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Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames can’t come back all the way after Canucks jump out to early lead

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Photo credit:Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
6 months ago
The Vancouver Canucks got on top of the Calgary Flames early and were able to dictate the flow of the game for most of the night as a result. Calgary remained their resilient selves and tried to crawl back but couldn’t generate enough when they needed to come in clutch. The star power of the Canucks shone through on the way to victory, Calgary didn’t have that one player that could stand out and be a major difference maker. They played an alright game, not the worst one of the year by any measure, but it still felt like they left a little bit on the table.
CF% – 44.02%, SCF% – 43.17%, HDCF% – 43.92%, xGF% – 38.43%
It’s a Team Game – Not one period did the Flames manage to get a 5v5 high danger advantage. The quality of their shots in the third period when they needed to push the most was quite bad – it took the goalie being pulled for someone to make a move near the net. Credit to Vancouver they really made it hard for anyone to find space in their own zone. Calgary would have benefited from playing with a lead as it wouldn’t have allowed the Canucks to lock up the defensive zone as effectively.
Corsi King – Jonathan Huberdeau (63.13%) leads the way up front with Andersson (54.24%) taking charge on the backend. There are some ice time problems with Adam Ružička (47.76%) because playing only 5:33 of ice time at 5v5 feels like quite the wasted lineup spot. Connor Zary (48.40%) also saw limited 5v5 time at 7:24. The kids that were driving the bus behind the entire resurgence – into at least a playoff conversation – aren’t getting the keys to the speedboat lately as the team attempts comebacks. It’s nice to see the veterans games picked back up to the point the coach is relying on them again, but the young guys may be able to generate more offence if given some more ice.
Corsi Clown – Dennis Gilbert (18.66%) and Jordan Oesterle (21.23%) got cooked with chances against. Oesterle himself was out for one singular chance taken while Ilya Solovyov awaits in the wings. The Flames might run through a trial period to see what works on their third pairing for the next little bit. There wasn’t really any singular player that I felt took charge other than Elias Lindholm (42%) getting open for shots late.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – The pairing of Weegar (36.94 SCF% // 39.49 HDCF%) and Andersson (46.39% // 49.46%) lead the team in the amount of high danger chances they were out there for. They also saw the most chances against – the adventures of a top defence pairing. Zary (34.74% // 60.96%) can not be lost in the lineup shuffle when trailing. He wasn’t any worse than anybody else on the roster and his offence feels like it’s key. Relying on a rookie for offence feels wrong though, that’s supposed to be what Huberdeau (77.96% // 75.68%) is there for. Calgary could really use a game-breaker in their lineup.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Jordan Oesterle (0%) finishing with no expected goals can’t happen. You can’t have a defenceman play an entire game in his own end and then turn around and play him in the next game. There has to be a standard for guys that are supposed to be developed already. You do never stop learning – I believe that – but at 31 years old the leaps in growth are marginal for most. The whole team lost their quality share battle outside of Mikael Backlund (64.23%) and his line, just not the most well put together this roster has been.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – Quinn Hughes is a bad, bad man for being able to score goals like the one he did to open the scoring. Markstrom – and the rest of us – weren’t quite ready for that but maybe it’s time we are. Hughes is like his brothers, certified star, and sometimes stars are going to beat you. He kept the Flames in the game late – the empty net goal ended up being the difference – but it just wasn’t enough. Shots on net were pretty low in general and a busier Markstrom plays like a better Markstrom.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Mikael Backlund
2) Rasmus Andersson
3) Elias Lindholm
(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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