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Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames fall behind quick, can’t comeback against Vancouver Canucks

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Photo credit:Simon Fearn-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
25 days ago
The Vancouver Canucks were on the ball early while the Calgary Flames took some time to get up to speed. Throw in a spectacular goaltending performance from the Vancouver netminder and a hard-fought loss Is the result for the boys in red. By no means were the Flames walked all over, but letting Vancouver jump out to the early lead put them chasing the whole game. With some injury returns and a continued lineup shuffle there wasn’t enough juice or chemistry to find that one play to get things even. One thing is for certain, the Flames didn’t whimper away, and with how the remained of their season looks they had every reason to come up with an excuse to mail it in. Instead, they fought till the end valiantly.
CF% – 51.85%, SCF% – 51.01%, HDCF% – 45.31%, xGF% – 54.02%
Lottery Odds: 2.5% to move 10 spots, 0% at 1st overall via Tankathon.com
Playoff Odds: 1.1% via Moneypuck.com
It’s a Team Game – Down the back half of the game the Flames were the better team in getting sustained pressure. Elias Pettersson had his ways of creating offence, but elite centres are supposed to do that – the Flames as a committee were able to start sending guys out with the play going in the attacking direction rather than rushing into their own end to continually defend. The Flames pressed the crease hard all night, but DeSmith had one of the best games he’s ever played in his career. The high danger area ended up being perfect for the Vancouver goaltender, much to the chagrin of some great Flames chances.
Corsi King – Joel Hanley (82.34%) rewarded with a goal after seeing only 2 shot attempts against in 12 minutes of 5v5 play. Partner Pachal (77.57%) and him know their role and do it quite effectively. Neither guy is going to lead a power play or challenge for the team lead in points, but they can give reliable third line minutes without the coach having to worry. After starting as the best line Zary (37.67%) and company saw their play dip. More than fair seeing as Zary is coming back after missing 9 games. Their play will spike back to top levels soon – maybe even as early as tonight.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – It is a very concerning issue that Rasmus Andersson (33.02 SCF% // 38.67 HDCF%) is always the one when there is a large disparity in high danger looks against vs. the ones generated. We’ve seen this doesn’t matter if he’s with Weegar (69.05% // 67.34%) or Kylington (28.37% // 33.59%) the chances being surrendered are of the extremely dangerous variety. They simply need more out of him if they are planning to be a competitive team going forward. His offensive touch is fantastic, and he does a more than adequate job in transition, but he’s not had a lot of success in keeping shooters out of the blue paint.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Dryden Hunt (83.14%) and the Flames fourth line were extremely solid in their minutes. Kevin Bieksa highlighted all the great work AJ Greer (75.67%) did up and down the whole ice – all the actions that led directly to Andersson’s (39.94%) goal. The NHL owes Jonathan Huberdeau (71.78%) a penalty shot – I know he got a shot off and that’s why they didn’t call it, but it wasn’t the shot he wanted to take because of the slash he received. That still counts in my books and if the NHL wants their product to be more enjoyable they should think that counts as well.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – Markstrom returned with a more than acceptable performance after some time off. The first goal scored by the Canucks was crisp – so crisp it usually takes 10 minutes of play before a team breaks that out. The Canucks were ready to go off the jump and have been all year – Rick Tocchet is the coach of the year, no question. Markstrom did his best, but the defence in front of him wasn’t what he’s been used to this season. 2 goals against on 1.91 expected goals against at 5v5.
The Goals –
  • At the point when Hanley scored everyone, including the official Flames twitter/X account, had stopped clipping the videos. Sorry Joel, it was nice!
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –  
1) AJ Greer
2) Jonathan Huberdeau
3) Joel Hanley
(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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