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Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames can’t do enough to play spoiler against Los Angeles Kings

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Photo credit:Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 month ago
By the time the Calgary Flames were able to seriously apply pressure it was already too late as the Los Angeles Kings took them down on Thursday night. It was a solid effort by the boys in red, just didn’t get the bounces they needed to remain competitive. Falling behind by multiple goals to a team playing the 1-3-1 is not recommended as they can really lock things up in the neutral zone and make life so difficult. Calgary really made it next to impossible when they fell behind 3-0 but at least they still showed some pride in the third period.
CF% – 47.81%, SCF% -39.08% , HDCF% – 33.02%, xGF% – 39.66%
It’s a Team Game – The right team certainly won this game; the Kings were far superior for most of the night. It was entertaining watching all the late-night scrapping down in LA. These two teams really do not like each other – still – even with Tkachuk gone. Adrian Kempe became a target for the Flames early and often after he cross checked Brayden Pachal right into Jacob Markstrom knocking him over. The boys did rally behind Markstrom to defend him with more physicality, but the Kings never lost sight of the fact the 2 points were what they desperately needed.
Corsi King – MacKenzie Weegar (62.90%) and Daniil Miromanov (57.38%) continue to to never be outmatched or outclassed since being put together. Weegar is the kind of defence partner that you love – and he’s probably Calgary’s only true two-way defenceman. Everyone else either specializes in offence or defence but Weegar excels at both. I was admiring his contract after Hanifin’s extension in Vegas – comparing it to Darnell Nurse, Zach Werenski, and Seth Jones – because it already may be one of the best value deals in the league for what he provides. The future of the blueline in Calgary will be in good hands with Weegar being the leader back there.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – I beat the drum for young Ilya Solovyov (13.95 SCF% // 0 HDCF%) only for him to have one of the worst performances by a Flame all year. 6 high danger chances against at 5v5 while being involved in none for the Flames. Not only was he stuck in his own zone last night he couldn’t help his team transition out of it. If I’m going to be that critical of Nikita Okhotiuk – who is very close in age to Solovyov – then it’s only fair I critique him to the same level as well. It was not a performance that screams “give me more ice time”. He’ll have to really show at practice that he can recover, bounce back, and contribute more going forward.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Connor Zary (57.53%) playing pivot worked out nicely in this one. Was on the positive side of goals scored 1 to nothing, got as many high danger chances for himself as he gave up, and did not look out of place against a team that’s going to the playoffs. Down the stretch this might be the most important roster experiment so Conroy can manage and build this team in the off-season. If Zary has the potential to slot in at centre the free agent market decisions could look a lot different than if they think he needs to stay on the wing. Games like this one show he can find success – but like with Sharangovich (18.04%) before him time is needed to see how he grows and adapts.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – Markstrom made a bunch of quality saves in the first half of the game to keep this from turning into a complete runaway. He was quite solid although the screens really got to him today. He made a valiant effort in what could more than likely be his second-last start as a Flame. Wolf most likely gets game 79 tomorrow, then we’ll see how the roster shakes down once being back home for the year is an option. 2.13 expected goals against at 5v5 with 2 getting past him.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –  
1) MacKenzie Weegar
2) Connor Zary
3) Jonathan Huberdeau 
(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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