Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames stumble but pull through against San Jose Sharks

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 year ago
The Calgary Flames promptly handled their business Saturday afternoon beating up on a Sharks squad close to the bottom of the standings. For whatever reason the pattern of Calgary struggling against other non-playoff teams doesn’t apply to the Sharks – the Flames find regular success against them. The playoffs may be as far away as they have ever been this season, but you can bet for certain Calgary will at least show u p and compete for the victory.
CF% – 56.92%, SCF% – 54.23%, HDCF% – 59.66%, xGF% – 59.12%
It’s a Team Game – This wasn’t a landslide game for Calgary as the Sharks provided more than an adequate pushback. They really stormed back when it was 2-0 to take the lead, but when Calgary had the retaliation almost immediately it took the wind right out of the Sharks sails. The second period saw the most combined high danger chances for both squads while the quality share was most in Calgary’s favour in the third period.
Corsi King – MacKenzie Weegar (69.52%) continues his strong season. The offence may not have come for him, but he was everything advertised on the defensive side of the puck and in transition. If they can get their lineup so he can play on his strong side with a decent amount of minutes you’d see his point totals climb hire. It’s good sometimes to have him separate from the other top pairing more offensive defenceman in case one of the pairings struggles.
Corsi Clown – Andersson (39.11%) wasn’t at the bottom – that was Huberdeau (36.25%) – but he struggled to stay on the positive end of the shot attempts. Mikael Backlund (42.25%) and company all ended up on the downward side. Some nights you just can’t seem to get on the downhill side. At least despite their struggles as a line they didn’t get scored on.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Dillon Dubé (47.19 SCF% // 42.51 HDCF%) was on the ice for three 5v5 goals against. He’s done a complete disappearing act once again from the scoresheet as well. A career year for him and yet it’s not unfair to say the inconsistency is hard to rely on. Its also unfair to pin too much blame on one of the younger players on this veteran heavy roster for how this season went. The vet that was on his game this afternoon? Milan Lucic (64.21% // 68.09%). He’s getting a Duehr (63.96% // 69.37%) boost from the young linemates infectious work ethic. The turnovers he’s been causing with his forecheck and willingness to carry the puck into the open ice has also helped. If he’s defending his job from Nick Ritchie (46.74% // 49.58%) he’s doing it well.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Never shocking to see Tyler Toffoli (87.94%) at or near the top of the table. I’ve a newfound appreciation in his shot generation skills. He decides to be the primary shooter and makes things happen. He knows when the right time to shoot or pass is. He’s the Flames top winger by a mile this year which is not something I would have put money on before the first puck drop. As Toffoli goes Lindholm (72.18%) also goes, a newfound tandem after losing his primary linemates from last year.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – Another night where all the goals scored against came from the high danger area. That’s a great sign for the goaltending as the weak ones aren’t going in nightly anymore. The Flames have started to get burned off the rush a bit more, but that’s going to happen when you take Chris Tanev out of a lineup. Markstrom continues to settle things back to as normal as it can look after a tumultuous first 3/4’s
 The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Tyler Toffoli
2) MacKenzie Weegar
3) Walker Duehr
 (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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