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Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames run out of gas against Carolina

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
10 months ago
Calgary got off to the best start since they got to the southeastern states. They were fairly consistent in their ability to get quality chances from in front of the net, and very consistent in missing the net completely. Carolina got a gift when the Svechnikov goal went in, but the Stepan and DeAngelo were preventable should the players on the ice be in the proper positions. Moral of the summary: If Calgary could get more goal scoring early (like they used to) they could dictate more games instead of chasing.
CF% – 50.12%, SCF% – 54.15%, HDCF% – 61.8%, xGF% – 50.18%
It’s a Team Game – The first period was seriously all Flames. They had pretty much all the dangerous chances and were in control of the flow for the entire first 20. The Canes goal was a very skilled deflection – an unfortunate bounce to be quite frank. Those may be the toughest goals to swallow – the one where everyone is in the right position (including your goaltender) and the puck deflects past the goalie. Tough to swallow. Then the second Canes goal gave the opposition life and they took control creating a hole Calgary couldn’t crawl out of.
Corsi King – Brett Ritchie (69.57 CF%) can work well with really skilled players because he does the little things right and doesn’t turn the puck over at the bluelines. He also doesn’t bank many points as someone in his position needs to do, but the simple aspect of the game Ritchie does very well. Tonight with Backlund (66.82%) and Coleman (66.43%) they were able to constantly get the puck directed toward the Canes net.
Corsi Clown – Noah Hanifin (31.36%) was the player of the most significance in the bottom three. He and Andersson (38.43%) have been really hit or miss of late. A steady stream of games need to be coming from them if Calgary wants to stop losing. Trevor Lewis (23.51%) had the lowest ratio of all skaters.
Taken By Chance – Brett Ritchie was on for six high-danger chances for and zero against. Linemate Mikael Backlund (76.75 SCF% // 100 HDCF%) also posted a goose egg allowing no chances from the danger zone. Say what you will about Zadorov (49.07% // 87.10%) and Gudbranson (45.84% // 84.42%) but their numbers lately reflect them extremely accurately. They spend the majority of their time in their own zone – but hardly let attackers into the slot for dangerous chances. When they do it’s blatant and beyond noticeable, but it’s not as often as others lately.
xGF% – The Backlund line finished great here too – quality across the board from them. The top line spent time apart for some ridiculous reason. You don’t split up your top-of-the-league top line for depth scoring, you should acquire some depth scoring so that never has to happen. This road trip was rough – and hopefully going forward the team knows what levels they need to reach to compete for the big prize.
Game Flow –
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That 2nd Carolina goal woke them up. They were sleeping, letting Calgary consistently control everything – then they got the lead and pressed the attack. Finished off Calgary the second they were given the chance. A top team with lethal finishing instinct.
Game Score – Oliver Kylington (2.24 game // 0.44 average) had been trending downward steadily over the last 5-8 games. Getting bounce back performances from the pairing of he and Tanev (1.04 // 0.58) on a regular basis would also help Calgary find some wins. If either of the Flames top 2 D pairs aren’t playing up to par they struggle. They need them going and getting back on the defensive side of the puck at all times.
Shot Heatmap –
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Positives! No matter what the Flames are still consistently attacking the opposition net en masse. They don’t take too many pointless shots from distance and maximize their chances. If they keep shooting like this they’d usually win games like this more than lose. If only there were depth pieces outside Mangiapane who could consistently score goals.
In The Crease – Back-to-back for our boy Darth Vladar. 2.63 expected goals against at 5v5 with 3 high danger goals against and 2 medium danger goals against. The Svechnikov first goal is one he would probably want back, but If his squad in front of him was in better spots defensively at least 2 of the first 4 goals could have been prevented. Still not a quality performance from the youngster but he wasn’t completely put in a position to succeed either.
Today’s Specials – Still can’t score on the power play. No matter which flank has which player they can’t score in the current configuration. The players are way to stationary and the defenders can read the passing lanes because – to be blunt – the passing lanes are obvious to read. If you’re standing still, and your pass targets are standing still then there’s only a set number of places you can pass the puck. Until they start incorporating everyone moving their feet (so the passing angles are constantly changing) they aren’t going to find any sort of tremendous success.
Player Spotlight – Erik Gudbranson – I’m using this spot to highlight his amazing stretch pass to Johnny Gaudreau to spring him for the Flames third goal. I’ll post a tweet with the video below – but if you showed me that pass and then told me Gudbranson did that I would have accused you of lying. Very impressive pass and deserving of the recognition.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Blake Coleman
2) Oliver Kylington
3) Matthew Tkachuk
The Flames have a game scheduled against Ottawa on Thursday – as for whether it takes place or not is up to the powers that be at the NHL. Whenever the next game is played you can bet it’ll be covered right here at FlamesNation.
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)

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