In these early season prospect tournaments, there’s no real tracking going on. This is both quite unfortunate, yet quite understandable. The fans get denied some deeper insight – but it’s a prospect tournament, insight really doesn’t matter. As a result, the NHL doesn’t do it, the teams don’t really bother with it, and neither do the analytics nerds. We did it anyways, because why not.
All of the tables are available here. I tracked this by myself in the wee hours of the morning, but I’m sure it’s at least 95% accurate.
- Ryan Huska didn’t play with his lines at all save for the third period, when Jankowski wasn’t feeling well (no word on what it is, but he had to stay on the bench for the majority of the period heating up, according to Pat Steinberg) and a quarter of his team being sent for an early shower. Otherwise, the blender stayed tucked away.
- I didn’t track TOI, but it appeared that ice time was evenly distributed, even before the game was clearly out of Winnipeg’s hands. Smith/Aagaard/Falkovsky and Kanzig/Morrison kept getting caught on long shifts.
- For the few seconds of powerplay time, Huska only trusted his first line and first pairing with the task. They didn’t produce, but they looked very good in a short time frame.
- For the PK, Huska went a bit unconventional. He matched up Jankowski with Aagaard (which led to a nice breakaway chance) and Lomberg and Pollock (which didn’t really work). No word why he prefers a double-centre approach.
- We got to see plenty 4v4 this game, and nearly everyone got a taste of it. This was when Winnipeg scored their only goal
- For whatever reason, Huska didn’t use Eetu Tuulola in any non-5v5 situation. You’d think he could slot in on the PK, seeing as he gave his line the defensive lifting.
- Speaking of, let’s talk about the lines. Tkachuk-Janko-Carroll got the typical first line usage. They received heavy offensive zone time, and were working well. I felt they would’ve scored (Carroll scored when neither 19 nor 77 were on the ice), had Tkachuk not always been in the penalty box.
- Mangiapane-Lomberg-Tuulola, as already mentioned, had heavy defensive zone starts for most of the game until they were forced to be the first line in the third period. When that switch happened, they took over the game, with each player posting a CF% over 80% and a FF% over 85%.
- The only line that remained consistently defensive was Pollock-Dube-Phillips. This was also the Flames’ best line, receiving the toughest zone starts (22.22% at 5v5) but pushing the puck up better than any other line (all players above 85 CF%). They shut down every Winnipeg line. I’m very excited for all three of these players.
- The fourth line held their own, albeit with the most generous zone starts.
- Culkin-Andersson probably had the highest TOI for the Flames, and they did very good work.
- Overall, I don’t have any complaints about the defensive corps. Kylington and Dyukov probably need to stop taking risks (I counted a few fast breaks for the Jets while they were on the ice), but otherwise, no real concerns yet.
Star of the game
We’re going with Dillon Dube, who posted an amazing 88 CF% at 5v5 with 20% OZS. Fun fact, he didn’t record a single 5v5 corsi against until there was 6:39 left in the second period. He was almost perfect, save for being on the ice when Winnipeg scored (though he had zero hand in that).
The Flames released their lines while this was being written. D’oh! I have thoughts anyways.
- I’d like to see the aforementioned Dube get time with Tkachuk. I’d also argue for Lomberg with Tkachuk, but that could lead to some blood being spilled.
- The Mangiapane-Lomberg-Tuulola line did a lot of good work despite being given tough defensive minutes. Two members of that line scored a goal, and all were on the ice for at least two. I think they should get offensive zone time tonight, because they were dazzling against the Jets.
- Another invite of intrigue, Brayden Burke, slots in on the fourth line with Aagaard and Smith. Very curious to see what he can do, and hopefully, he can work his way up to the upper lines.
- Kanzig had some sort of offensive edge last night, but will be subbed off for Stepan Falkovsky, a man of equal height but greater offensive acumen. He’s being paired with another offensive-defenceman in Kenney Morrison, so hopefully there’re some fireworks there.
- I’d like to see Matt Phillips move up to the first line. I felt he would be a more dynamic option than Austin Carroll, who seemed to be the hanger-on for Jankowski and Tkachuk.
All that being said, the Flames are back at it again in Edmonton tonight at 8:30. See y’all then!