Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames channel Davey Jones’ heart to tame the Kraken

Photo credit:Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 year ago
Come from behind victory in the same game Johnny Gaudreau hits the 100-point mark? Poetic in terms of storyline. In actuality the Calgary Flames got run over by the Kraken in the second period – bad bounces on some but some bad turnovers as well. Puck battles were lost at almost every instance and Seattle had the majority of puck possession. Going into the third period the 3-1 Seattle lead was justified. Calgary used special teams and a big goal from Mangiapane to bust through and win the third period and the game. 
CF% – 47.06%, SCF% – 33.77%, HDCF% – 32.7%, xGF% – 38.94%
It’s a Team Game – The complete summarization numbers all lean towards Seattle because they really did control 2/3rds of the game. If we isolate just the third period from Calgary’s perspective, we get CF% – 54.66%, SCF% – 52.24%, HDCF% – 29.3%, xGF% – 58.67%. The third period was that sided towards Calgary, and yet the overall ratios are that much lower. That speaks to how bad the Flames were in the first two frames. They rallied and one the third period and are on the precipice of officially clinching a playoff spot Thursday.
Corsi King – Elias Lindholm (61.43 CF%) easily had the most corsi events for Flames players getting over 16. The defenceman have mixed results with some D pairs having significantly different ratios than their partners. Rasmus Andersson (53.63%) and Connor Mackey (52.47%) are two of these players on the higher end of their partners.
Corsi Clown – Milan Lucic (28.95%) seeing more attempts against him in 7:37 of 5v5 play than Blake Coleman (41.54%) did in over 13 minutes of action caught my eye. He was maybe one of the best players on this past road trip in terms of play but tonight he just wasn’t seemingly at that same level. Noah Hanifin (44.93%)  and Chris Tanev (50.74%) were the lower half of the D pairs from the previous section.
Taken By Chance – This Is not about to be a flattering statistic for two Flames players. Mikael Backlund (20.34 SCF% // 0 HDCF%) and Nikita Zadorov (13.32% // 0%) allowed over 4 high danger chances each yet created none for themselves. Not a lot of success getting to the net at 5v5 for the Flames, but they did have Elias Lindholm (57.41% // 67.43%) finding success where others struggled.
xGF% – Overall quality share of chances – only three skaters finished above 50%. Lindholm (60.31%), Gaudreau (56.99%), and Mackey (55.41%) were those ones. Mikael Backlund (8.36%) had a season worst performance and struggled to even get the puck to the offensive zone. Other players down in the pits include Toffoli (24.55%) and Jarnkrok (25.62%).
Game Flow –
The first two periods saw Seattle take a full 1.2 standard deviations in momentum, one of the worst through 40 for the Flames this year. The 0.3 pushback was all they needed to come back and tie the game – aided very much so by the teams powerplay.
Game Score – Mr. Tkachuk (3.28 game // 1.81 average) and his 3 goals propel him to first with Johnny 100 (2.49 // 1.87) right behind him. Matty Beniers (2.01 // 2.01) had himself an impressive debut for the Kraken. That extra year of development looks to have made him stronger than your usual fresh out of the draft rookie. Not every player needs rushed to the NHL just because they were drafted high – patience can pay off in spades if you let it.
Shot Heatmap –
Typically Calgary’s map looks like the Kraken’s – heavy volume in front of the goalie. Props to the Kraken they’ve actually been one of the better teams this year at limiting defensive chances, but their goaltending has largely let them down when they needed it. Their record is close to the bottom of the league standings but i wouldn’t be surprised to see them bounce towards a playoff race next season.
In The Crease – Not very often do we get the ol goalie pull here in Calgary, let alone a goalie pull where the replacement guy gets a W. That should be in maybe once a year territory yet this is the second time this season for Vladar – who was excellent. Markstrom did allow two medium danger goals and probably wants the Adam Larsson goal back. 1.82 expected goals against through 40 for Markstrom and just 0.27 expected goals against for Vladar in the third. Flames shored up defensively and got out of their funk – making it easier on Vladar to make the necessary saves.
Today’s Specials – Two power play goals is the reason for the comeback – Seattle got into penalty trouble early in the third and Calgary used that to up their urgency and get the 3-2 goal. Mangiapane in the front of the net at 5v5 later was the really big goal. Noah Hanifin kept up his hot streak with a blast – which is a nice reward especially factoring in his defensive play of late.
Player Spotlight – Mikael Backlund – Calgary is going to need Mikael Backlund to be at the top of his game nightly if they want to make any noise. Lindholm and the top line typically show up and win their match-ups 85% of the time, but Backlund is more at 55%. As the teams second line centre going into the playoffs he is going to have to find a way to be more impactful on a nightly basis. If he isn’t scoring then his defence at least needs to be at top level – like Phillip Danault last year.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Matthew Tkachuk
2) Johnny Gaudreau
3) Noah Hanifin
The Flames continue their season on Thursday against the Vegas Golden Knights.
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)


Looking to up your fantasy hockey game? DailyFaceoff has the tools you need for both daily and season-long fantasy leagues, including a lineup optimizer, daily projections, and a whole lot more. Sign up for the DailyFaceoff tools here.

More from FlamesNation

Check out these posts...