Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames amazingly fall to the Chicago Blackhawks once again

Photo credit:Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
23 days ago
It doesn’t seem to matter how much the Calgary Flames seemingly outplay the Chicago Blackhawks they cannot find a way to beat them. While it wasn’t a particularly positive night for the Flames offence – especially given the opponent – they still managed to control the flow of play the majority of the time. Turning that into just 1 goal is the fault here – that and the ability for guys to re-find that fire. The playoff chase is all but over, it’s starting to show up in the team play.
CF% – 64.06%, SCF% – 67.06%, HDCF% – 54.03%, xGF% – 52.82%
It’s a Team Game – Its truly atrocious that the Flames couldn’t figure out a way to muster more than 6 high danger 5v5 chances in the entire game. That is by no doing of some strong play from the Blackhawks rather a listless Flames group that appeared to have a few members checked out. I’m sure they’ll come back in a day or two when they realize there are still 10 more games on the schedule, but the reality of the playoff misses seems to be really hitting these days. Flames sit ninth in the lottery odds after the matches – it’s worth monitoring nightly now.
Corsi King – Andrew Mangiapane (77.46%) has been all chances no scoring of late. He really struggles to maintain possession if he’s the skater carrying the puck into the attacking zone. Fantastic down low and on the cycle, but if it’s not a dump-in the Flames are losing some possessions. It doesn’t show up too often in the negatives because Mikael Backlund (73.43%) is always in the right position to be a safety net for his wingers and an aid to the defence. All of those good things can lead to a high disparity in chances, but eventually one of those guys needs to start scoring goals again. Blake Coleman (70.84%) has already done more than his fair share.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Nobody really stood out as terrible, but nobody stood out as good either. The worst number against anyone was only 3, when recently players have seen 7+ on a regular basis. Chicago weren’t pressing hard at any given moment, they just had one of their lines have it be their night to get the puck luck. Kadri (74.74 SCF% // 100 HDCF%) and the kids did go the whole game without seeing a high danger chance against. It’s numbing at this point – no reasonable explanation for why the Flames can’t beat this team.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Quality share leader was Pospisil (74.52%) – after some down games it’s good to have one where you heavily are on the attacking side of the puck. Can help re-ignite some momentum – it’s been a struggle in the early return of Zary (70.98%) but tonight could at least be a step towards a strong finish. Miromanov (56.79%) continues to fascinate me. He’s everywhere on the ice and really wants to help attack and create offence and the way he goes about his business tends to have him on the positive side of the shot and quality shares on a nightly basis. He’s been a tremendous surprise early.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – Markstrom may have got bored at times as the Blackhawks didn’t always go back and forth in trading chances. They really struggle through the neutral zone and cough up the puck a lot. Bedard doesn’t… but he doesn’t count right now. 1.34 expected goals against with 2 getting behind him – not ideal but certainly not the end of the world for the situation Calgary finds themselves in.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –  
1) MacKenzie Weegar
2) Nazem Kadri
3) Martin Pospisil
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com // xG and Under Pressure charts from HockeyViz.com // Game Flow and Shot Heatmap from NaturalStatTrick.com)
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