Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames keep sputtering after loss to Winnipeg Jets

Photo credit:James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
22 days ago
The Calgary Flames continue to fight hard but end up on the wrong side of the score again in this loss to the Winnipeg Jets. This loss officially eliminated the Flames and it appeared some of the veteran players were aware as they played valiantly against a team that once sat atop the standings this season. Some strong performances from some, baffling by some others, yet that’s the path forward for the next 14 days. After that the season is over.
CF% – 50.84%, SCF% – 49.39%, HDCF% – 46.17%, xGF% – 40.8%
It’s a Team Game – The Flames got the first jump on the Jets, but then Winnipeg responded in a big way. Extended pressure aided in part by some power plays, but they made the most of it. Calgary then came out in the second period with an extremely strong push – even levelling the score. However, after a Toffoli power play goal and a five-minute power play from Pospisil’s hit, the Jets were able to close out the period strong. Calgary did end up having a better third period, but the Jets were able to lock things up enough with their lead.
Corsi King – Kevin Rooney (65.44%) was tops for forwards by percentage while Brayden Pachal (61.12%) led on the blueline. The leader in overall attempts for was MacKenzie Weegar (54.19%) whose play tonight was spectacular. The most against was Rasmus Andersson (44.34%) but he didn’t have much help from a very visibly lost Nikita Okhotiuk (38.77%). Andrei Kuzmenko (47.46%) saw the most against for the forwards. Honestly, nothing crazy stands out here – everything kind of went how it’s been going for two weeks.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Andrei Kuzmenko (50.18 SCF% // 83.41 HDCF%) and Daniil Miromanov (48.66% // 43.96%) are just filled with creativity. They aren’t always the best in the defensive zone, but that’s not really the primary concern these days. If you are performing to a top-notch level offensively, like he is with Kadri (54.62% // 100%) right now, then you aren’t required to do as much of the hard work through the neutral zone. Kadri has always prioritized offensive zone puck possession, he found an incredible partner to aid him this year in Pospisil (58.49% // 83.41%) as well. Throwing Kuzmenko in with those two to make space and capitalize on scoring chances has worked well so far.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Brayden Pachal (71.07%) has really won me over since his waiver claim – I don’t really want to envision a Flames starting 6 without him next season. He uses his size and physicality to box out really well – I think there’s more there for him to grow. The Flames look like the benefit of a deep Vegas blueline. On the other hand, Nikita Okhotiuk (12.65%) had himself a bad night. When he got walked in an almost seamless fashion, I felt so bad for him – he was not ready to play to the Jets level at all. The search for a functional partner for Rasmus Andersson (22.45%) will have to continue.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – Dustin Wolf outperformed his expected goals against at 5v5 tells me that if the Flames could have found a way to stay out of the penalty box they could have won this game. Wolf had maybe one of his best performances in his NHL time so far even despite the loss. With time he’s only going to get better – he certainly has shown in this stretch of games he belongs testing his game out at the NHL level. Get him used to how the Flames play defence, picking up rush chances based on the way his defenders back into the zone, learning more about the shooters habits, and increasing his general knowledge of where to be and how to be elite.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) MacKenzie Weegar
2) Dustin Wolf
3) Nazem Kadri
(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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