Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames see scoring woes continue in loss to New York Rangers

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
8 months ago
The Calgary Flames did in fact come to play, but a major problem from last year has started to rear its ugly head early – the ability to finish off their chances. Possession and scoring chance rates have typically finished in Calgary’s favour which is great in terms of playing a style of hockey that gives you the opportunity to score. The real issue is nobody can turn their chances into goals. You can win in every category you want but until someone finds a way to tangibly produce production regularly it’s going to get repetitive here.
CF% – 64.68%, SCF% – 61.24%, HDCF% – 75.1%, xGF% – 71.06%
It’s a Team Game – Special teams played a major part in the Flames loss. 5v5 the Flames were clearly the team in more control. The Rangers skilled players were able to hem Calgary in a few times, but the damage came from tips on the powerplay and a 4v4 goal against. The Flames even properly got to Shesterkin. The Rangers goaltender had to make a few saves in the third period that made fans say, “how did he stop that?” Again, all great to see but without goals it’s a hollow effort.
Corsi King – Matt Coronato (91.60%) saw his ice time be limited again – he’s clearly been the most creative player on the team to date. Huberdeau (47.95%) constantly spinning around to whip a backhand pass does not touch Coronato’s ability to dig the puck out of the corners of the offensive zone and try to drive the crease. Dillon Dubé (80.70%) had his ice time extremely limited from what it had been previously – the team responded with much less in terms of defensive blunders.
Corsi Clown – Walker Duehr (44.12%) and Huberdeau were the only Flames under 50% – Weegar (54.79%) was third from the bottom. The Flames really kept the puck off the Rangers sticks for long stretches of play. The Rangers only real spike in 5v5 play came at the end of the first period – the second and third saw Calgary press for something only to see a top 6 goaltender in the league perform up to expectations.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Coleman (59.62 SCF% // 65.31 HDCF%) and company led the team in the amount of high danger chances they created. Mangiapane (69.57% // 65.31%), Backlund (61.57% // 65.31%), and him gave up some good looks too, but largely found themselves attacking. They have always been good for at least some offence every night – the rest of the team needs to do more. Pretty hard to sit here and complain when not one of the three defence pairings got outmatched – Hanifin (47.83% // 49.86%) and Weegar (39.04% // 49.86%) were the closest going 3:3.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Coronato (93.58%) and Dryden Hunt (93.06%) did not get a defensive zone start again. They are bringing Coronato up a bit sheltered as he adjusts to normal NHL action. He clearly flashes skills that show he belongs in the NHL, he’s the best hope they have of finding someone to score consistently. If he can grow his confidence a bit more with games like these the goals should start to come more naturally. He may have to learn to create his own chances a bit more than he already is – when he figures out how to do that it will get exciting.  In fact the entire team outside of Huberdeau (39.63%) posted acceptable 5v5 metrics.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – The two tip goals on the penalty kill Markstrom had zero chance on – the third goal that snuck through his legs was all on him though. It’s not like he played bad, but he did let in one really bad goal and that’s what needs eliminated from Calgary’s game. The offence struggles to score so much it makes the goaltenders needing to be constantly perfect. Is that fair to the goalie? Not a chance.
Player Spotlight – Nazem Kadri – A lot of the offensive blame is being aimed in his direction – tonight he did whatever he could to try and score but Shesterkin had the answer. Separating him from Dubé was such a great start, but after Ružička went down with what appears to be a significant injury they had some struggle shifts. They do not mesh well together – putting the two out together is just asking to have the puck swing back into your own zone in possession of the other team. Naz improved away from him tonight, but when the offensive woes loom this large almost isn’t going to cut it as an excuse much longer.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Matt Coronato
2) Nazem Kadri
3) Chris Tanev
(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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