The most complete performance of the season (that happens a lot as the season goes on) set a new benchmark for the Calgary Flames potential this season. They allowed one high danger chance in the entire game essentially giving Winnipeg absolutely no chance at 5v5 to beat Jacob Markstrom. This AA is truly the most fun to read yet because so many people played so well.
Legend: CF%: CorsiFenwick Ratio (CF/CA) // SCF%: Scoring Chance ratio – all situations (SCF/SCA) // HDCF%: High Danger chance ratio (HDCF/HDCA) // xGF%: expected goals (xGF/xGA) ratio // All 5v5 statistics are Score & Venue Adjusted (Different Arenas record stats differently, this weeds out home arena bias)
It’s a Team Game – CF% - 59.45%, SCF% - 68.8%, HDCF% - 91.81% (!!!), xGF% - 72.21%. My favorite thing to mention – and I most likely will not shut up about it – is the fact that in 52 mins the Flames surrendered just ONE high danger chance. Almost a literal perfect game defensively from the squad and it was beautiful to watch. A lot of folks on twitter tended to see this game as “evenly matched” but I’m here to tell you that the Calgary Flames controlled the majority of it from the moment the puck hit the ice in the first period. Completely dictated with their defensive play & structure.
Corsi King – Everyone’s favourite target to write about lately, Andrew Mangiapane (CF% 79.32%) deserves all the attention he is collecting. Fellow writer Michael MacGillivray, the gentleman at the Win Column, the guys from the “In the Dome” podcast, and the hilarious crew over at the Scorchstack have all wrote/talked about him in recent days. He’s breaking out as a real star and it’s pleasant to see. As per usual with ratios if one line goes typically their linemates are going too. Milan Lucic (77.28%) and Mikael Backlund (72.16%) followed Mange with Mark Giordano (69.58%) and Rasmus Andersson (68.27%) posting one of their personal top 3 performances as a pair this season.
Corsi Clown – If you’re “off” games see you out possessed at 48% you really didn’t play that bad. Dillon Dube (43.07%) Matthew Tkachuk (46.31%) and the games hero Elias Lindholm (48.48%) struggled a bit at 5v5 but they played amazing on the other side of the puck. The other team may have had it more, but they sure didn’t do anything of significance with it while that trio was over the boards.
Taken By Chance – Byron Froese! Didn’t allow any type of attempts in 7:31 as the Flames coach has started to deploy his lineup in more optimal situations recently. I’m not saying it’s going to last, and other teams can take advantage of last change in road situations, but it’s been two games of more ice time for the top 9 F’s and it’s resulted in 4 points. The 4th line played what I call “zero event hockey”. No high danger chances for, and none against (Froese goal was NOT a High-Danger chance). That’s Exactly what you want from that unit.
A season high 10 Flames finished with a perfect 100% HDCF ratio. Mark Giordano and Milan Lucic were the most dangerous contributing to over 6 High Danger chances created while they were on the ice. Lucic has been looking like the real steal (of a certain trade) lately. Others with perfect ratios in order of descending HDCF: Rasmus Andersson, Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, Noah Hanifin, Sam Bennett, Nikita Nesterov, Elias Lindholm, & Matthew Tkachuk
xGF% - Andrew Mangiapane (90.44%) once again leads this category. Over the next week I’m going to go through all 13 of these that have occurred and summarize how many times he’s finished tops in this category. Lowest on the team was Matthew Tkachuk (55.96%) who was still 6% over the ratio line. Impeccable.
Game Flow –
Just look at that beautiful staircase the Flames built. Honestly i thought Paul Maurice would be more upset with his teams play but he didn’t comment on anything. This is 60 minute hockey in the absolute best way. I hope I see this again, preferably many more times this season and beyond.
Game Score – Top spot goes to the BOOM man Mr. Rasmus Andersson (2.62) with both Lucic (2.08) and Giordano (2.06) finishing above the 2.0 mark. Jacob Markstrom (-0.99) saw his season score average fall to -0.23 which seemed off until I saw Hellebuyck’s average score for the year was -0.11, Game score isn’t too friendly to goalies in general.
Shot Heatmap –
For this i’m gonna talk like an old school hockey coach. The guys really dug into the dirt and came up with some worms. If you don’t dig in the right areas you aren’t gonna get worms you’re just gonna get dirt. Tonight the boys went diggin in the right spot and got a some quality worms. Makes for a good day of fishing.
In The Crease – He only faced an expected goals against of 0.68 at 5v5 and let in the only High Danger chance he faced from Ehlers. Came out of it with a 5v5 sv% of 0.955%. He’s strong at 5v5 every single game and at this point of the season he’s done nothing but impress me. There’s been less than a handful of questionable goals go in against him. He’s been the most consistent prescence the Flames have had on the back end in over a decade and deserves nothing but love & praise so far.
Today’s Specials – Just take the time while you read this to appreciate just hpw good a wrist shot Elias Lindholm has. He may have the best pure shot amongst all of the forwards on the team and he’s signed long term at under $5M. The 1st unit powerplay was creating chances in their two opportunities and are really clicking well with 4 on the point. Would love to eventually see Valimaki get reps on that 2nd unit if the Flames ever have a game with a sizeable lead.
Player Spotlight – Juuso Valimaki – After his pass on the Froese goal I couldn’t help but talk about the Flames young D man here. His passes from the point to the net are (1) tippable: they are not speed of light slapshots and they aren’t flying into traffic above waist height; (2) hard and accurate: The passes aren’t weak enough to create a simple transition for the opposition the other way, and they’ve got enough juice behind them to create some chaos for the goalie should it get deflected. Valimaki is going to continue growing into something special.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Andrew Mangiapane
2) Milan Lucic
3) Mark Giordano
The Flames continue their season against the Vancouver Canucks for the first of 4 straight matchups – the longest such stretch against any opponent this year.
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)