Hard to describe this one other than this random jumbilation of words: “oh come on, OH COME ON, Oh? Damn, What is this, Wait what? JOHNNY MAYBE. Nope.” I’m pretty sure anyone else that watched would agree with me. Again it was a close game, and that third period was all Calgary, but at the NHL level a well-coached team will always be difficult to score on, no matter whose on their defence.
Legend: CF%: CorsiFenwick // SCF%: Scoring Chance Ratio // HDCF%: High Danger Chance Ratio // xGF%: expected goals (or quality of chance) ratio
It’s a Team Game – CF%: 49.52%, SCF%: 52.78%, HDCF%: 47.64%, xGF%: 49.78%. The fact that the Flames finished below 50% in xGF% when their third period total was 70.34% speaks to the level of play they had through 40 minutes. If this team ever figures out how to play 60 full minutes mark my words they would finish top 2 in this division, but until we see that happen on a regular basis it’s all a pipe dream. Note* That 70.34% doesn’t include a single second of 6 on 5 play, they did all that BEFORE they pulled the goalie. It can be deceiving however as most of the chances weren’t of the high danger variety.
Corsi King – Sean Monahan (70.48 CF%) and Johnny Gaudreau (68.53%) led the way for the forwards tonight. It was finally a positive game from the Rasmus Andersson (53.45%) and Mark Giordano (56.37%) who usually finish a game spending more time in their own end than the offensive zone. That’s a very positive sign I’ve been waiting for
Corsi Clown – With every good comes some bad (not always but tonight it holds true). Matthew Tkachuk (34.77 CF%) got two goals and started to look better later in the third. He was on an absolute tear until he lost his mind at the end of the Toronto game. Since then he’s put up three straight stinkers where he was more of a liability on the ice than a positivity. Tonights where eye’s and analytics don’t match up because he was clutch when he needed to be. I would like 60 minute Tkachuk back, but I won’t worry because it’s inevitable he’ll find himself again.
Taken By Chance – Sam Bennett (32.44 SCF% // 0% HDCF%) sure didn’t do a damn thing with his multiple promotions. Unless he can be playoff Bennett on a nightly basis, he’s a bottom 6 NHL forward. There’s over 200 games of sample size that tell us it’s true. Last year he had the worst GAR (Goals above replacement) and WAR (Wins above replacement) on the entire team. If you’re making millions of dollars you’d think that would be enough to motivate you to play like you can every night but, apparently not.
Good news here is once again Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan (both with 61.36 SCF% // 66.16 HDCF%) were creating again. Would love to see Mony get some 5v5 goals but the I haven’t seen him in his hashmarks office yet much this year. The whole team is playing more along the boards and trying to drive to the net low or create net scrums with point shots. I would like to see them adapt and find a way to get some Monahan slot shots off. Your leader tonight was Joakim Nordstrom (85.39 SCF% // 75.31 HDCF%) who is either lights out or has broke the bulb on any given night.
xGF% - Andrew Mangiapane (83.58%), Johnny Gaudreau (76.19%), and Sean Monahan (75.15%) should probably play more than a period tpgether. Maybe give them a consistent look over a decent stretch of games. Then again this is a team with a belt that says “wins over stats”. If they want to be stubborn and refuse to use statistics as a tool to benefit line chemistry or zone deployment than we’re going to never find regular lines this season. So here’s hoping everybody just magically finds chemistry with each other when down by 2 goals.
Game Flow –
I wish that rapid trajectory towards the Flames side started literally anywhere sooner. 10 minutes left in a game was a nice time for all those deployed to finally get going but at 00:01 of the first period could work too. It was fairly close until the last 5 of the second for Calgary whose lucky Dave made some saves or it could’ve been a 4-1 hole.
Game Score – 2 goals is going to get you a win somewhere on this list, and Matthew Tkachuk (1.40) leads here. I’m disappointed because I believe he can regularly contribute a game score of over 1.75 on a nightly basis. Scratch that because I don’t just believe that, I know he can. Matthew Tkachuk is an elite talent when he’s at his best. He can be the game changer the Flames need on a nightly basis, but he can’t lose his muster playing head games. (It’s never going to happen and that’s okay. Tkachuk is what he is and I’m GLAD the Flames have him). Bottom 2 skaters tonight were Nikita Nesterov (-0.75) and Juuso Valimaki (-0.63).
Shot Heatmap –
Well for the second straight game the Flames were able to get to the slot for some chances. Eventually they’re going to have a night where the heatmap looks like this and they put up 6+ goals. Ottawa doesn’t count though. I mean against Edm, Van, Wpg, or Tor. I’m seriously doubtful you’ll see them score more than 3 against the Habs all season.
In The Crease – Medium Danger chances going in are something we haven’t seen the new starter do, but David Rittich has gone 2 for 2 in letting that happen. Look the first goal was on the egregious giveaway by Lucic and the 3rd a ridiculous tip by Ehlers. The Forbort goal however is one every NHL goalie will tell you they want back. David Rittich didn’t lose this game for Calgary, and he kept them in it while trailing, but he didn’t knock it out of the park tonight either.
Today’s Specials – Late powerplay, and down by 2 I can’t believe the coach took the top PP unit off. That’s some Mike Babcock stuff. Did you know when Keefe took over the Maple Leafs and started keeping his top line on the ice for the whole powerplay they started scoring more goals. I can see playing split time with a lead, or tied, but down by 1 goal late? C’mon man. Makes me want to hear the coaches thought process sometimes.
Player Spotlight – Noah Hanifin – The incredible streak is over on a long distance =, no traffic goal from known elite sniper (and forever a flame candidate) Derek Forbort. Tonight in game 9 Hanifin had his worst statistical output… and it wasn’t even that bad. He’s taken a massive step playing with the apparent father of defence Chris Tanev. Tanev helped Quinn Hughes become a star and now he’s picked up Noah Hanifin as his next prodige. So far: it’s working
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Johnny Gaudreau
2) Andrew Mangiapane
3) Joakim Nordstrom
The Flames get a day off before finishing up their three game set in Winnipeg on Thursday.
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)