Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames lose huge match against the last-place Blackhawks

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 year ago
Crushing to fans that still had hope the Calgary Flames have now backed themselves into a win or lose your season scenario against the Jets after failing to figure out the last place Chicago Blackhawks… for the third time this season. Like the COVID season against the Senators the Flames just found themselves unable to play their game against the lower half of competition this season and it’s one of the major factors that have them in this situation.
Just like from 2010-12 the Flames will finish either ninth or 10th in the regular season – failing to make playoffs as well as failing to secure a good draft pick – the old lose/lose situation that’s quite familiar territory for fans wearing the Flaming C. Everything now rides on the game against the Jets – everything.
CF% – 59.79%, SCF% – 59.33%, HDCF% – 54.62%, xGF% – 56.38%
It’s a Team Game – The blatant turnovers the Flames were committing don’t help, but the goaltending in this performance was also left to be desired. On the first two goals there was a whole lot of net available upper glove side. Some players failed to look like they cared or felt the intensity of the game. Kadri has been outed so much in his career and I really do not want to out him, but two absolutely egregious turnovers have him right in everyone’s eyesight. The entire third period was a flop for the Flames – they weren’t able to win the period. Chicago had better xG and overall SCF% advantages in the third frame while High danger chances were just 2-1 in favour of Calgary. Just simply not good enough when they needed it the most.
Corsi King – Dillon Dubé (81.67%) lead the way for Calgary with Kadri (79.15%) right behind him. 4 times as many shot attempts from his line than given up – which makes the ribbing on Kadri even worse. Without the two simple mistakes – that were preventable which is why many people are so upset – Kadri was one of the best players in the offensive zone. Nikita Zadorov (73.63%) and Stecher (72.81%) were the leaders on the back-end. This game was not like the two before it in that everyone played well to a degree, there were some woeful performances.
Corsi Clown – Walker Duehr (42.78%) and Trevor Lewis (42.35%) struggled to get much puck possession in this one. Probably while trailing their ice time should have been cut – there’s no need for Trevor Lewis to have 11:58 5v5 when your season is on the line, for any reason. Same with Milan Lucic (49.52%) at 14:24 based on how much offence he’s provided this year – tangible evidence – there is zero acceptable reasons for that amount of ice time in a game of this significance. Especially when you need the one thing, he’s barely been able to provide and yet he’s still the one you turn to – that’s on the coach.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Always have to shout out the guys who didn’t see a high danger chance against. Coleman (68.75 SCF% // 100 HDCF%), Backlund (68.75% // 100%), Weegar (52.28% // 100%), and Andersson (45.25% // 100%) didn’t even see a dangerous chance let alone a goal. Truly the four guys that brought their A game across the board. Noah Hanifin (52.16% // 58.19%) led all players in being involved in over 6 high danger chances himself, but he also gave up 5 too. For all the good they brought both Stecher (77.07% // 44.72%) and Zadorov (75.95% // 44.72%) sure see a lot of chaos whenever they get caught off a turnover. They haven’t had good enough goaltending this year to bail themselves out when they leak high danger chances.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – The only line I haven’t really touched on part of is Lindholm (49.51%), Toffoli (47.89%), and Mangiapane (47.10%) who were pretty well just playing on par. They got outscored 2-1 which is unusual for whatever line combination Toffoli plays on. They did all finish with a 3-1 win in the high danger chance department but saw more cumulative quality against them that they grade out even.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – 4 goals against on 1.95 expected – 2 high danger, 2 medium danger. The three weeks stretch of great play Markstrom had going has faded into a few up and down performances. The team in front of him didn’t make it particularly easy but he didn’t make that one extra save the Flames really needed. It’s all going to fall in his shoulders again right away as the Flames will (probably) turn to him against Winnipeg. 
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Mikael Backlund
2) MacKenzie Weegar
3) Noah Hanifin
(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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