CGY v. WPG
OH WE BACK! And ready to be as real as ever. The Flames came away from last night’s 2nd period with a slew of special teams goals (That I don’t usually look at when evaluating) to have a 1-0 series lead. Slow starts were a thing 5 months ago, and they were a thing last night too. The Flames 5v5 play left a lot to be desired for the fans that like offence and goals, but Geoff Ward’s shut it down system worked last night. Instead of me continuing to ramble on, how about I give you some numbers instead?
Corsi King - Call on Relias! Elias Lindholm led the way at 5v5 with a 70% CF%. The thing is only 6 Flames had over 50%, and Lindholm was far and away the leader of the pack. You’ll see the trend restart up of when the Flames have a third period lead they go full protect and stop attacking. Last night in the 3rd there was an opportunity for a 3 on 2 rush, Monahan took the shot from the top of the circles and no players rushed the net/lane. It’s just them buying into “the process” I guess.
Corsi Clown - Four players finished below 40% (not good) but i can’t realy harp on the 4th line, they hardly played. So this ones going to be a joint award to Milan Lucic (36.84%) and Andrew Mangiapane (37.50). The positive I take out of this is that Mang is almost never that low, so he should have a strong bounce back in the upcoming games.
Taken By Chance - Typically your top Corsi getter will be here, and that’s the case again with Lindholm, but i’ll touch on our d-man that got the best ratio of scoring chances for vs. against. Rasmus Andersson led the back 6 by a bunch with a 71.43 SCF%. Andersson has proven this year he has the skills to not only drive his pairing, but raise others with bad numbers to acceptable levels (i.e Hanifin plays better with Razz than he ever did with Hamonic). On the flip side Erik Gustafsson allowed 9 chances against, only was on the ice for 4, and came out with a 30.77 SCF%. I don’t mind him as a PP specialist, but would really like to see his 5v5 TOI limited.
xGF% - Quality chances, did we do well? We know Lindy and Razz had great games, but the only other 2 to create better quality chances than their opponents were Johnny Gaudreau (51 xGF%) and Dillon Dube (52.73%) Now with all the penalties we only have 38ish mins of 5v5 ice time to pull these statistics from. Usually the Flames don’t take 7 penalties a game. Stronger bounce back performances from guys like Backlund, Mangiapane, and Monahan could be coming (especially Backs, he’s usually never in the red) which would boost the outlook of these numbers.
Game Flow -
as you can see, the Flames never really had complete control of the 5v5 play, because they spent so much time short handed. The majority of the game was more even than this chart suggests, but it does tell me the Flames did the ol “protect the lead in the third” strategy where they dump and kinda chase but never too deep into the zone. It’s what Ward wants, it’s what Ward got, and last night it worked.
Game Score - Lets just say, points can conquer all. Mangiapane led this team in game score with a 1.71 fueled by his empty net goal and an assist. The real positive I find here is that Johnny Gaudreau had a 1.04 score, he found the net, and got some past demons off his back with it. JG13 has shown success in his career against the Jets, and lets hope last night’s goal starts him on a roll.
Shot Heatmap -
Remember this is just 5v5 play here, Flames didn’t use their right point at all, but also were able to get right in Hellebyuck’s kitchen with some high danger chances. Winnipeg was worse than Detroit this year at giving up slot shots so I expect to see this trend continue. Flames allowed a little more from the middle than I’d like to see, but the large majority of chances were limited to the outside making it easy for Talbot.
In The Crease - Wardo went with the vet, Cam Talbot, and boy did it pay off. He faced 14 shots at 5v5, letting in 1 for .929 sv%. The Flames stingy defence they’ve been operating only allowed the Jets to muster up 1 high danger chance, which was the Copp goal. No weak goals, no slouching, and he was perfect on the PK. Kudos to him and I hope we let him run hot for a little (long please) while here.
Player Spotlight - Sam Bennett - The civil war veteran looking man was a physical beast last night. The huge hit he delivered to Morrisey against the boards hurt my shoulder just watching it. He put up a 50 CF%, 48.18 xGF%, and a 50 SCF%. Easily the most noticed physically behind Matthew Tkachuk. Benny got quite the promotion and responsibility to be the 3rd line center and last night he did well enough to earn another shot at it.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars -
- Elias Lindholm - easily the best defensive player on the team that game, hardly gave up anything when he was on the ice.
- Rasmus Andersson - similar performance to Lindholm, absolutely led the charge from the back end.
- Cam Talbot - solid in net and didn’t let any weak goals in, it’s really all you could’ve asked from him.
(All stats compiled from NaturalStatTrick.com // Game Score from HockeyStatCards.com) // For all Q’s and inquiries see @Flash_33 on Twitter.