Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames close out season giving Wolf debut win

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 year ago
The Calgary Flames did what they needed to do in front of their AHL MVP candidate to get him his first NHL win. Yes, Dustin Wolf played in the NHL last night and stopped 23 of 24 shots to get the victory – routine stuff from the prospect. Matthew Coronato shared in the pre-game rookie solo lap and seemed to gain momentum as the game went on. He flashed his amazing release early and gave fans lots to see in his constant efforts in pursuit of the puck. Pelletier and him looked very comfortable on either side of Kadri and gave the fans some positive vibes going into an off-season that will be vacant of them. Oh yeah, and Big Z got his first career hat trick!
CF% – 63.04%, SCF% – 62.63%, HDCF% – 62.63%, xGF% – 57.3%
It’s a Team Game – Look I’ll just get the elephant out of the room right away – the Sharks aren’t exactly the best opponent to be measuring yourself against. They have a genuine shot at dead last in the entire league. That being said, you can only play the opponent in front of you, and we can say these kids had a game where they showed they can do it. It is garbage time of the season, and the Sharks really did seem to lose momentum the longer the third period went along. Things went exactly the way you wanted them to go for a finale (when you miss the post-season).
Corsi King – The best line on the ice tonight was a bit of a competition between two forward combos. The overall shot attempts battle was Nazem Kadri (78.35%) with the young guns Jakob Pelletier (76.43%) and Matt Coronato (74.96%) coming out on top. The two younger guys really stood out with their speed just overwhelming opponents on the forecheck. If the opposition doesn’t move the puck right away either 49 or 39 were in their personal space trying to take the puck and move it towards an attacking zone. I wish we could have seen more of it – now we have to wait 6 months.
Corsi Clown – Rasmus Andersson (45%) being at the bottom and still hitting a number that high is typical of the Flames play under Sutter. Shot attempts and overall puck possession all year were typically in Calgary’s favour – they couldn’t get enough goals or saves on most nights to compete. On nights where they’d only surrender 2 goals, they would only muster 1 and others when they’d get upwards of 4 their goaltender let in 5 or more. I have a hard time believing any such sort of bad luck would contribute the same amount in a future season.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Coronato (73.36 SCF% // 100 HDCF%) not seeing a high danger chance against in his debut, helping out Wolf by making his night easier. One game is never enough to make any sort of judgments put just based on age and contract status and you can see how the Pelletier (77.17% // 100%)-Coronato pairing is lining up to be significant for Calgary’s future. Shout-out to someone the Flames need to get re-signed, Stecher (70.97% // 89.98%) led all skater being involved in over 9 high danger chances himself. He’s been fast and can outskate the more persistent forecheckers in a way some of the Flames other defenceman can’t. There are no defenceman prospects seriously pushing at all right now for a roster spot and Stecher’s price tag won’t be ridiculously expensive. The Flames ARE going to be cap strapped though.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – How about Milan Lucic (91.26%) hitting the 90s on quality share in what could be his last game as a Flame? He has always given an actual effort every shift of his four years in Calgary – which is more than what could be said about the guy he replaced. Lucic gave his love of the game to the city and if you throw all the analysis from people like me who dive way too deep into things instead of just enjoying them for what they are you can clearly see the city loved Milan Lucic. Thank you for your time here Milan – many fans will miss calling out the “Loooos” should you move on like Eric Francis reported during the intermission segment of the broadcast.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – Michael Stone my man why did you not protect from the rebound. Brother the guy got the first shot off and then cleanly had a look for a second whack – that is not on the goaltender that’s on the defenceman. Wolf himself was a vacuum all night long. Rebounds were few and far between and if the puck managed to hit the ice around Wolf, he’d have it covered before any Sharks player could cognitively whack at it. He was poised – leaving his net first shift to play the puck like he’s been in the show for years. He’s got absolutely nothing left to prove at the AHL level and the Flames would be mismanaging him next season by making him spend any games against lesser competition.
He’s ready for the NHL, and in a big way.
Player Spotlight – Nikita Zadorov – I had this spot solely reserved to talk about the rookies and who goes and steals the spotlight by getting their first career hat trick. Big Z has scored some impressive goals and showed the entire league he is a threat to score every time he drops down. His ability to pick the corner from mid-range is one of his best attributes offensively. He’s not that elite of a passer, but he can defend and score and has positively contributed to the Flames (minus all the penalties) for two straight seasons.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Nikita Zadorov
2) Dustin Wolf
3) Milan Lucic

Final Note

Thank you everyone that keeps on reading these and commenting. I love being able to provide the fans something from a different perspective than usual and appreciate all the opinions that come back my way – snarky or not. If you want to find me give me a follow @Flash_33 on Twitter – or keep your eyes here for some off-season Flames content.
Draft season is coming up next!
 (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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