In case you hadn’t noticed, the Calgary Flames beat the Winnipeg Jets and advanced into the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. So who did the heavy lifting? Who helped them get into the first round?
We dug into the numbers to compile our Qualifying Round report cards.
(Players in each category are sorted by total Time On Ice.)
Elias Lindholm [B+]
78:51 TOI (54:24 5v5 / 18:13 PP / 13:16 PK), 8-for-15 in face-offs (53.3%)
2 goals, 1 assist / 7 shots / 5 scoring chances, 1 high-danger
40.6 CF% / 40.5 OZS% / +1 goal differential 5v5, +3 overall
Lindholm played on the top line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, along with a hodgepodge of the top two defensive pairings. The top line was put aggressively against Winnipeg’s top trio, sacrificing their usual high offensive zone start rate for a preferred head-to-head match-up. The trio didn’t have great possession stats, but they largely kept the Jets off the board.
Mikael Backlund [A-]
76:30 TOI (52:01 5v5 / 9:06 PP / 12:40 PK), 31-for-72 in face-offs (43.1%)
2 goals, 1 assist / 12 shots / 13 scoring chances, 4 high-danger
51.9 CF% / 42.9 OZS% / +1 goal differential 5v5, +2 overall
Playing almost exclusively with Andrew Mangiapane and Matthew Tkachuk (and a mixture of the team’s top four defenders), Backlund saw a steady diet of Winnipeg’s top two forward lines. His trio got slightly more offensive zone starts than the top line, but had good possession stats and oodles of scoring opportunities.
Matthew Tkachuk [A]
73:42 TOI (51:28 5v5 / 16:15 PP / 2:45 PK)
2 goals, 2 assists / 4 shots / 8 scoring chances, 5 high-danger
53.1 CF% / 47.4 OZS% / +2 goal differential 5v5, +3 overall
Tkachuk drew five penalties, which led to a couple power play goals. He threw his body around. He generated scoring chances. He played on a very potent power play. Playing with Backlund and Mangiapane against Winnipeg’s top six, Tkachuk had a great series.
Johnny Gaudreau [B+]
72:01 TOI (50:36 5v5 / 17:33 PP / 0:45 PK)
2 goals, 1 assist / 9 shots / 7 scoring chances, 2 high-danger
40.5 CF% / 40.5 OZS% / +1 goal differential 5v5, +5 overall
Like Lindholm, Gaudreau’s job was to out-score the Jets’ top guns. He didn’t do a ton at even strength, but he was part of a very productive power play.
Sean Monahan [A]
71:52 TOI (50:30 5v5 / 17:33 PP / 0:13 PK), 42-for-73 in face-offs (57.5%)
2 goals, 4 assists / 8 shots / 9 scoring chances, 3 high-danger
42.2 CF% / 40.5 OZS% / +2 goal differential 5v5, +7 overall
Monahan was quietly excellent in the series. He won tons of face-offs against the top Jets players. He had six points. He generated scoring chances. Outside of some rather blah possession numbers – off-set by great face-off results – Monahan was full marks.
Andrew Mangiapane [A-]
64:16 TOI (50:36 5v5 / 9:27 PP / 2:07 PK)
1 goal, 3 assist / 7 shots / 9 scoring chances, 2 high-danger
53.3 CF% / 45.0 OZS% / +2 goal differential 5v5, +5 overall
Mangiapane also had a very good series. He generated chances. His line did a lot to make Winnipeg unhappy. He created a lot of offense, especially at five-on-five – he had primary assists on two of Calgary’s six five-on-five goals.
Dillon Dube [A]
56:52 TOI (46:10 5v5 / 8:37 PP / 0:00 PK)
1 goal, 1 assist / 12 shots / 7 scoring chances, 5 high-danger
53.7 CF% / 62.5 OZS% / +1 goal differential 5v5, +4 overall
Dube’s line got the high ground created by the top two lines starting in the defensive zone a lot. His line did a lot with it. Dube was among the team leaders in shots, scoring chances and high-dangers.
Milan Lucic [B+]
56:09 TOI (44:03 5v5 / 10:01 PP / 0:00 PK)
1 goal, 3 assists / 5 shots / 8 scoring chances, 5 high-danger
48.6 CF% / 53.6 OZS% / 0 goal differential 5v5, +3 overall
Lucic’s numbers were skewed a bit by him being in the penalty box more than any other Flame in the first round. But when he was on the ice, he was full marks and was slightly less impressive than his two younger linemates (but not terribly so).
Sam Bennett [A-]
51:31 TOI (48:04 5v5 / 0:12 PP / 0:13 PK), 13-for-31 in face-offs (41.9%)
2 goals, 1 assist / 9 shots / 8 scoring chances, 2 high-danger
51.9 CF% / 62.5 OZS% / +2 goal differential 5v5, +3 overall
Bennett was great. He got favourable match-ups and deployments, but he used them well. He largely stayed out of the penalty box. He used his physicality well. The only real thing he struggled with was face-offs, but his line was effective at retrieving the puck after draws.
Derek Ryan [B+]
42:16 TOI (28:58 5v5 / 0:19 PP / 11:45 PK), 12-for-30 in face-offs (40.0%)
0 goals, 1 assist / 4 shots / 4 scoring chances, 2 high-danger
41.5 CF% / 35.3 OZS% / -2 goal differential 5v5, 0 overall
Ryan was swapped to the fourth line prior to Game 1. He’s had rough possession stats playing primarily in the defensive zone against Winnipeg’s depth bodies. That said, he’s been superb on the penalty kill.
Tobias Rieder [B]
41:13 TOI (27:21 5v5 / 0:09 PP / 11:57 PK)
1 goal, 1 assist / 3 shots / 3 scoring chances, 2 high-danger
38.2 CF% / 50.0 OZS% / -2 goal differential 5v5, 0 overall
Like Ryan, Rieder’s had rough possession stats but has been excellent on special teams.
Mark Jankowski [C+]
20:09 TOI (16:49 5v5 / 0:09 PP / 2:13 PK), 3-for-10 for face-offs (30.0%)
0 goals, 0 assist / 0 shots / 6 scoring chances, 2 high-danger
51.6 CF% / 71.4 OZS% / -1 goal differential 5v5, 0 overall
Jankowski played Games 3 and 4 in place of Rinaldo. He played more than Rinaldo and the team played better overall.
Zac Rinaldo [D]
7:30 TOI (7:10 5v5 / 0:00 PP / 0:19 PK)
0 goals, 0 assist / 0 shots / 0 scoring chances, 0 high-danger
20.0 CF% / 33.3 OZS% / -1 goal differential 5v5, -1 overall
Rinaldo played Games 1 and 2 and largely struggled, albeit in very limited usage.
Mark Giordano [B-]
90:01 TOI (61:01 5v5 / 8:28 PP / 17:57 PK)
0 goals, 1 assist / 11 shots / 5 scoring chances, 0 high-danger
43.9 CF% / 36.8 OZS% / -2 goal differential 5v5, 0 overall
Giordano played almost exclusively with Brodie at five-on-five, and ended up playing about 10 minutes more than any other Flames skater. He was buried in the defensive zone in order to get the favoured match-up against the Jets’ top lines. His possession and offensive numbers weren’t amazing, but he didn’t hinder the team’s success in any way.
TJ Brodie [B-]
80:49 TOI (65:42 5v5 / 1:31 PP / 10:34 PK)
0 goals, 1 assist / 1 shot / 1 scoring chance, 0 high-danger
42.1 CF% / 36.2 OZS% / -1 goal differential 5v5, 0 overall
Like Giordano, Brodie had some tough deployments and match-ups. His possession stats were rather blah and he didn’t move the needle offensively. But he helped keep Winnipeg’s big guns off the board, so it was probably a good trade-off.
Rasmus Andersson [A-]
78:04 TOI (62:22 5v5 / 0:00 PP / 8:52 PK)
1 goal, 0 assists / 6 shots / 4 scoring chances, 0 high-danger
51.8 CF% / 55.3 OZS% / +1 goal differential 5v5, +5 overall
Andersson and Noah Hanifin got the offensive zone starts freed up by the tough deployments given to Giordano and Brodie. They did a lot with them, with good possession metrics and some nice offensive scoring chances, too.
Derek Forbort [B-]
71:13 TOI (54:31 5v5 / 0:15 PP / 15:31 PK)
0 goals, 0 assists / 5 shots / 0 scoring chances, 0 high-danger
42.7 CF% / 50.0 OZS% / +2 goal differential 5v5, +1 overall
Forbort is no great shakes offensively and he had a couple defensive gaffes that resulted in penalties and scoring chances against. That said, he was great on the penalty kill.
Erik Gustafsson [B]
68:03 TOI (48:37 5v5 / 18:13 PP / 0:15 PK)
0 goals, 3 assists / 9 shots / 4 scoring chances, 1 high-danger
45.4 CF% / 56.0 OZS% / +2 goal differential 5v5, +5 overall
Gustafsson is sometimes cringey defensively, but he was superb on the power play.
Noah Hanifin [A-]
67:25 TOI (57:06 5v5 / 0:00 PP / 4:40 PK)
0 goals, 2 assists / 12 shots / 2 scoring chances, 0 high-danger
55.6 CF% / 56.7 OZS% / +2 goal differential 5v5, +4 overall
Hanifin and Andersson got some favourable match-ups due to Giordano and Brodie doing a lot of heavy lifting and they used them well.
Cam Talbot [A+]
238:19 TOI (173:48 5v5, 26:34 PP, 28:00 PK)
0.945 SV, 0.953 5v5 SV% (1.000 low-danger / 0.962 medium-danger / 0.769 high-danger)
6 GA (4 5v5, 0 PP, 2 PK)
Talbot was exactly what the Flames needed against the Jets. He gave up zero bad goals. Heck, he gave up four five-on-five goals total. In a four game series, that’s superb.
The Flames’ special teams out-scored Winnipeg’s by a 6-2 margin.
The power play generated 19 scoring chances (scoring on five) and eight high-danger chances (scoring on four) in 29:30 of PP time. On an hourly basis, they had 40.0 scoring chances per hour and 16.84 high-danger chances.
The penalty kill allowed 17 scoring chances (with goals on two) and eight high-danger chances (with goals on two) in 30:39 of PK time. On an hourly basis, they allowed 34.4 scoring chances per hour and 16.19 high-danger chances. They also scored a shorthanded goal.
In short? The Flames’ special teams out-performed Winnipeg’s.