Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames suffer heartbreaking loss to Bruins
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
27 days ago
It is hard to come in here and type out that the Calgary Flames just played their best game of the season, but that is exactly what happened. From the moment the puck dropped every single Calgary player was relentless on the forecheck and gave the Boston Bruins next to no time to think about what to do with the puck. This is maybe just the third time we’ve seen an overall team effort like that this season which is why they find themselves on the outside of the playoffs looking in. Linus Ullmark was spectacular for Boston and is the sole reason this wasn’t a complete blowout from the get-go. 3v3 the coaching staff has no idea what they are doing or who to play with who – evident by the fact Pelletier didn’t see the ice at all despite being a clear standout positive from the start.
CF% – 69.05%, SCF% – 73.09%, HDCF% – 87.82%, xGF% – 81.65%
It’s a Team Game – Just 5 of those 13 overtime losses turn out to be wins and Calgary is tied in the wildcard playoff race, instead they’re properly looking themselves in the mirror prepping to sell a piece or two to make roster holes for fresh blood. When a team out-shoots the top team in the league 70-26 in 5v5 attempts and 18-2 in high danger chances you’d absolutely peg them as a buyer, but Calgary’s season can’t be decided emotionally by any one game. The sum of this whole season’s parts needs looked at and it’s just been not good enough. I do believe this team is talented enough to win, but the runway is looking a little bit too short. Certainly it isn’t long enough to be able to withstand losing games you should have won – thanks again, Ullmark.
Corsi King – It is worth noting that Pelletier (86.35%) and Huberdeau (86.32%) were only out for 2 shot attempts against in 11 minutes of ice time. Hard to argue any ice time metrics when the results were so heavily in Calgary’s favour, but if you wanted a goal maybe finding some of those almost 12 minutes you gave Lucic (79.31%) and Lewis (67.32%) and allocated them to some better scorers. Despite Pelletier’s clear success and immediate impact, they are still hesitant to put him in. He’s as defensively responsible – if not more – than any other guy on the team and has the speed to get himself out of bad situations. Tremendous start to his career and I only see his growth going in a highly positive direction.
Corsi Clown – Not a soul here. Best game of the year nobody finished under the 48% threshold. 50/50 is so hard to actually achieve I give a bit of leeway on the metrics for level of acceptability. For instance, 42% isn’t great but it’s not terrible – you can deal with that as long as it’s not a nightly occurrence. Anyways nobody qualifies here – or in xG either. Across the board success… which led to failure? Sigh.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – So the Flames surrendered just 2 high danger chances and yet the Bruins did not score on either of them. The Flames mixed up their top four D again to great success – Weegar (58.99 SCF% // 67.03 HDCF%) and Andersson (54.20% // 54.45%) were the D pair that saw both chances against – everyone else went 100% in HDCF%. They aren’t all built equally though as Lindholm (53.67% // 100%) and his line only registered two while Kadri (100% // 100%) and company didn’t see any while getting 6 good looks. Of course they didn’t translate these into enough goals to win – that elusive fourth goal has been their downfall too often this year.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Seven players finished with ratios over 90%. Four years of tracking every game like this and I don’t recall it ever going down to that extent. This was one of the most one-sided games in terms of possession and chances the Flames have played during my run. The other games all ended up as major blowouts so this one will stay in the memory bank for quite some time. Tanev (93.38%) led the way with notable contributors Dubé (77.52%), Huberdeau (92.41%), and Coleman (90.45%) scattered throughout the group. Not too many negative things to say about the skaters tonight – especially at 5v5. Outside of their 5v5 play they had one bonehead mistake shorthanded, a bad play in overtime, and a couple bad goals by the goalie that started. Seriously – the Flames maybe made 4-6 mistakes all game and 4 of them ended up in their net.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – Well neither of our guys did enough to out-duel the eventual 2023 Vezina winner in Ullmark. Based on this game alone he deserves the award – Vladar on the other hand continues his slide of subpar play. Markstrom fresh off supporting his wife in the birth of a new baby did a fine job in relief – he can’t stop his defenceman from stepping up and taking out his own teammate on a penalty kill nor can he physically stop the second guy in overtime from chasing Marchand behind the net. Those goals against Vladar weren’t the main reason Calgary lost, but they do stick out like a sore thumb.
Player Spotlight – Dillon Dubé – The Flames could create a graphic novel called “Blasty Man” and just centre it around how Dubé always comes through when they need him – as long as that logo is present. Can we get the team to secretly sew the logo inside the rest of his jersey’s so they can channel this ancient power nightly. Every time I see them wearing Blasty I literally think “Oh so Dubé is going to score” and then he always does. It’s the strangest phenomenon of the season and that’s saying something for a team with 13 OTLs.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
3) Linus Ullmark’s water bottle
(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)
THE DAILY FACEOFF TRADE DEADLINE SHOW
Join us on March 3rd for the Daily Faceoff Live: Trade Deadline edition as Frank Seravalli and the panel break down all of the latest rumours, news, and rumblings from around the NHL. The show will be live on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter from 10 AM – 2 PM MT to keep you up to date on all things trade deadline no matter where you’re watching from.
Recent articles from Shane Stevenson