Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames hit lucky number 7 in Vegas

Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 year ago
A group of fighters that won’t just roll over no matter how much noise is surrounding them, the new look Calgary Flames put in an impressive night in Vegas. They pushed the petal down right from the start and never let up, eventually getting rewarded in the third period for their efforts. Too many nights the Flames have gone unrewarded for their efforts, so it was nice to see the puck bounce in for once. A solid group outing for sure.
CF% – 65.4%, SCF% – 74.04%, HDCF% – 65.13%, xGF% – 72.68%
It’s a Team Game – All three periods leaned in the favour of the Flames. The Golden Knights faded away as the game went on and really mailed the third period in. Vegas only mustered up 5 scoring chances in their best period, shot attempts maxed out at 13 in the second period, and after the Flames’ third goal did nothing but suffer. Jonathan Quick fell off his early Vegas heater and Markstrom stayed on his current one giving Calgary the time to eventually let the offence take hold.
Corsi King – Rasmus Andersson (79.31%) was tops in ratio and Huberdeau (70.22%) was tops by attempts amongst forwards. Only one player finished with less attempts for and it’s a consistent theme. The kid in the press box can help out in a multitude of ways that the bottom of this roster just isn’t bringing to the table anymore. No, I’m not talking about Trevor Lewis (55.70%) either. A overall fantastic result from this perspective.
Corsi Clown – Milan Lucic (39.43%) was the low man again. He is visually struggling to help create any offence and spends a lot of the time chasing the play. Eventually to be a factor you have to catch up to what’s going on and be an active part of it. That has been so sporadic with Lucic this season and the Flames have only ever done something about it once. While it’s easy to scratch one of your most consistent defensive forwards over the last 15 games, apparently it’s difficult to give a fourth line guy a game or two off.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – All the new lines had people going on them – including Nazem Kadri (67.94 SCF% // 46.42 HDCF%). Ice time was pretty well divided up evenly amongst the top three lines 5v5, but Kadri did take a noticeable hit only playing 12 minutes. Elias Lindholm (83.43% // 86.48%) led the entire team getting his line involved in 6 high danger chances while he only saw 1 against. Weird thing I noticed, Mikael Backlund (69.25% // 36.30%) with a negative high danger ratio. Weirder things have happened.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Tyler Toffoli (97.43%) is earning every penny of that tiny contract he’s getting paid. He very well might finish with 35 goals and 70 points which is miles ahead of his career best. Nobody has been more clutch this year than Toffoli who has a case against Mikael Backlund (41.41%) as this team’s MVP. Backlund still has my vote but there are 13 games left to change that. Tanev (76.29%) is probably the only other guy I’d put in that conversation as even without the points he’s essential to the Flames backend.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – The numbers on Markstrom won’t look great but he more than did his job. 1.27 expected goals against with a high danger and low danger goal against. Since the game against Boston Markstrom has been back at his prime form. If this low percentage playoff push is going to happen – and it will happen, the players aren’t going to just roll over – Markstrom having his game back is a big help.
Player Spotlight – Nazem Kadri – I think he’s getting the message loud and clear. You don’t get moved to where he did in the lineup unless you’re in the coaches doghouse. I wonder how long the experiment with their $7 million centre they have signed for 6 more years will go on for. Kadri does need to bring more, but everything on this roster is at a weird fluctuation point where nothing has worked, and anything is on the table. The only good out of this whole thing was Ružička getting in the lineup and playing well.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Toffoli
2) Coleman
3) Lindholm
(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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