The game that put Flames Nation on the brink of insanity – a 6-1 loss to the lowly Ottawa Senators. The fanbase had been saying all season “Just wait until the Flames play Ottawa, that’s when we’ll gain ground in the standings.” Well the first game came and Calgary not only didn’t get a point, they got their butts handed to them on a platter.
It’s a Team Game – CF% - 47.68%, SCF% - 39.9%, HDCF% - 30.77%, xGF% - 44.84%. They got absolutely beaten down by a team everyone dismisses and looked like they deserved it too. That’s an absolutely atrocious high danger chance rate. After Toronto I thought literally anything the team could do would be better – and they proved me wrong
Corsi King – Matthew Tkachuk (69.51%) and his linemates at least were able to push play themselves in terms of corsi. The 19/28/88 line got split up in the third despite showing good chemistry together, but such is what this coach does. Mikael Backlund (53%) numbers got better with the Pair of Mangiapane (66.56%) and Tkachuk.
Corsi Clown – Sam Bennett (33.09%) has really fallen off lately. He’s not the goal scoring winger Johnny Gaudreau (37.39%) needs no matter how much you force him in that spot. Sam Bennett – even when doing well – gives up a lot defensively. So when his offence goes cold for a game he becomes a massive black hole in terms of on-ice impact.
Taken By Chance – Only one Flame had his scoring chance ratios above 50% - Elias Lindholm (52.02 SCF% // 58.37 HDCF%). Buddy Robinson was absolutely atrocious with Gawdin and Nordstrom giving up 3 High Danger chances each while getting nothing. I know why Nordstrom is in the lineup but you have to at least shelter him with linemates that know what they’re doing at 5v5.
xGF% - Speaking of Joakim Nordstrom (22.27%) he finished bottom 5 – yet again. While I do want to advocate for giving. Younger guys more TOI in a blow out (Gawdin specifically) maybe throw the kid out there with Mange and Tkachuk for a few shifts? You’ve already threw in the towel playing these guys as much as you did – try and put the kid in a position to at least show some success.
Game Flow –
Literally never had control of the game. And didn’t pushback either just steadily let Ottawa determine the pace of the contest. Sadness in an image, can’t wait to see what Saturday brings.
Game Score – It was almost a clean divide of all Sens playes at the top and all Flames at the bottom. Sean Monahan (0.50) with the lowest “High Score” of the season to date. If that doesn’t tell you something about this debacle I don’t know what will.
Shot Heatmap –
WHY ARE YOU SHOOTING SO MUCH FROM THE POINT. GET TO THE NET. THEY TEACH YOU THAT IN PEEWEE. Point shots are so low % the volume they took just scream “whatever maybe i’ll get a bounce.” You know where else you could maybe get a bounce? FROM THE DAMN SLOT.
In The Crease – You had to go to Dave on the back-to-back. I would have trusted Domingue to play one but he was unavailable due to Quarantine. Ritter had a BAD night. He let in 4 goals, 1 of them a low danger chance and one that wasn’t even counted as low/medium/high because it was shot from center ice. We’ll call that beyond low. Rittich was the SOLE reason the Flames were able to stay afloat against the Leafs, but this was still rough.
Today’s Specials – Can’t really discuss special teams when they played the cleanest game of hockey known to man, apparently.
Player Spotlight – Milan Lucic – He scored! Good for him. The last 7 games have seen him lose every shred of positive impact defensively that had everyone praising him 14 games into the season. He deserved the praise after those games and he most certainly deserves his criticism too. Take solace in the fact it’s not just you playing bad it’s the whole team, but for gods sake at least go hit somebody and try and spark something.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Elias Lindholm
2) Matthew Tkachuk
3) Andrew Mangiapane
The Flames continue their series against the Sens Saturday morning at 11AM – thanks I hate it.
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)