Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames needed that one extra save in collapse to Senators

Photo credit:Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 year ago
Hockey is a team sport no question about it, but sometimes the finger ends up getting pointed at one guy when things go bad – the goaltender. Usually there’s no need for it as you can find an example of someone missing coverage or a bad read, hence the team part. Occasionally though a game will happen, and you do have to look at the goaltending and say, “it just needs to be better.” This is that game – Calgary needed that one extra save in the late minutes against Ottawa to allow them a chance at the empty net. They didn’t get it despite the majority of the game being played to the Flames advantage.
CF% – 69.55%, SCF% – 61.19%, HDCF% – 63.17%, xGF% – 53.28%
It’s a Team Game – All three periods were a Calgary Flames shooting gallery – they didn’t collapse until it was 6 on 5. Now not everyone is going to get a glorious review. It’s not like the whole team played perfect, but everyone did play well enough to secure what should have been an easy victory. So much for that. They did everything I have been preaching for all year. They got heavy amounts of chances in the crease, they improved their power play to the point it actually impressed my pessimistic self, and they dominated puck possession. An absolutely soul crushing ending for a team that was 3 minutes away from going home getting ready to get their first real streak of the season going. Instead, it’s a shameful plane ride back across the country.
Corsi King – This is the saddest part where I tell you the lowest Flame in this category was Brett Ritchie (59.67%) at just shy of 60. Top was MacKenzie Weegar (78.59%) who has been playing really top notch puck since the break ended. He and his partner Zadorov (68.96%) were out there for over 30 team shot attempts, Weegar seeing less than 10 come back his way. The entire team was diligent, relentless, and they looked hungry and ready to compete. They were physical all night long and were in clear control even on special teams.
Corsi Clown – And yet they lost this game… actually heartbreaking stuff for Flames fans.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – The Flames had what Ryan Leslie described as the Alberta Beef line play no event hockey. Lucic (28.69 SCF% // NA HDCF%) is from British Columbia though, but I like it so I thought I’d mention it again here. Creative line nicknames are hard to come by – sub in Ruzicka, Zohorna, or Duehr and you don’t really need to change the name of it either. Top notch stuff Ryan. Okay so by this point have you all forgot about the game – because you won’t want to hear how that great performance from Noah Hanifin (74.59% // 88.44%) was wasted away. All over the ice tonight he was a standout positive for me. He seems to enjoy being the primary attacking defenceman – he’s also extremely good at it. This extended look apart from Andersson has made me want to still see him with Tanev (69.52% // 88.44%) when Andersson gets back… which makes things confusing for ice times.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – The line that drove everything in Buffalo ended up not getting the prime looks they were looking for. Kadri (34.54%) was a stud on the power play but couldn’t get anything significant going with Pelletier (40.80%) and Huberdeau (49.08%). There were still a few wild sin pass/shots from him that went to the other team or missed people all-together. If Calgary at least gets possession out of it that’s fine but usually it leads directly to a zone exit. Not every game is going to be a hit, lucky for them Mangiapane (67.71%) and company were attacking and Dubé (54.14%) and friends were finishing their chances off.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – I’m not going to just sit here and roast Markstrom endlessly. I want him to be able to recover and be that consistent presence he was last season. The rest of tonight’s thoughts – to stop myself from being too much of a jerk – will be summed up in this tweet:
Today’s Specials – The power play with Noah Hanifin as its quarterback looks infinitely more dangerous to the one Rasmus Andersson was running. I’ve been preaching it for 2 seasons – before I even started writing at FlamesNation – Hanifin and his tendency to shoot for a tip or make a fake shot/pass combo is a better play than hammering a slapshot. It makes him more dangerous to guard and will give the guys on the flank you want taking the shots more space to do so. If they pinch to the wings too much the bumper or net-front guy can make a redirect with less resistance and if they clog the middle you can have a shooting gallery from the short side wing.
Player Spotlight – Dillon Dubé – Back when I was on a podcast, we talked about which Flame was going to be crucial in finding success this year. My pick was Dillon Dubé. After his long scoring streak to end last season I saw flashes of brilliance in his game – he just had to find a way to bring it more often than not. A problem young players can have as they navigate through learning this league. Lately we are seeing that high-end talent on display more frequently. The chemistry with Tyler Toffoli is blossoming and it’s sparking more offence – and doing it on a nightly basis. Calgary’s had problems scoring goals and problems saving them – Dubé has done more than his fair share this year to try and fix the former problem.
 The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Dillon Dubé
2) Noah Hanifin
3) Trevor Lewis
(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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