Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames season comes to a close on milestone high

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 month ago
The Calgary Flames gave their fans one last night filled with positives before ending their 2023-24 campaign. No, they are not going to the playoffs, but tonight the Flames did see a handful of players achieve NHL milestones. As for the game it was in Calgary’s control from the start – the San Jose Sharks were in full last place mode. The Sharks failed to defend any of the Flames lines properly. They allowed a free for all in terms of shots on goal from within their crease. Calgary could do whatever they wanted with the puck and had very little resistance, in game 82 they made that team pay for it.
CF% – 62.94%, SCF% – 61.71%, HDCF% – 78.88%, xGF% – 65.72%
It’s a Team Game – To kick things off undrafted Adam Klapka of Czechia scored his first career NHL goal in career game 6. Soon after fellow rookie Connor Zary snuck a beautiful backdoor pass to Blake Coleman who tapped in number 30 on the season. The secondary assist on the goal – the guy who centered the puck to Zary – it was Rasmus Andersson and it was his 200th career point. Finally, MacKenzie Weegar became the first player in NHL history to have over 20 goals and over 200 blocked shots. A couple of guys fell just short – namely Dustin Wolf for a shutout and Kadri for 30 – but it was more than enough to leave the fans looking forward to the future and hopefully drafting some top talent.
Corsi King – Martin Pospisil (82.23%) and Nazem Kadri (73.68%) went out the same way they played when they first got put together. Kadri was dangling through guys all night trying to get that extra goal, but the goaltenders had his number. It was great to see Kylington (66.64%) score. He and Rasmus Andersson (71.65%) skated circles around the offensive zones on multiple occasions. Only two guys fell below the 50% line – not a particularly close match.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Daniil Miromanov (69.40 SCF% // 100%) led everyone out of the 4 guys who didn’t see a high danger chance against. He helped get 5 high danger chances to finish ahead of Connor Zary (48.86% // 100%) who got 2. The Kadri (94.60% // 86.09%) line really spent next to no time in their own zone but did let a high danger chance against in those small minutes – big deal. Next to no negatives and the rookies all shined – I’ll take that all day.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – It feels illegal for Kadri (80.79%) to have over a full expected goal in value only to be stonewalled by the Sharks. I would’ve liked to see Coronato (73.73%) get a bit more ice time but that will come in the form of the Wranglers playoffs starting soon. Wolf, Klapka (30.76%), Solovyov (48.34%) and Coronato will go back down and join the AHL squad as they quest for the Calder cup. It will be essential for the young man to keep the confidence rolling by trying to find some big-time goals in big time games.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – The entire fanbase let out a collective groan when Pospisil got a penalty in the last 2 minutes. Our worst fears were realized as Zetterlund scored on the power play in the dying seconds to wipe out Dustin Wolfs first career shutout bid. 1.64 expected goals against with no 5v5 goals. It was a solid performance for Wolf, who no doubt was bored for long stretches, will end the season 7-7-1.
The Goals –
Player Spotlight – Jonathan Huberdeau – Hopefully next year brings even more improved play but asking a veteran over 30 to magically return to point per game when he hasn’t been that way for two years – it’s marginally plausible at best. He developed some late season chemistry with Zary in the middle and if they want to keep Sharangovich on the right side they could have something manageable. That’s what it’s going to be at best though, manageable. In the day and age where superstars are getting 100 assists and 70 goals again having 10 million dollars get you less than 50 points will never truly cut it.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –  
1) Rasmus Andersson
2) MacKenzie Weegar
3) Blake Coleman
(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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