Mikael Backlund's first playoffs cementing his status as a key player, leader

April 24 2015 03:00PM

"Jonas Hiller was the only reason the Flames had a chance in Game 5" is almost a correct statement. Almost, but not quite. Because while Hiller deserves all the credit in the world for trying to near-singlehandedly drag his team to the second round, there's a skater who deserves some props.

Props for this series, props for this season, and props for every season he's spent in Calgary.

Mikael Backlund has been long underrated, to put it nicely, by this city. To some extent, it's fair: he's a first round draft pick who never really found a consistent scoring touch, and at 26 years old, may not be the best centre on the team anymore.

But make no mistake: he's incredibly important to this team. He always has been. Game 5 was a tour de force, though, and not just from Hiller.

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Talkin' Bout Faceoffs

Ryan Pike
April 24 2015 01:03PM

We're five games into the series, and much as we earlier checked out the Corsi and Fenwick breakdowns for the two clubs, let's revisit the face-off numbers for the primary centers for each teams.

The big fancy table after the jump!

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The Numbers Game Through 5 Games

Ryan Pike
April 24 2015 11:00AM

Well, we're five games into the series between the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks. With that many games under our belts, we have a decently-large enough sample size to dig into the underlying numbers a bit and see how each player is doing.

I split the data into home and away, and I'm looking at both Corsi (all shot attempts: on-net, blocked and missing the net) and Fenwick (unblocked shot attempts), in part because the Flames are block machines and in part because it could be interesting. Numbers are expressed in terms of plus/minus in each category.

Beware sample sizes, though: there have been 2 home games and 3 away games, so bear that in mind when you look at the gaps.

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The Roundup

Nation World HQ
April 24 2015 07:00AM


Oilers gifted McDavid and reportedly hire Chiarelli. Injured Jets swept by Ducks, Leafs eye Todd Mclellan, can Canucks come back, playoff nastiness, Rob Ford, Sean Monahan, Michael Ferland and more in this week's Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.

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Playoff Post-Game: Wasted Chances

Ryan Pike
April 23 2015 11:34PM

The Calgary Flames moseyed into Vancouver this evening, hoping for a victory over the Canucks and to propel themselves into the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Unfortunately for the Flames, that opportunity was wasted as the Canucks played their third straight strong game at Rogers Arena and eked out a narrow 2-1 victory over the Flames. It was narrow on the scoreboard, but the Canucks carried the play for the majority of the contest and if not for some really strong goaltending from Jonas Hiller, the game could've been much more one-sided.

Game 6 goes Saturday night in Calgary.

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