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Photo Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames wear down Seattle Kraken and take the victory

The Flames may have appeared a bit gassed at times, but they were still able to close out Seattle on Saturday evening. An early start despite being on the west coast I was interested in how the team would come out of the gates – it was regular Calgary Flame fashion. Grab the first goal, play hard no matter what – even if the other team plays you just as physically – and always keep pressure on the puck. Seattle wasn’t able to gather many significant chances until late where Markstrom had the answer prepared. 

CF% – 55.66%, SCF% – 54.71%, HDCF% – 68.97%, xGF% – 66.22%

It’s a Team Game – The majority of possession and dangerous chances at 5v5 were predominantly the Flames. Late in the game before the empty net goal the Kraken were able to mix up the Flames defensive coverage and get slot shots. Not a fan of how they broke down – the communication between defencemen and centreman just vanished for about a minute. Largely the Flames were able to control how this one went – Seattle still lacks a bunch of top. End talent that can break through the coverage of a good team.

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Corsi King – Andrew Mangiapane (75.15 CF%) had a significant bounce back in terms of puck possession. He still hasn’t been able to get off the goal drought yet but as long as he stays consistently good defensively, he’s providing daily value – also every day in the regular season he doesn’t score a goal the potential cap hit for his next contract goes down a little bit. Tyler Toffoli (72.29%) was gifted the empty net goal from Dubé (60.90%) for his 20th of the year.

Corsi Clown – Johnny Gaudreau (38.42 CF%) and his linemates did all the heavy lifting the first three games of this road trip it’s okay that they struggled in this one-off game. Even the three-point man Noah Hanifin (48.43%) was on the underside of 50%. We’ll see later nobody surrendered a higher-than-normal amount of high danger chances. Losing the Corsi battle just tells us the other team took more attempts while those skaters were on the ice – it doesn’t let us know anything about the danger severity of the chances. Useful but limited in what it can tell us – so we incorporate the scoring chance rates as well to fill in that gap.

Taken By Chance – Connor Mackey (55.10 SCF% // 100 HDCF%) one of six players who did not surrender any high-danger looks. Andrew Mangiapane (100% // 100%) did not surrender a chance – period. Did we mention he kills penalties and gets PP time as well? He’s basically the Flames Swiss Army knife. Michael Stone (50.34% // 54.95%) and Nikita Zadorov (53.98% // 54.95%) faired off the worst in terms of raw high danger chances against with 3.

xGF% – Now Mangiapane (93.15 xGF%) easily ran away with the lead – Backlund (89.75%) following right behind him. Other players to take a dominant quality shot share ratio were Chris Tanev (80.42%), Milan Lucic (80.26%), and Trevor Lewis (80.03%). It was actually positive all around except for three skaters – Gaudreau (34.80%), Tkachuk (44.01%), and Lindholm (49.17%).

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Game Flow –

The Kraken had a slight pushback at the end of the first and at the end of the game. They never did create much offence for themselves – which was their undoing. Calgary had 3/4 lines playing great hockey and they used that to ride their momentum to another W.

Game Score – Noah Hanifin (3.34 game // 1.10 average) and his three assists top the table for. The entire game. Dillon Dubé (2.19 // 0.45) gets two points for second place while Trevor Lewis (2.18 // 0.26) comes at bronze. Blake Coleman – who scored just his second goal in his last 19 games – came in for this game just under the 2.00 threshold at 1.99. Always nice to see a goaltender do well here – Markstrom (1.11 // 0.31) deserves the praise.

Shot Heatmap –

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Like was said earlier – the Kraken hardly shot the puck. Calgary was able to somewhat surround the crease despite having rough last couple of games. Defensively this was still considered above average for the Kraken, but not enough for them to escape with the dub.

In The Crease – It may not have been the busiest night in terms of hard chances against, but Markstrom was solid through until the very end. 1.25 expected goals against with one medium danger goal getting by him. A 5v5 SV% of 0.938% – in other words fantastic work by the number one Calgary goaler.

Today’s Specials – Michael Stone and his bomb of a shot. Have been working on the second unit of late – but I liked his goal today the best of his offensive contributions so far. That’s because instead of being as far away as the blueline as he had done the last couple games, he was using the top of the circles. Even moving that much closer to the net your odds of scoring drastically shoot upwards.

Player Spotlight – Trevor Lewis – A two game goal scoring streak for the veteran – what did Sutter call them – foot soldier? He’s been a consistent staple in the lineup since the season began. The last two games to cover for Calle Jarnkrok the coach put Lewis at 3C and it promptly worked for him. “Is it sustainable long term” comes to mind next – his offensive attack data mixed with his fourth line skillset say no-way, but the last couple games he’s surely got his cheers in with a couple goals.

Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –

1) Noah Hanifin

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2) Andrew Mangiapane

3) Jacob Markstrom

The Flames continue their season back home against these same Kraken on Tuesday at 7 p.m. MT.

(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)

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