Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames keep hope ignited with comeback win

Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 year ago
The two points was well deserved for a Calgary Flames team that was in complete control of the puck for the majority of the night. The chances weren’t all that great – the Vancouver Canucks have gotten extremely defensive under Rick Tocchet – but Calgary made the most of what they were given. The Canucks were extremely opportunistic in being able to capitalize the few times Calgary made mistakes. No game is ever played perfect, but Calgary played as top-notch a game as you could hope for and still had to fight and scrap for the win. It’s just finally nice to be on the happy side of the outcome.
CF% – 66.88%, SCF% – 58.81%, HDCF% – 59.48%, xGF% – 60.75%
It’s a Team Game – The Ice time was noticeably different tonight than it is most nights. 6 skaters clearly started to get more ice time as crunch time hit. Lindholm, Mangiapane, Huberdeau, Kadri, Backlund, and Toffoli all played over 18:28 on the night while the other six got no higher than 13:43 each. In a game where they needed to win outright, they lent on their top players and those guys came through. It is still a pretty large uphill battle, but the Flames are still selling some hope as the games reach the high 70’s.
Corsi King – MacKenzie Weegar (74.91%) is no stranger to being on the positive side of any metric. He’s recording the best defensive impact season in the entire league, actually (via the Evolving-Hockey model anyway). This isn’t being talked about enough, but he’s really got the jets turned on lately. He’s one point shy of 30 and only had 7 points in his first 36 games. 22 points in 39 games since then. Absolutely a tale of two seasons for him offensively and it’s trending in the right direction in a big way now. Mangiapane (74.72%) lead for all the forwards.
Corsi Clown – Every single person finished in the positive column for shot attempts. NaturalStatTrick had the all situation shot attempts 87 to 40 in Calgary’s favour. 5v5 they were 60 to 28.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – MacKenzie Weegar (85.82 SCF% // 100 HDCF%) being the only player to finish with no high danger chances against him at 5v5. Kadri (58.63% // 84.29%) and Dube (64.53% // 81.10%) lead the way for the forwards with new linemate Nick Ritchie (63.12% // 76.29%). A couple of guys got away with what I call no event hockey – no high danger chances for or against – and they were Lewis and Duehr. Their linemate Lucic (28.91% // 0%) gave up two high danger chances – they were both on the same shift and one resulted in a goal against. Negative is, naturally, that it happened. A positive though is that outside of that one shift nothing else bad happened that resulted in a net team negative.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – MacKenzie Weegar (90.96%) was a beast. Lindholm (79.25%) was the next closest Flame after a huge night for him and his line with Mangiapane (77.93%) and the game hero Toffoli (78.09%). Lindholm stood out for me while watching – he was taking fantastic shot attempts all night, but Demko had his number. I also like to see Coleman (53.56%) hit 18 goals as someone who pretty much just gets third line minutes. That’s valuable depth scoring wrapped up in a tremendous defensive minded forechecker.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – I mean if we just stare at the Boxscore you’d simply say this was terrible. I don’t think it was as bad as that makes it look, but I also don’t think it was a great performance. Somewhere right along the line of acceptable because at the end of the day Calgary did get the two points. Tomorrow is a new day and what happened in this game isn’t relevant to Markstrom anymore – we move on and stay alive another day.
Player Spotlight – Tyler Toffoli – I need a hero. I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night. He’s gotta be strong, and he’s gotta be fast. and he’s gotta be fresh from the fight. I need a hero. I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the morning light. He’s gotta be sure, and he’s gotta be soon, and he’s gotta be larger than life. Larger than life.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1 – Tyler Toffoli
2 – MacKenzie Weegar
3 – Elias 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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