It was very obvious watching that the Flames were a bit drowsy to start the contest. Taking a penalty in the first minute has you starting by chasing and disrupts the flow that would normally get you into the game. Flames got lucky, but you need to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good, and it helps when you’re the team that gets quality goaltending.
It’s a Team Game – CF% - 50.35%, SCF% - 50.7%, HDCF% - 58%, xGF% - 51.96%. The fact that the Flames won the ratio matchup showing up for just the third period is a bit unusual. Canucks came out trying so hard and that 3rd Flames goal took the wind out of their sails. Not the 60-minute defensive gold standard we against Winnipeg Feb 9th, something they would do well to try and replicate.
Corsi King – These former Canucks just love playing the Canucks. Chris Tanev (64.52% CF%) led the way followed by 3M 3.0 as Mikael Backlund (64.33), Milan Lucic (64.33%), and Andrew Mangiapane (61.55%) played another strong game as a unit. Johnny Gaudreau (61.26%) had the puck on his stick a positive amount again tonight as well.
Corsi Clown – While Joakim Nordstrom (28.95%) was bottom the real concern is with what is happening with Dillon Dube (32.40%). After starting the year on. A heater he hasn’t been as impactful as he was to start the year. While his numbers have dipped he’s still young and I’m extremely optimistic he can bounce back. It would help him even more if Matthew Tkachuk (35.31%) and Elias Lindholm (42.24%) could find the ice tilting play they had to start the year.
Taken By Chance – We can just keep on singing his name like Harnarayan Singh, Johnny Gaudreau (62.00 SCF% // 70.91 HDCF%) was creating tonight. He’s having a tremendous year albeit it’s coming off an inflated shooting %. Most likely Johnny is going to see some shooting regression at some point, but his linemate Sean Monahan (58.56 SCF% // 64.57 HDCF%) is poised to see his start to regress positively. Hopefully those two things come at the same time to maintain consistency. It’s worth noting that Tkachuk + Dube didn’t get a High-Danger chance while they were on the ice. Sam Bennett, while creating about as much as he gives up, could shore it up a bit defensively.
xGF% - It must hurt to see a couple of long-time team members come back and continuously burn you. Chris Tanev (69.70%) led the way followed by Johnny Gaudreau (69.02%) and Mark Giordano (66.70%). Giordano and partner Rasmus Andersson (62.11%) have really seen their all-around play increase significantly over the last 5 games as the Flames captain seems to be back into his defensive form. It may not be Norris level elite anymore, but it’s beyond effective when on.
Game Flow –
That’s quite an arc. The Canucks should really be proud of how they played for 2 periods, but when they realize the only reason it was 2-1 Calgary after 2 was their former goaltender the joy would start to fade from their soul fairly quickly. Flames have shown that even if they come out flat footed they’ll continue to press when given the opportunity, a bit of dirt in their ability to never quit.
Game Score – Mark Giordano (3.24) with a breakout game. If my memory is correct that would be his highest score of the season. Jacob Markstrom (2.23) almost got his season average score back to 0 – it’s currently at -0.01. Johnny Gaudreau (2.93) and Sean Monahan (2.52) were the others at the top of the board. Nikita Nesterov was the lowest in terms of game score (-1.24), and he’ll make his way out of the lineup in game 2 for Flames rookie Connor Mackey in what will be his NHL debut.
Shot Heatmap –
This was one of the Flames worst efforts at limiting chances in close to the crease. They could stand to box out the slot a bit better in the follow up while continuing to push to the center of the ice in the offensive zone. The point shots were less than normal, but it led to a direct correlation of an increase in slot shots. All-in-all keep the offence, find some better defence. That could happen if the Tkachuk line figures their stuff out.
In The Crease – Expected goals faced: 1.62, Goals allowed: 1. Verdict? Another stellar performance from the teams golden FA signing. His play so far has to have made management beyond thrilled. I still love how Hailey Salvian (@Hailey_Salvian) of The Athletic described him in training camp.
My early and *very* analytical take on Jacob Markstrom:— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) January 5, 2021
He is huge.
I also have started to think - while watching him - about trying to find holes to shoot. It must be a nightmare for the opposition to go against someone his size with his athleticism. Another reason to be thankful for Markstrom, not that you needed any more.
Today’s Specials – The top unit may not have scored but it was another decent night for them in terms of possession on the powerplay. No last minute heroics from Lindholm but the top unit continued to show a very aggressive chemistry. Can’t always score, despite always wanting too.
Player Spotlight – Joakim Nordstrom – There was plenty of talk on twitter about why despite having terrible numbers at 5v5 why he was still allowed to be in the lineup. I did the dive and looked into his PK numbers as that was the whole reason Nordstrom was brought here in the first place. He, once again, is excelling when down a man. Of forwards to play at least 20 minutes of shorthanded ice time he ranks top 20 all around, and even better when you look at strict defensive impact. Some players ahead of him have early inflated numbers based on SH offence produced. Nordstrom is a very valuable penalty killer, but he’s going to give you extreme Mark Jankowski (or worse) vibes at 5v5. Below is a twitter thread detailing Nordstrom’s impact 4v5.
Joakim Nordstrom— Flashalytics (@Flash_33) February 13, 2021
Was never brought in to be a contributor at 5v5. He never had a history of success there, nor has he ever really
No he was brought to the Calgary Flames to do one thing - Kill Penalties. #CofRed
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Jacob Markstrom
2) Johnny Gaudreau
3) Chris Tanev
The Flames play the 2nd of four against the Canucks Feb 13th on Hockey Day In Canada at 8pm MST.
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)