NOTE: I apologize for the lack of these lately. Due to a personal matter combined with assignments for my schooling I had to put these reports on the backburner. For all those that enjoy these I am back from now through to the end of the season and sincerely apologize for the absence of the Analytical Analysis
The Flames actually controlled this game for the majority of it. It was super entertaining to watch as there were stretches when the Leafs did take over and made it a nice, enjoyable, game. The Flames were able to keep their (very marginal) playoff hopes alive as they march into Montreal on a bit of a mini hot streak.
It’s a Team Game – CF% - 57.25%, SCF% - 47.62%, HDCF% - 45.92%, xGF% - 51.52% The Leafs had the majority of the scoring chances – including High Danger ones, but it wasn’t a runaway. The Flames having the puck more than them allowed Markstrom to stay sharp and on his game. The xG share showed me that the Flames were dominating in getting mid-danger scoring chances and that they weren’t just settling for bad looks. Flames strongest period was easily the second.
Corsi King – Josh Leivo, back in the lineup with Sam Bennett in FLA, led the pack with 74.10 CF%. It was a good look for the 4th line as they outplayed the Leafs death. Andrew Mangiapane (64.48%) should stay in the top 6 and the man I’m hard on all the time – Michael Stone (61.42%) – led on the back end. (HaniRazz was strong too, btw)
Corsi Clown – The big 1000 man, Milan Lucic (47.27%), did a lot of good things in this game that made it a nice memory for him. If 47% was your worst ratio on the team you played a real good team game. Could cycle a new partner on that line other than Nordstrom but otherwise I’d leave the lines the same after the two games they stretched together.
Taken By Chance – Andrew Mangiapane (58.26 SCF% // 78.63 HDCF%) does so much better with skiled linemates. The line of him, Monahan (59.19% // 71.20%), and Dube (53.86% // 71.20%) played really strong together. Again Michael Stone (62.54% // 71.68%) led the way from the back end. Stone has played the best hockey he’s played in the last three years, here’s hoping that keeps up.
xGF% - Mark Giordano (58.55%) has improved a bit with a new defence first partner in Tanev (50.57%) in a second pairing roll, allowing Noah Hanifin (44.96%) and Rasmus Andersson (46.00%) to assume top line minutes. The difference between the two lines deployment is about 90 seconds at 5v5. 4th line let a couple high danger chances on them but largely controlled play in the Leafs zone with plenty of LD or MD chances to have extremely positive impact in their 10 mins on the ice.
Game Flow –
This feels weird to type but, the Leafs 4 min powerplay killed all the momentum they had generated up until that point. They were dominating completely for about 3-1/2 straight minutes and the Flames were in serious trouble. Andersson takes the double minor, you put their faltering PP on the ice, CGY kills it off and is able to push back just as harsh as the Leafs were doing before hand. Baffling and completely weird stuff. If the Leafs want to go far in the playoffs they better figure that thing out fast.
Game Score – Looch, the man, was 3rd amongst Flames skaters with a Game Score of 1.26. The pass he made to Valimaki – across ice by 4 Leafs players, tape to tape – was just absolutely *Chefs Kiss*. Mark Giordano (1.33) and Mikael Backlund (1.41) were the two Flames skaters above Milan. Congrats on 1000 games Looch, it was a memorable game for sure.
Shot Heatmap –
Flames did a good job of getting in and around Rittich trying to create some havoc. They let a little too many chances in close on Markstrom but this effort against a top 5 team in the entire NHL is extremely positive. They are gonna need to keep that offensive trend and improve on that defence if they want to take all 5 against MTL.
In The Crease – I talked earlier about the Flames playing with strong possession numbers. It really gives Markstrom time to rest and reset in his own zone, which is a huge benefit in games where it’s close. He faced 1.91 xGA at 5v5 – allowed a HD and MD goal against – with a 5v5 sv% of .909%. Good numbers and a good performance from the Flames undoubted workhorse going forward.
Today’s Specials – That Powerplay goal they scored was so dirty I thought I might need to go have a shower. Bing, Bang, Boom. Score. That’s a way better run powerplay than we’ve seen before and since Sutter has taken over the most notable change from game 1 – to me at least – was the speed of passes on the powerplay. Flames are going to need it to stay hot against MTL if they want to keep battling.
Player Spotlight – Johnny Gaudreau – CF% 57.25%, xGF% 43.81%, SCF% 33.05%, HDCF% 23.77%. Johnny hockey had a rough night across the board, but still persevered to find his name on the scoresheet with an OT GWG and a PP apple. That’s just how deadly Johnny Hockey can be, you can limit him to almost no chances and he can still score on them. Johnny is an elite talent and I assure you the management team knows his value.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Andrew Mangiapane
2) Michael Stone
3) Mikael Backlund
The Flames put their final playoff hopes to the test against the Montreal Canadians Wednesday night, on Sportsnet. #ItsOn
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)