Andrew Mangiapane’s goal should have counted. Did that change the fact the team completely botched a 4 min powerplay with what could quite possibly be the worst powerplay breakout known to man? No it did not. It annoys me, they rely on winning the first faceoff and maintaining possession in the O-zone. With the crappy super-used ice and the puck bouncing everywhere it makes it even harder. I know everyone’s got the same ice, but it’s still annoying. I want a revamped Powerplay because Dallas’ looked spectacular with amazing puck movement.
As for the PK, Tobias Reider really looks good on the Rogers center ice. Almost like he’s quite familiar with it. What a workhorse goal that brought me out of my seat. Analytics don’t measure the size of heart in that SH goal, but it’s so massive it’s close to having a coronary.
Player Spotlight - Andrew Mangiapane - 35.71 CF%, 41.67 xGF%, 22.2 SCF%. Now he wasn’t the worst, but he also wasn’t good. The whole 3M line got thrown off with the apparent Tkachuk injury in the first and they never recovered. Game 3 sees the Flames acquire the last change so look for Mange and Backs, assuming they stay together, to be hard matched against the Stars super line of Benn, Seguin, and Radulov. If Tkachuk misses significant time we’re really going to be able to see just how far Mangiapane has come in his development.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars -
- Sam Bennett - The playoff warrior scores goals and hits everything that moves.
- Dillon Dube - Emerging star just never stops. ever.
- Milan Lucic - The one outcast, comes back with a vengeance.