Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames get moral victory in comeback win against San Jose Sharks

Photo credit:Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
18 days ago
The Calgary Flames decided they were not going to be the team that keeps losing to the San Jose Sharks, but it took them until the second period before the winning pace picked itself up. Falling behind 2-0 early, the Flames eventually found a new gear and had the game tied up before the second even ended. Some strong Sharks goaltending after that left Calgary needing to keep pressing. It took all the way until overtime, where they were awarded a power play, before they could solve the Sharks. But hey – at least they beat them once this year.
CF% – 68.23%, SCF% – 70.84%, HDCF% – 70.13%, xGF% – 73.06%
It’s a Team Game – One major factor that is showing up in the Flames game down the stretch is the struggle to get proper offence. They had the same issue with Darryl Sutter as coach last year and with a depleted lineup – mixed with a different offensive attack – the Flames are starting to show they still need a big talent to show up and capitalize on these games. The Flames should have destroyed the Sharks four or five to two but instead had to claw for everything they got in an overtime win. Some natural shooters being put in better positions to succeed (Coronato, again) could maybe help shake that slump.
Corsi King – As a whole team in 49 minutes of play overall shot attempts were in Calgary’s favour 67 to 31. So when I share some high percentages just know its because the Sharks really, really are not good at playing well structured, team first hockey. The best way to show how positive everyone finished is to highlight the two lowest performances by percentage – which aren’t that bad in the first place. Ilya Solovyov (47.11%) playing in his first NHL game in months with Brayden Pachal (49.36%). Solovyov did get scored on so not a great first outing back, but the man needs time to adjust to the speed of the NHL. It’s more of a jump than people think – especially this late in the season against a team that’s players are at least trying. Nikita Okhotiuk (80.71%) led the team in percentage – but he was also nowhere to be found on the Eklund goal.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Daniil Miromanov (75.96 SCF% // 83.20 HDCF%) has worked very well since his acquisition, especially next to the rock of a defenceman that is MacKenzie Weegar (77.10% // 89.83%). He is just a full offensive package and can navigate his way into soft areas in the attacking zone by simply understanding the coverage the wingers are placing on him. Players that are smart enough to switch positions, adapt accordingly, and still find success are so intriguing. Giving him time to learn and grow – which is why the Flames acquired him – is working out for them. Of all the skaters in the late window that are making impressions on management to try and be involved next year Miromanov is doing the best.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – The fourth line found some high-quality opportunities, but I still get frustrated watching Coronato (79.14%) do everything to get into a lethal attacking position only to have his support players be nowhere near where he needs them to be to keep attacking. Instead, we’ll just dump it behind the net and keep cycling forever because getting high danger chances is not the goal? No, I’m sure this is backwards. The kid deserves some partners with a higher offensive awareness than the ones he’s got if the team ever wants him to produce offence like his potential says he can. Kuzmenko (80.32%) has stolen most of the top 6 with powerplay time – and needs to be watched or played with a defensive center at 5v5 for the team to have any chance at success.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – The hometown boy was able to lock things up after his defence hung him out to dry for two goals. Both Eklund and MacDonald scored completely unimpeded directly in front of the crease. The goaltender may have thought “here we go again” after the second one went in but the roster in front of him picked up their game and it led to Wolf securing a victory in front of his friends and family. Was it overall a stunning performance – no, but the Sharks lack of ability to attack in the final 40 minutes certainly helped.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Andrei Kuzmenko
2) Rasmus Andersson
3) Jonathan Huberdeau
(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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