50
Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports

Flames in seven games: 6-1-0 in seventh segment

The Calgary Flames have completed 49 games of the 2019-20 regular season calendar. They’re 59.8% of the way through their season, and so we continue examining their performances in bite-sized seven game morsels. In the first segment of this season, they went 3-3-1. In their second segment, they went 3-3-1. In their third segment, they went 4-2-1. In their fourth segment, they went 2-4-1. In their fifth segment, they went 6-1-0. In their sixth segment, they went 2-4-1.

In their seventh segment, they went 6-1-0.

Underlying numbers via Natural Stat Trick.

Game by game

(Percentage stats in this table are 5v5

Date Opponent Result CF% SC% HDSC% PP PK
Jan. 2 Rangers (vs) 4-3 W 49.3 50.0 40.0 0-for-4 1-for-3
Jan. 5 Wild (@) 5-4 SOW 54.2 44.8 63.6 2-for-4 1-for-2
Jan. 7 Blackhawks (@) 2-1 W 53.3 54.4 53.3 0-for-4 2-for-2
Jan. 9 Wild (vs) 2-1 W 38.3 37.3 16.7 1-for-2 2-for-2
Jan. 11 Oilers (vs) 4-3 W 55.9 51.9 63.2 1-for-2 1-for-1
Jan. 13 Canadiens (@) 2-0 L 44.6 50.0 42.9 0-for-2 3-for-3
Jan. 16 Leafs (@) 2-1 SOW 44.1 51.0 47.1 0-for-2 3-for-4

The Flames played three games at home (3-0-0) and four on the road (3-1-0). For those who like to keep track, the Flames had four wins and one loss in regulation, and went to overtime twice (winning twice in shootouts).

The Flames out-chanced their opponents three times and generated more high danger chances three times. They scored four power play goals and allowed four.

With 57 points thus far, the Flames are performing at slightly below a playoff pace; four wins per segment translates to precisely 56 points over 49 games (and to 94 points over a full season). They’re a hot streak away from getting a cushion on the top of the division, and a cold streak away from falling back into the wild-card pack.

Team stats

The Flames have a 26-18-5 record through their first 49 games. They were good against Edmonton and have been merely okay against the others they’ve played this season. They are, in a word: inconsistent.

  • Their goals for per game is 2.61, down from 2.64. They’re 27th overall in the NHL and 12th in the Western Conference.
  • Their goals against per game is 2.90, down from 3.02. They’re 12th in the NHL, and 5th in the Western Conference.
  • Their goal differential is -9, down from -13. They’re 23rd in the NHL, and 10th in the Western Conference.
  • Their power play is at 18.9%, up from 18.7%. They’re 19th in the NHL, and 9th in the Western Conference.
  • Their penalty kill is at 83.0%, down from 83.8%. They’re 6th in the NHL and 4th in the Western Conference.
  • They’ve taken 8.5 minutes of penalties per game, down from 9.0. That’s 13th-most in the NHL, and 6th-most in the Western Conference.
  • Their 5v5 CF/60 is 58.41, up from 58.38. It’s the 9th highest in the NHL, and 4th highest among Western Conference teams.
  • Their 5v5 CA/60 is 57.95, up from 57.26. It’s the 23rd lowest in the NHL, and 11th lowest among Western Conference teams.
  • Their 5v5 CF is 50.2%, down from 50.5%. It’s the 13th highest in the NHL, and 5th among Western Conference teams.
  • Their 5v5 shooting percentage is 6.67%, up from 6.64%. It’s 29th in the NHL.
  • Their 5v5 save percentage is 92.49%, up from 92.06%. It’s 9th in the NHL.
  • Their PDO is 0.992, up from 0.987. It’s 22nd in the NHL.

Alright, friends, real talk time: the Flames aren’t a particularly good hockey team this season. The things that move the needle right now are their goaltending (top 10), their penalty killing (top 10) and their shot attempt generation (also top 10). But they’re not a particularly good defensive team, they’re not a particularly good team at burying their chances, and their power play is very mediocre when you consider the number of expensive skilled players they have at their disposal.

In an average game, the Flames lead for 17:52 (28th), are tied for 21:39 (17th) and trail for 24:34 (5th). The teams that trail more often are Detroit, Los Angeles, Ottawa and Philadelphia. So… not great.

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% OZFO% Game score
Lindholm 962:58 20 36 2.24 17.0 52.1 47.4 52.1 0.716
Gaudreau 920:25 13 38 2.48 9.2 57.4 53.5 67.5 0.782
Backlund 889:01 6 21 1.42 6.2 49.5 50.7 51.7 0.390
Monahan 887:58 14 36 2.43 11.6 56.4 52.4 67.5 0.689
Tkachuk 871:42 15 38 2.62 11.9 58.3 56.7 60.5 0.844
Ryan 737:43 9 25 2.03 11.4 46.5 56.1 41.5 0.463
Lucic 627:22 4 10 0.96 7.3 54.6 57.1 51.7 0.243
Mangiapane 597:25 8 15 1.51 12.3 52.5 50.0 45.1 0.442
Frolik 453:16 5 10 1.32 11.4 48.3 31.4 46.8 0.247
Rieder 426:31 2 7 0.98 4.2 43.9 24.1 42.3 0.217
Bennett 416:48 4 6 0.86 7.3 53.3 55.0 52.1 0.248
Jankowski 416:48 0 1 0.14 0.0 42.6 13.3 29.6 0.033
Dube 315:31 4 10 1.90 13.8 45.1 59.1 46.5 0.329
Rinaldo 107:01 2 3 1.68 18.2 41.0 42.9 44.2 0.065
Quine 88:15 1 1 0.68 8.3 51.6 33.3 49.1 0.179
Czarnik 81:30 2 3 2.21 22.2 54.6 75.0 58.9 0.394

Farewell, Michael Frolik.

Aside from some movement near the bottom, the usage patterns really haven’t changed very much this season. Yes, even with the team blowing up their lines and changing coaches mid-season. This is very much the same team, deployment-wise, as it has been since October.

Through nearly two-thirds of the season, who’s playing well? Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan stand out, with Derek Ryan and Andrew Mangiapane close behind. Everybody else has underachieved to various degrees.

Mikael Backlund, Sam Bennett, Milan Lucic and Monahan are all being terribly snakebit in terms of their individual shooting percentages. That said, it’s not like they’re all getting oodles of great chances per game. Well, maybe Lucic is.

The Flames’ most common line combinations at 5v5 are:

Gaudreau Monahan Lindholm
Lucic Ryan Dube
Mangiapane Lindholm Tkachuk

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

Player TOI Goals Points P/60 SH% CF% GF% OZFO% Game score
Giordano 1184:54 5 21 1.06 4.0 50.8 51.2 49.4 0.652
Hanifin 1051:07 4 13 0.74 4.2 49.1 43.8 45.6 0.352
Andersson 934:34 3 13 0.83 3.3 53.8 45.2 61.2 0.381
Hamonic 919:10 3 9 0.59 4.2 43.2 41.1 33.4 0.342
Brodie 849:16 1 14 0.99 2.4 49.6 49.3 45.3 0.371
Kylington 482:45 1 4 0.50 3.4 49.4 40.6 61.4 0.135
Stone 336:46 2 4 0.71 5.7 40.6 39.5 44.1 0.112
Davidson 40:37 0 0 0.00 0.0 56.5 20.0 55.6 0.367

The oldest Flame, 36-year-old Mark Giordano, has played more than everybody except David Rittich. His numbers aren’t blowaway – his offensive numbers aren’t great – but he’s been just fine for his age and he’s easily the Flames’ best defender.

Everybody else – the other four regular D-men – are fine. Andersson gets sheltered, everyone else does not, but they’re all perfectly fine. Kylington also gets sheltered but doesn’t score as much, but he also doesn’t get used as often as the other five regulars. Michael Stone is a perfectly adequate seventh defender.

And finally, goalies (all situations):

Player TOI SV% ldSV% mdSV% hdSV% Game score
Rittich 2065:52 .915 .960 .885 .863 0.856
Talbot 898:04 .922 .968 .904 .821 1.006

Rittich plays a ton. Talbot has caught up a bit, but still has played a lot less. Rittich has better high and low danger performances, while Talbot is a better medium danger goalie. Because most shots are medium danger, Talbot has a better overall save percentage.

Both goalies have had to hold the Flames in a lot of games this season.