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Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames lose another one to skilled Golden knights

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Photo credit:Brett Holmes-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
11 months ago
The Vegas Golden Knights brought their game to Calgary and promptly showed the Calgary Flames what a playoff bound team looks like. Firing on all cylinders at all points of the game it was an impressive showing from the visitors. It was not like the Flames rolled over and accepted defeat, they fought back like they always do and made things close. Too bad the game isn’t horseshoes.
CF% – 49.86%, SCF% – 46.31%, HDCF% – 39.36%, xGF% – 42.47%
It’s a Team Game – The Flames offence was there all night, but their defence gave up way too much in their own zone. 16 high danger chances for Vegas when all season Calgary’s been keeping opponents in the 7 to 11 range. There were certainly strong performances in the Flames lineup – and shifts within the overall game where people occasionally stood out – but it wasn’t enough. Credit where it is due Vegas is a fantastic team that has real potential to do playoff damage. Playing a game this close against an opponent like that is never a bad thing when viewed with a short scope.
Corsi King – Milan Lucic (58.83%) back in the lineup and refreshed scored quite the goal. Walker Duehr (57.44%) with the great zone entry and awareness to draw the defender in towards him before dishing the pass off to Lucic. Duehr created his own space to make the pass easier for Lucic to receive – you love to see it. Nazem Kadri (56.82%) also is playing with a bit more pep in his step after the decrease in ice time.
Corsi Clown – Elias Lindholm (38.41%) and his line struggled to gain momentum against any of the Vegas players. The Golden Knights have a tremendously skilled defensive group on D with an added flair of offence from Canada’s own Shea Theodore. The end result saw Vegas with a counter punch every time Calgary got momentum. Troy Stecher (42.41%) is now starting to play with new partner every other game. Hard for a guy to get settled with all that change.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Nikita Zadorov (57.44 SCF% // 67.31 HDCF%) and MacKenzie Weegar (51.36% // 57.51%) were all over this game on both the positive and the negative. For Weegar he just had trouble handling the puck all night. Everything kept bobbling on his stick no matter what he tried. Zadorov was tremendous for most of the night too, but on the Marchessault stretch goal he gets caught at his own blue line and can’t get back in time to help defend. Not many mistakes, just a few, but that’s all it seems to ever take.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Nikita Zadorov (64.97%) really did step up and try to be a difference maker. He was active in the offensive zone and was getting the puck in close with low shots good for rebound chances. Mikael Backlund (58.95%) got back into the old swing of things – being the best forward in a loss. Rasmus Andersson (52.40%) appears to be getting better as the games go on. He’s been electric these last two weeks and the offence has come with the strong play.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – I usually just ask the goaltender not give up any goals that didn’t come off a high danger chance. If enough of them go in it is 100% on the defence for not defending well enough in front of the crease. Markstrom only gave up 3 high danger goals against at 5v5, and I 100% blame the team in front of him for the result. Earlier in the year he was constantly letting in low danger or mid-range shots but has cleaned that up the last month.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Nikita Zadorov
2) MacKenzie Weegar
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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