Andrew Mangiapane remains a scoring chance machine despite drop in production
Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
6 months ago
It wasn’t a banner year for the Calgary Flames’ number 88, Andrew Mangiapane, playing in the first season of a three-year $5.8 million AAV contract. Expected to produce goals at a similar clip to the prior season, his production fell well short.
Mangiapane finished with 17 goals over 82 games – his worst pace in the NHL since 2018-19. It is true you never know when a player has that best season of his career – and the 35-goal campaign may very well be Mangiapane’s – but I think that consistent 30 goal threat is still in there.
His struggles were amplified early in the year playing away from typical partner Mikael Backlund. He had an extended run playing on Nazem Kadri’s wing but the two could not for the life of them figure out how to connect for multiple dangerous scoring chances a game. When reunited with Backlund and Blake Coleman his season took off for the better.
Mangiapane was playing on one of the best possession and chance-based lines in the entire NHL – he and Backlund have been for years. His time playing next to 11 was massively impactful and a major reason the Flames were even in contention for the postseason as long as they were in 2023.
For reference, via MoneyPuck.com, of all lines to play 200 or more minutes together (74 combinations qualify) Mangiapane-Backlund-Coleman ranks first in xG%. Translated – they got roughly 68% of the overall quality share in terms of opportunities. One would assume on a Darryl Sutter coached team the defensive excellence would drive the high percentages but it was actually the line’s ability to create offence that drove this. Mange? He’s massively responsible for that.
Mangiapane is a massive driver of scoring chances on this squad. A new coach with a more offensive attack could utilize him in a more lethal role going forward. My hope for a bounce back season next year is huge.
Letter Grade: C+
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