Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames miss the convert in Game 1

Photo credit:Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 year ago
Quite the showcase for all the fans that never got to witness this for 31 years. The Calgary Flames got off to a hot start on some fairly weak goals before Edmonton was able to storm back. Calgary was the more dominant team for the majority of the night but everything anybody shot was able to find the back of the net. Players for both sides stated that they were upset with their team’s performance – next game could be really low scoring as a result. No matter what though Calgary banks the first victory and snags the early lead.
CF% – 67.94%, SCF% – 70.58%, HDCF% – 69.11%, xGF% – 68.44%
It’s a Team Game – The third period was actually favoured to the Oilers in terms of chances at high danger chances, but Calgary kept possession of the puck away from them. When the Oilers could establish possession, they had a chance to get back in but Calgary did a good job of always wearing down the guys on the ice in their own zone and then making the change before anything could be achieved. Less offensive zone time for the Oilers top guys to work with the better. If Calgary can box out a bit more on those come around the net chances they can help Markstrom out – even though some of those goals are ones he most certainly wants back.
Corsi King – Blake Coleman (75.81 CF%) finally got to see some goals go in. The first one he scores to start the second period kept Calgary on a bit of a momentum swing. Linemates Mangiapane (72.21%) and Backlund (71.55%) were also great – the sandwich line has been delectable since being reunited in the first round and there’s no reason currently to think they won’t start next game together. At 5v5 Calgary may have surrendered 6 goals, but the Oilers sure did that on very limited puck possession.
Corsi Clown – Lowest Flames at 5v5 was Brett Ritchie (59.90%) which is still a solid win for him in terms of possession and chances. So no clowns, and some more praise to Ritchie who went outside/inside on Duncan Keith to chase Mike Smith from the net.
Taken By Chance – No Flame was responsible for seeing more than 3 high danger chances while over the boards and every Flame was involved in getting at least one themselves. The guys that got one also only surrendered one. Elias Lindholm (64.12 SCF% // 40.76 HDCF%) and Erik Gudbranson (52.34% // 40.76%) both saw 3 high danger chances against to two – only Flames on the negative aspect of that. Not the best to see everyone give up as much as they did, but they know that. We don’t need to tell them – listening to the post-game press conferences the players all knew they weren’t at an acceptable defensive level. The Oilers coming back and losing could hurt them plenty because Calgary is going to come out extra motivated in Game 2 to correct the mistakes from Game 1.
xGF% – It’s another greatly positive impact game for Michael Stone (75.71 xGF%), but on the one Hyman goal he does need to tighten up his check a bit. Stone has been one of the most consistent Flames since he got out of the press box and does not appear to be going back – even if Tanev gets healthy again. Then again, Darryl likes to keep us guessing. Rasmus Andersson (70.53%) was involved in 9 high danger chances and got the GWG. Count that off as a big goal for Razz who continues to grow every game.
Game Flow –
Calgary came to start the first two periods and the Oilers paid the price for not doing the same. The first half of the second period was all Flames, but then the Oilers started scoring on goals you never see Markstrom let in and got back into it. As far as I’m concerned the Oilers squandered an opportunity to take advantage of Markstrom on an off-night. Can’t say anything won’t happen in this series for sure, but Markstrom playing like this again is very low on my list of things I expect to see.
Game Score – If you’re a frequent BTB reader you’ll know I put the heavy impact line at a score of 2, and that counting stats (the goals and assists) matter plenty here. Andrew Mangiapane (5.74 game // 1.03 average) led all Flames with Coleman (5.17 // 0.75) right behind him. I’ll have to check the website tomorrow, but those performances could be up there as top 5 across the entire playoffs… in a game the team referred to as bad. Scary stuff for the opposition if that comes to fruition. Andersson (4.45 // 1.08), Gaudreau (3.06 // 1.86), Tkachuk (2.92 // 1.77), Backlund (2.84 // 0.76), and Lindholm (2.07 // 1.47) all scored over 2. As you can see by the scores Mangiapane and Coleman were well ahead – a testament to how much they outplayed their competition all night. Neither Mange nor Coleman were scored on in Game 1.
Shot Heatmap –
You can look at Calgary’s shot location and depth and understand why they were able to tally 9 goals. Looking at Edmonton’s – which were not many because Calgary did defend almost everyone really well – you wonder how they even got to 6. McDavid is the answer. On all 4 of his points tonight he was the direct factor that led to the scoring chance. He can turn sure things into statistical anomalies real fast. Calgary did deserve the Game 1 victory, McDavid almost took it from them.
In The Crease – Markstrom is going to bounce back, that game was more of a statistical anomaly for him and not the normal. I would imagine Mike Smith will also bounce back better tomorrow, but if Calgary gets the same amount of puck possession as they did in Game 1 it won’t be a fun night for him in net. I’m not going to use this section to bash Markstrom – the Flames wouldn’t even be in the second round if he didn’t go toe to toe with Oettinger. Coach has faith in the bounce back and so do I. 1.58 expected goals against at 5v5 with 2 high danger, 3 medium danger, and one low danger chance against. Still got the stat that counts though – the W.
Today’s Specials – Flames penalty kill deserves a star tonight, 9-6 victory and it’s partially because that unit held the Oilers dangerous PP off the board. Heck, they hardly even let them into the attacking zone. 4 power plays for Edmonton and nothing to show for it. Even just one could have changed everything in the Oilers favour but instead they were denied. Flames end up getting a PP goal which proved to be extremely helpful. Take the empty netter away it’s a two-goal game – 8 to 6 or 4 to 2 with. 3 minutes to go it’s still just two goals. Better to be two than one.
Player Spotlight – Trevor Lewis – On the Flames fifth goal everything starts from Lewis and his hard work. He flies in on the forecheck and gets behind the Oilers D, skates around the back of the net before finding Hanifin open. Hanifin and Coleman did great jobs themselves on the pass and deflection, but they don’t get that chance without Lewis’s hustle. Throw in his PK efforts in keeping one of the most dangerous power plays we’ve ever seen at nothing, and he was beyond fantastic. He’s been a lights out playoff performer through 8 games and deserves more praise.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Andrew Mangiapane
2) Blake Coleman
3) Matthew Tkachuk
The Flames lead the series 1-0. Game 2 is Friday night at 8:30 p.m. MT.
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)


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