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Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today Sports

How did line matching look in Game 2?

In the second game of their series, the Anaheim Ducks continued to hold last change as the home team against the Calgary Flames. As a result, they were able to get the matchups that they wanted. Oddly, the matchups they wanted were virtually identical to the matchups they had in Game 1.

Here’s a quick glance at what the matchups were in Game 2 (and the series so far), and some potential moves the Flames might want to look at for Games 3 and 4 in Calgary.

Most common matchups

In terms of even strength time on ice, here’s a descending glance at the general matchups in Game 2:

  • Getzlaf-Eaves-Rakell against Backlund-Frolik-Tkachuk (10:25)
  • Kesler-Cogliano-Silfverberg against Monahan-Gaudreau-Ferland (10:13)
  • Vermette-Perry-Ritchie against Bennett-Chiasson-Versteeg (6:01)
  • Thompson-Shaw-Wagner against Stajan-Bouma-Brouwer (4:33)

Game 1 was much more of a three line game, probably because the power plays mucked up a lot of the matching, but Game 2 was much more of a top six/bottom six type of contest in the sense that the two top six units played each other a ton and the bottom six units played each other with the little remaining time.

Goals and penalties

The even strength goals in this game were scored by Kesler’s line on Monahan’s line and Getzlaf’s line against the Backlund line.

In terms of penalties, here’s the breakdown:

  • The Backlund line took two penalties against the Getzlaf line.
  • The Stajan line took one penalty against the Vermette line.
  • The Monahan line took one penalty against the Kesler line.
  • The Getzlaf line took one penalty against the Monahan line.
  • The Getzlaf line took one penalty against the Backlund line.
  • The Vermette line took one penalty against the Stajan line.

Once again, the Ducks seemed to come away with the better of the even strength matches in terms of generating goals and penalties from their favoured matchings with Flames lines. Heck, even when they strayed from their preferred matchings they tended to get good results (or at least break even).

At a glance

Here’s a quick comparison of Flames performance versus different Ducks line at even strength. Included are head-to-head time on ice, Corsi For percentage and offensive zone start percentage.

Ryan
Getzlaf
Ryan
Kesler
Antoine
Vermette
Nate
Thompson
Sean
Monahan
1:34
75% CF
100% OZS
10:13
56% CF
100% OZS
0:45
0% CF
n/a OZS
2:22
0% CF
33% OZS
Mikael
Backlund
10:25
45% CF
63% OZS
3:15
86% CF
75% OZS
0:31
n/a CF
n/a OZS
0:49
n/a CF
n/a OZS
Sam
Bennett
0:57
0% CF
0% OZS
0:25
n/a CF
100% OZS
6:01
40% CF
50% OZS
2:10
50% CF
100% OZS
Matt
Stajan
2:09
80% CF
0% OZS
0:19
100% CF
n/a OZS
2:52
45% CF
33% OZS
4:33
29% CF
0% OZS

Aside from Monahan’s trio against Kesler’s, every Flames unit struggled against the unit they were most frequently out there against in Game 2. Heck, Stajan’s line got their heads kicked in against Anaheim’s bottom six. They won’t see a ton of ice time in the two games in Calgary, but Glen Gulutzan will need to be strategic in how he deploys his fourth line.

The good news is that the Monahan line has, for the series, been Calgary’s best possession line despite facing the Kesler matchup for the first two games. If they can keep that up, that could allow Gulutzan to give his remaining three lines some favourable matchups and allow them the opportunity to generate some offense when they’re on the ice. It’ll be interesting to see if Gulutzan does a wholesale shift of matchings to give all four lines a different (and potentially easier) look at home, or if he tries to give one particular line an easier go of it in an attempt to do some damage against a particular Ducks line. If the Monahan line has done well against Kesler, potentially the 3M line could get some relief by playing against the next-worst Ducks line (in terms of puck possession) in Vermette’s grouping. (That would leave Bennett against Getzlaf and the fourth lines possibly against each other.)

  • Pizanno

    Anaheim held serve. Good for them. If Calgary can do the same (and I think that they can) then they still have 1 or 2 chances to break that serve. You’re only in trouble when you lose at home, right? Anything can happen if this goes 7. They’re playing well…having controlled much of the play on the road. I foresee a big game by Johnny tonight and a big one by Brouwer on Wednesday. 2-2.

    • Justthateasy

      You’d fire him for what? Leaving his mic on or expressing his personal opinion? Or because you had to hear it?
      Let me say, for the average avid fan this bunch is very frustrating to watch. It’s easy to lose one’s temper.

        • Danomitee

          Yea but what he’s saying is right. Hamilton has been our worst player over these two games, and a strong argument could be made that he put us in the position we’re in. I hope he’s “intelligent” enough to get fired up from those comments because he has to play his game.

    • playastation

      Fire him for what? The mic should have been off. You’re allowed to criticize the team to your friends when you aren’t working. It’s not his job to turn the mics off. This probably happens whenever your team loses in a frustrating way. You get upset. You say things to your friends. That’s what’s happening here. If anything, someone from the production team should be in trouble. Don’t get mad at people for being frustrated by a loss.

    • imthedude63

      Bonehead and unprofessional move on their part…Flames brass will deal with it at the end of the season. Ball/Garrett/other guy? screwed up but it wont happen again. I hope they get a second chance however this will get back to players who will lose Trust in “their’ broadcasters. If you were Hamilton would you give any of the radio guys time in the future….

  • Greg

    To me that looks like everyone is doing well against the Kessler line, but the 3M line is not fairing well against Getzlaf. I wouldn’t normally advocate for this, but it might be worth trying the monahan line against Getzlaf. Maybe Johnny can force them to have to play more D, or ferkland can throw them off their game. Getzlaf has looked dominate so far (4 points in 2 games), so worth trying something different. If they can neutralize that line, the rest of the matchups look pretty favourable.

    • Burning Ring of Fire

      They need to task someone to watch Getzlaf. He has been their most dangerous player. Don’t give him an inch and hit him every chance you get. He does not like it, as noted by his cross check on Elliot. Get under his skin and make his life miserable