Well on the way to 9th is in reference to how the old conference playoff system was set up (I miss it btw) where the 3 divisional winners would get the top 3 seeds and then the next 5 best teams ranked 4-8. The team in 9th was the best of the worst! They didn’t get to participate in the playoffs and also only got to draft 14th overall. This year’s team seems extremely unlikely to push to the postseason but more than competitive enough to be the best of the worst. Congratulations on re-hitting NHL purgatory in less than 10 years Flames management, truly an accomplishment.
It’s a Team Game – CF% - 58.45%, SCF% - 51.78%, HDCF% - 43.89%, xGF%. – 54.44%. This paints the picture of a very clear story, one where the Flames had the puck the majority of the time and did nothing with it. 58% of the time you were directing traffic towards the senators end and yet you only got 43.9% of the high danger chances? Does nobody want to go the area of the ice where goals actually get scored? Seems like they don’t.
Corsi King – Matthew Tkachuk (72.21 CF%) leads the fools crown category today. This line may have had the puck a lot (which is good) but they all shot it from areas of the ice that aren’t dangerous (not good). Lindholm (67.77%) and Dube (64.25%) were good here as well as four defencemen: Hanifin (67.69%), Tanev (68.30%), Valimaki (66.19%), & Nesterov (64.98%). Missing a couple key players there…..
Corsi Clown – …because they’re in this category. Mark Giordano (41.29%) & Rasmus Andersson (43.75%) fall again. Mark Giordano specifically played horrendous, horrendously horrendous. These guys are ranked with Zac Rinaldo (41.19%) who actually performed better than I expected him too. THAT’S BAD FOLKS.
Taken By Chance – Mark Giordano let SEVEN high danger chances against and while he was on the ice generated none. Rasmus on the odd shift away from Gio was able to generate at least 2 HD chances, but when Gio is with him they faltered. The refusal to tell Gio it’s time to play a smaller role on the team because you don’t want to hurt his feelings is a terrible way to run an NHL business. He is a professional that gets paid 6M dollars – you put him on that 3rd pair with PK time and he will go back to being a decent contributor. Keep forcing him out there against competition too fast for him and you’ll keep losing.
xGF% - Johnny Gaudreau (34.28%) was on the wrong side of the quality share. He’s so good in open ice but nobody he plays with can play with him anymore. Actually Lindholm (60.88%) can play with him, Monahan (36.82%) has been more of a detriment as of late. It’s time to break up the 13/23 party pal. It’s the one thing any coach or management has refused to do, the time for waiting is over – separate them and at least see what they can do.
Game Flow –
Game Score – Nikita Nesterov (1.95) leads in a category for I think the first time all season. That assist he got was enough to propel him over partner Juuso Valimaki (1.77). at the bottom? Andersson (-1.88) and Giordano (-1.81). They played over 20 minutes too! How terrible.
Shot Heatmap –
That Slot looks awfully barren. That Sens rookie goalie sure had himself an easy debut, all he had to do was play the angles. The lowest % shots you can take are from the point, banking your entire offensive strategy on the possibility of maybe getting tips or rebounds is ridiculous. Charge the net, get to the slot, shoot the puck.
In The Crease – The Dzingel goal was kind of rough to give up. From distance, hardly a screen, but it was a wicked shot. Still those aren’t nice ones to give up. The second goal was all Mark Giordano completely covering nobody and failing to track the bouncing puck in the slot. It was brutal. To watch with my eyes – and right after Johnny finally broke the brick wall at the other end of the rink. 1.55 expected goals against with 2 goals actually against. I’m not blaming Markstrom for that 2-1 goal though, that’s on his defencemen.
Today’s Specials – The one powerplay they had was really well done! Johnny was shooting the puck and the team was slinging it around with speed and precision, they just couldn’t find the hole in the defence to squeak a good chance through. Unfortunately for Calgary there was only 1 PP for them, but as we learned recently that’s more about each referee creating a narrative to manage each game so it plays out the way they want instead of actually calling penalties when they occur.
Player Spotlight – Zac Rinaldo – He played 9:16 at 5v5. NINE minutes. I saw him lose his defensive assignment 3 times in one shift. Don’t be playing him 9 minutes. Use his slot to play the other guys that were going – oh wait, nobody was going. Whatever, at least 4 of his minutes could have been given to Gaudreau or Tkachuk when trailing, but again whatever, I guess.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Noah Hanifin
2) Chris Tanev
3) Derek Ryan
(I might just put these three on a cycle because they’re the only ones playing well every single night)
The Flame next game is at 3PM MST on a Wednesday for some reason, if you can’t watch don’t worry @Flash_33 will be live tweeting the possible disappointment)
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)