39Johnny Gaudreau
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Flames in seven games: 3-3-1 in first segment

The Calgary Flames have completed seven games of the 2019-20 regular season calendar. They’re 8.5% of the way through their season, and so we continue the fine tradition of examining their performances in bite-sized seven game morsels. In the first seven games of this season, they’ve gone 3-3-1.

Underlying numbers via Natural Stat Trick.

Game by game

(Percentage stats in this table are 5v5.)

Date Opponent Result CF% SC% HDSC% PP PK
Oct. 3 Avalanche (@) 5-3 L 54.0 48.8 52.9 2-for-4 4-for-6
Oct. 5 Canucks (vs) 3-0 W 48.7 52.9 57.1 0-for-4 6-for-6
Oct. 8 Kings (vs) 4-3 OTL 49.0 45.3 40.0 0-for-2 1-for-2
Oct. 10 Stars (@) 3-2 SOW 44.1 44.0 46.7 1-for-2 3-for-4
Oct. 12 Golden Knights (@) 6-2 L 53.6 40.0 50.0 0-for-4 3-for-3
Oct. 13 Sharks (@) 3-1 L 57.3 57.7 60.0 0-for-4 2-for-2
Oct. 15 Flyers (vs) 3-1 W 61.8 64.3 28.6 0-for-2 4-for-4

The Flames have three games at home (going 2-0-1) and four on the road (1-3-0).

Team stats

The Flames have a 3-3-1 record through their first seven games, the standings equivalent of a shrug. They have a .500 points percentage and haven’t really blown the doors down in any of their games to date.

  • Their goals for per game is 2.43. They’re 22nd overall in the NHL, and 10th in the Western Conference.
  • Their goals against per game is 3.00. They’re tied for 13th in the NHL, and seventh in the Western Conference.
  • Their goal differential is -3. That puts them 21st in the NHL, and 10th in the Western Conference.
  • Their power play is at 13.6%. It’s 24th in the NHL, and 11th in the Western Conference.
  • Their penalty kill is at 85.2%. It’s eighth in the NHL, and sixth in the Western Conference.
  • They’ve taken 11.4 penalty minutes per game. That’s third in the NHL, and in the Western Conference.
  • Their 5v5 CF/60 is 59.41. It’s the eighth highest in the NHL, and third among Western Conference teams.
  • Their 5v5 CA/60 is 54.14. It’s the 11th lowest in the NHL, and third lowest among Western Conference teams.
  • Their 5v5 CF is 52.3%. It’s the eighth highest in the NHL, and second among Western Conference teams.
  • Their 5v5 shooting percentage is 6.32%. It’s 28th in the NHL.
  • Their 5v5 save percentage is 90.26%. It’s tied for 22nd in the NHL.
  • Their PDO is 0.966. It’s 26th in the NHL.

So how are things looking so far? In short, the Flames have been okay with occasional flashes of goodness.

At five on five, the Flames look good in the offensive zone but can’t bury their chances. They’re a bit clunky in their own end, prone to occasional gaffes and turnovers in their own end. They haven’t really played a consistent 60 minute game, they’re not great at face-offs, and their adherence to a five-man puck movement system has been a little bit iffy thus far.

Their special teams are a bit night and day. Their power play has been good at generating shots but not great at generating chances or high danger chances (or burying those chances). Their penalty kill has been pretty effective at shot and chance suppression.

Player stats

First, the forwards (all situations, ordered by ice time).

Game scores: 0.950 and above is considered great; 0.450-0.950 good; 0.150-0.450 fine; -0.150-0.150 bad; under -0.150 awful.

Player TOI Goals Points P/60 SH% CF% GF% OZS% Game score
Gaudreau 141:03 3 7 2.98 15.8 57.7 75.0 62.4 1.059
Lindholm 140:52 4 5 2.13 19.0 53.1 58.8 50.0 0.812
Monahan 133:24 2 4 1.80 8.3 56.9 71.4 61.3 0.747
Backlund 130:49 0 2 0.92 0.0 52.3 45.5 56.6 0.509
Tkachuk 119:58 2 6 3.00 12.5 62.0 60.0 67.8 0.943
Ryan 99:45 0 2 1.20 0.0 40.9 37.5 43.5 0.146
Frolik 88:25 1 1 0.68 16.7 47.8 25.0 52.0 0.216
Lucic 88:07 0 0 0.00 0.0 53.2 20.0 61.4 -0.056
Bennett 86:45 0 1 0.69 0.0 47.2 25.0 59.2 0.015
Mangiapane 79:01 1 1 0.76 9.1 55.6 55.6 46.3 0.358
Jankowski 62:16 0 0 0.0 0.0 37.8 0.0 27.7 0.099
Rieder 55:01 0 0 0.0 0.0 42.7 0.0 50.0 -0.032
Czarnik 17:52 0 0 0.0 0.0 57.1 0.0 69.2 0.192

The Flames’ definitive top five forwards so far have been Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund. By far. Beyond them, Andrew Mangiapane and Michael Frolik have been alright. It thins out considerably behind that five-to-seven forwards, with Milan Lucic, Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski really struggling at times.

The big challenge going forward will be trying to get something consistently solid out of their bottom six group.

The Flames’ most common line combinations at 5v5 have been:

Gaudreau Monahan Lindholm
Tkachuk Backlund Mangiapane
Tkachuk Backlund Frolik

A low-key story line from the first seven games to keep an eye on? Mangiapane, top six forward.

Now, the defence (all situations, ordered by ice time):

Player TOI Goals Points P/60 SH% CF% GF% OZFO% Game score
Giordano 170:25 1 4 1.41 5.0 48.4 57.1 48.4 0.943
Hamonic 148:16 0 0 0.00 0.0 39.4 25.0 36.6 0.132
Hanifin 147:07 2 2 0.82 15.4 47.1 27.3 46.4 0.375
Brodie 142:27 0 2 0.84 0.0 51.7 62.5 52.9 0.404
Andersson 127:12 1 2 0.94 7.1 56.1 44.4 60.9 0.521
Kylington 63:33 0 0 0.00 0.0 55.0 40.0 68.1 0.190
Stone 27:27 0 0 0.00 0.0 40.5 33.3 46.7 -0.175

As with the forwards, there some disparities here. Mark Giordano continues his Norris-calibre play. TJ Brodie and Rasmus Andersson have been quite good. And then it thins out – though Travis Hamonic’s low game score is a product of him playing a more defensive-oriented role.

It’s worth noting that Michael Stone’s outings were (a) both with Brodie and (b) both on the road, so we have yet to see how that pairing can fare when they’re sheltered a bit in terms of match-ups.

And finally, goalies (all situations):

Player TOI SV% ldSV% mdSV% hdSV% Game score
Rittich 364:22 .912 .960 .922 .778 0.808
Talbot 57:01 .850 1.000 .800 .333 -0.550

Small sample sizes and clunky defensive play makes this comparison a bit noisy, but so far Rittich has been very solid.