Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames don’t let golden opportunity pass them by

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 year ago
From start to finish the Calgary Flames were in control of the poor Ottawa Senators. Hope was faint for them to start after playing in the 8 p.m. MT slot the night before in Vancouver. Calgary did the right thing and kept the peddle down on them right to the final horn. It was a full group effort from top to bottom with the result matching the effort put in. Calgary typically puts forth this effort they just have not had the fortune to have everything – scoring and saving mostly – line up.
CF% – 67.46%, SCF% – 70.62%, HDCF% – 72.25%, xGF% – 72.03%
It’s a Team Game – Top sign from this was the extra push Calgary had with the lead in the third period. Absolutely It comes with an asterisk because of the Senators travel situation, but during a season when nothing has seemed to fall in the right place having this work out was nice to see. A massive high danger chance advantage (18-7) the Flames did not let Kevin Mandolese join in on the backup barrage Calgary has recently struggled against. All-in a solid performance from the Calgary Flames.
Corsi King – Walker Duehr (90.30%) sparked the fourth line into life tonight. He was a more effective shift to shift piece than Nick Ritchie had been bringing. Tanev (82.76%) led all defenceman with a whopping 32 shot attempts happening while he was on the ice vs. just 8 against. Every single one of the 12 forwards had a ratio of 58% or higher – one of the better nights this season for them. Even the two guys that finished “low” ended up closer to the even side of things. Not a strong night from the Senators.
Corsi Clown – MacKenzie Weegar (46.54%) and Rasmus Andersson (49.38%) ended up on the low half of things which is a great example to show just how much of an advantage the Flames had. No actual complaints about anybody after that game.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – 3 players were involved in creating over 10 high danger chances. The D pairing of Hanifin (80.87 SCF% // 85.12 HDCF%) and Tanev (94.58% // 91.37%) and Flames Left Wing Jonathan Huberdeau (52.27% // 77.63%). He made a great pass from the right side of the ice on the Hanifin goal too, so much so that even Sutter mentioned he made that play… from the right side. It’s the most interesting sub-storyline in the Flames world right now so I feel it’s worth mentioning. Regardless of what side anybody stands on in this debate, if he mentally feels more comfortable playing on the left side and it produces better results than let it happen.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – When they play rough I’m one of the first to criticize so when they play well – and even get goals – I’ll give them a shout-out too. Lewis (83.81%) and Lucic (90.15%) really got a boost with Duehr (100%) being there with them. His increased speed, toughness, and nose for the fore-check are always a welcome to the bottom line. Not a single player ended their night on the underside of the quality matchup. No single skater stands out as someone who was off their game and plenty showed up with better than average nights.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – Jacob Markstrom did not exactly have the busiest of nights which is good news for him because he’s in the middle of a stretch of consecutive games I don’t see ending. He’s been lights out since the game in Boston and very clearly is back into old form. The one mishap goal aside he was solid and didn’t falter. 1.40 expected goals against and the goal was indeed considered high danger. I do not doubt we see Markstrom in the next game and based on recent play I have full faith he’s going to bring an A level performance.
Player Spotlight – Elias Lindholm – I didn’t mention him at all because by counting totals he wasn’t top of the board, but he was playing on a higher level from my perspective in that match. The chemistry he constantly shows with Backlund makes me wonder why we never tried a Backlund-Lindholm combination at 5v5, but both guys are too valuable as centres on their own lines to test that out. 200 career goals is a special number and career milestones deserve to be celebrated. There’s a lot of career left for Lindholm and I’m excited to see what heights he can reach.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
 1) Jonathan Huberdeau
2) Elias Lindholm
3) Chris Tanev
(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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