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Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames couldn’t buy a decent bounce if they cost a dime

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Photo credit:Brett Holmes-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
8 months ago
I am getting sick and tired of coming up with new ways to write about how the Calgary Flames were the better teams in terms of process all night long but somehow still failed to get the result they needed. It would be one thing to lose and get pushed around by the other team – you can address those areas of deficiency in your roster based on what you find. When everyone plays well, gets the majority of the scoring chances, the majority of the quality chances, and then don’t score enough it’s a lot harder to fix. See you can’t just shake every single player into figuring out how to finish their chances, you can only switch up those involved.  It is well past time for the Flames to remove their offensive anchors from their daily lineup, any excuse to the contrary is ignorance.
(The Flames lost 3-1 to the Anaheim Ducks.)
CF% – 61.78%, SCF% – 60.06%, HDCF% – 70.45%, xGF% – 65.01%
It’s a Team Game – Maybe you were expecting comber news here? There’s a reason the coach wasn’t crazy upset post-game it’s because he has the wherewithal to understand structurally Calgary did what was necessary. Heck, the Flames have done what’s needed structurally about 97% of this season nothing has gone their way. They have no luck, no finishing ability, streaky goaltending (it’s been very good lately), and until the All-Star break one of the worst power plays I’ve seen attempted at the professional level. It is a constant seesaw back and forth on whether the problem each night is going to be shooting percentage or save percentage related. Translated: either not enough goals or not enough saves in spite of the process being executed to a proper level.
You can’t fix that by shuffling the lines – you need to shuffle the personnel.
Corsi King – Blake Coleman (78.85%), Mikael Backlund (73.76%), and Andrew Mangiapane (68.23%) busted out of their funk in their own individual ways. The lines tonight were a complete jumble which actually helps let great individual performance rise to the top. Andersson (70.95%) and Weegar (70.72%) seem to find ways into the attacking zone more than the other pairs as well as having a higher ability to keep plays alive in the attacking zone. Jakob Pelletier (70.73%) and his speed once again stood out in a big way for the boys in red. I’ve said it before the Flames are in tough for the future if they do not add a significant dose of speed to their lineup. Colorado has been skating around them since 2019 and they have still yet to learn.
Corsi Clown – Trevor Lewis (23.54%) is stuck in a long stretch of being brutally outmatched almost every single night. I have reason to believe that if Ružička shared the same level of play over the same stretch of games as Lewis he wouldn’t see game action for a month. My own opinion on that situation, but it is not unwarranted as Adam has spent the better part of a month. He’s seen 4 NHL games since the All-Star Break and the team has played 16 games. I get it the coach doesn’t think he’s in the best 12 to help them win, but that means he also thinks those two that have been dragging the roster down for months are better.
Under Pressure –
Note: The Ducks barely registered an attack at any given point in the game and they still won. Insert Brooklyn 99 “Pain” GIF here.
Taken By Chance – Colour me shocked that Mikael Backlund (84.77 SCF% // 0 HDCF%) wasn’t on the ice for a high danger chance for at 5v5. He got the PP goal so he was rewarded for his heavy possession, but in the midst of all the line shuffling he failed to have a hand in one. On the other end of that Lindholm (66.30% // 74.69%) and Toffoli (73.75% // 85.81%) were all over the net, but Gibson had their number. Tyler Toffoli has really stepped up in a big way the last three games doing everything he can to try and be “the guy” that scores that goal. I applaud and admire the effort he is constantly giving the fans and his teammates every single night. It is highly unfortunate he couldn’t come through again but Gibson was more than a minimal factor there.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Another game where Jakob Pelletier (70.73%) shows everyone just how impactful the youth can be. Get this guy someone with elite shooting talent that can match his speed and you would have a deadly combo. For reference see what he was able to accomplish with Matthew Phillips in the AHL. If only Calgary had a speedy goal scoring winger like Matthew Phillips within their organization, they could give a fair and honest shakedown too. Oh well I guess there’s nobody – better just stick with the same group now that can’t score goals.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – I feel terrible for Markstrom on the first goal against – a complete pinball that finds its way behind him. The Ducks got 5 high danger chances and converted on two of them. Calgary got 13 high danger chances (5v5) and converted on zero of them. The offence gets the blame here, but I can’t outright say Markstrom was out of this world good. He did what he needed too after the fact, but he has got little to no run support every time he has played well.
Player Spotlight – Nick Ritchie – I do not often highlight someone twice in a two-week span, but I just have to say he is not fitting in well at all. The coach says he needs to play more than 12 minutes a night to be effective, but I just see tons of missed passes and a whole lot of slow added to the nightly lineup. It just hasn’t been top 6 good enough and outside one crease crashing goal he hasn’t warranted much to stay in the lineup either. Between him, Lucic, and Lewis the last three games I’m not surprised the offence dried up.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –  
1) Tyler Toffoli
2) Jakob Pelletier
3) Rasmus Andersson
(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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