After a terrible first period I, like many in the C of Red nation – just brushed it off as something that has become all too familiar with the team lately. What was unexpected is that there was no pushback in either of the latter two periods. The final result ended up 3-1 Canucks and hundreds of thousands of fans feeling bad for Jacob Markstrom.
It’s a Team Game – CF% - 33.37%, SCF% - 38.65%, HDCF% - 44.1%, xGF% - 39.69%. It seems odd that one could play a game this one sided (against them) when they played so well against the Jets. It’s starting to seem like a systems matchup and Travis Green may have Geoff Ward’s number. Game 3 between these two teams will really be telling.
Corsi King – I can give Mikael Backlund the crown in just 4:27 TOI because he was the ONLY one to finish above 50%. Matthew Tkachuk (42.48%) led the rest of them. He doesn’t get the crown, nobody gets the crown. Not one player deserves this honour tonight. It hath been stripped until such time someone plays well enough to re-claim it.
Corsi Clown – Everyone. But to pick out unusually bad performances Noah Hanifin (23.34%) and Christopher Tanev (29.44%) with their first real bad blip of the year. To be fair the team should really do what my minor league hockey coach once told us when we played bad “Take everything that just happened, throw it in the trash, and forget about it like my ex-wife forgot about me”. There’s probably more to that story but that’s for another time.
Taken By Chance – Positive news in this section. Mark Giordano (59.35% SCF% // 65.51 HDCF%) and Rasmus Andersson (52.26 SCF% // 65.51 HDCF%). Matthew Tkachuk actually didn’t allow a High Danger chance against. I’ve been hard on him lately and maybe a bit too hard, but I expect plenty of him. When you’re the team’s best all-around player you catch heat on the down days, it’s part of the job. (I also don’t feel the least bit bad criticizing millionaires)
xGF% - Mark Giordano (61.93%) had good underlying numbers here too. Rasmus Andersson (58.99%) naturally did as well. This is why we can’t take corsi as the be all end all of statistics. Actually, you should never take one specific stat as the be all end all, but I digress. Even in games where you get dumped on you can see some positive effects… somewhere.
Game Flow –
A staircase to a Flames fans pain. The Canucks really pushed them and hemmed them in all night. Really no semblance of a Flames pushback. Canucks deserved this one from the drop, and got the two points rightfully so.
Game Score – Jacob Markstrom (1.64) led the way, Mark Giordano (1.25) and Rasmus Andersson (1.19) were everyone that finished above a score of 1.00. Matthew Tkachuk (0.43) was the best forward. He’s been a polarizing topic amongst the fanbase currently. I’m expecting a breakout performance soon.
Shot Heatmap –
So we got a bunch of high danger chances from the slot which was good, but they wouldn’t shoot it unless they were in tight. No distance shots from the half-wall. The right point gets no action. The Flames have an identity to shovel the puck up the boards on the left side, there’s no real creativity in their process. I would like to see some right point shots, some mid range shots, or some more shots in general.
In The Crease – A season high expected goals against from the netminder. 3.13 against and only 2 allowed. I felt so bad watching him get no support. There’s almost a zero % chance the Flames come out playing that bad again, but if they do Jacob Markstrom is back there to try and keep his team in it.
Today’s Specials – The single worst showing of the PP we have seen this season. It will be the gold standard of bad powerplay performances for the rest of the season. Big props to the Canucks PK unit for making a 4 man brick wall at the blue line. Flames need to find more entry points that aren’t Johnny carrying the puck in or Razz/Gio firing it in (Dump & Chase on the powerplay is just WRONG)
Player Spotlight – Connor Mackey – A big congratulations to Mr. Mackey on his NHL debut! It’s just too bad everyone else played like they did. Hopefully they give him more opportunities with a better performance from the supporting cast.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Jacob Markstrom
The Flames continue on Feb 15th with the 3rd straight of 4 games against the Canucks at 6pm MST.
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)