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3 questions and answers about the Calgary Flames’ goaltending this season

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
9 months ago
On Monday night in Ottawa, the Calgary Flames allowed the first goal en route to a 4-3 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators. It’s the 25th time the Flames have allowed the first goal, and the 19th time (in regulation or overtime) that the Flames lost when they’ve allowed the game’s opening goal.
The circumstance led to a few reader questions about Flames’ goaltending, which we’ve decided to dive into.
Disclaimer: We’re completely ignoring the quality of chances allowed by the players in front of the goaltenders, which defencemen were injured, or what situations the goalies were playing in (e.g., back-to-backs or quality of opponent).

Which Flames goalie allows the first goal most frequently?

The Flames have allowed the first goal in 25 of 54 games this season. (They’ve scored first 29 times.)
Jacob Markstrom has allowed the first goal 19 times, while Dan Vladar has allowed the opening goal six times. Markstrom’s started 36 times, so Markstrom has allowed the opening goal in 52.8% of his starts. Vladar has started 18 times, and has allowed the opening goal in 33.3% of his starts.

Is seems like Jacob Markstrom allows early goals a lot, and often on one of the first shots he sees. Is that the case?

The Flames have allowed the opening goal in the first five minutes of a game 11 times this season (and all 11 were on one of the first five shots the goaltender faced). They’ve scored the opening goal in the opening five minutes 13 times, with 12 of those coming on the first five shots on net.
Markstrom has allowed the game-opening goal in the first five minutes nine times, Vladar’s done so twice. Even accounting for the differences in usage – Vladar’s played half as much – yes, Markstrom does it more often.

Do the Flames play from behind more often with one goalie in net than the other?

Yes.
Via Natural Stat Trick: Markstrom has played 2,089 minutes (all situations), with the Flames trailing in 670 minutes, or 32.1% of all minutes Markstrom’s in net. Vladar has played 1,166 minutes (all situations), with the Flames trailing for 205 minutes, or 17.6% of all minutes Vladar’s in net.
Even controlling for the different usage, Markstrom’s team is chasing more often.

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