Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames use hot start against Boston Bruins to secure victory

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 month ago
The Calgary Flames came out swinging against the Bruins Thursday night to secure the win. The Bruins best friend is a great start to games and the Flames came into this one with the wind in their sails. Eventually the Bruins did find their game and Markstrom had to be back at the peak of his athletic ability, but a wins a win. It was a truly great effort from all the Flames who got a full 4 lines of contributions – just in various different ways.
CF% – 53.86%, SCF% – 56.31%, HDCF% – 52.62%, xGF% – 49.68%
It’s a Team Game – In terms of 5v5 gameplay the Flames really only had control of the game during the first period. The second period was a revenge one by the Bruins and the third period saw both teams gather some good chances. Overtime was insane – maybe one of the most entertaining stretches of hockey across the entire NHL all season long. The finish was a great Kadri goal and a great memory for all in attendance.
Corsi King – Martin Pospisil (71.41%) had probably his best performance as an NHL player to date. Got the goal right in the greasiest area of the ice, constantly is throwing the body – almost double the amount of the rest of the roster – and continues to just get inside guys heads with his grindstone mentality. If he can find a way to become more offensive the Flames could win more games than you think. MacKenzie Weegar (69.33%) led for all Flames defence, although he and Andersson (67.23%) did get caught flat footed on the Bruins second goal.
Corsi Clown – Blake Coleman (42.47%) being your lowest ratio on the team is always a sign of a good game. If his lines idea of a bad night is losing the chance battle 6-4 it speaks to the level of play we see constantly out of that trio. Oliver Kylington (44.16%) was the defender in last, but still being where they are against a Bruins team with the record and reputation they have is incredible.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Weegar (74.08 SCF% // 86.93 HDCF%) and Andersson (69.59% // 86.82%) were out for 7 high danger chances for vs. just one against. One of their best games of recent memory too. Usually they have more polarizing numbers defensively, but the only high danger look they surrendered was the goal against. On the flip side Tanev (37.74% // 32.52%) was out for over 6 dangerous looks against while helping in gathering just 3 for the Flames. I’d much rather Tanev be the one stuck in his defensive zone than any of the other 6 options, but we’ve only got about 2 weeks left with that before someone else has to step up and be the guy.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Connor Zary (83.63%) is just a much a reason for his lines success as either of the other two. He and Kadri are developing incredible offensive chemistry together and are starting to do very creative things off the rush. Kadri’s strength has always been possession on the perimeter of the offensive zone and Zary knows how to play with him to get the puck off the wall and into dangerous scoring positions. Throw in a guy that will crash and bang anyone that overthinks with the puck and you’ve got one of the most lethal lines the Flames have had since the departure of Johnny Gaudreau.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – Hey we all screw up at work sometimes right – Markstrom will be the first person on the entire planet to admit the first goal was on him. Risky stuff against a team that can be as high octane as the Bruins are – they just went toe-to-toe with the Oilers the night before. Ultimately Markstrom more than earned his stripes back with some 5-bell saves that were crucial in Calgary getting the victory. 2.48 expected goals against with just 2 goals getting by him – Markstrom finishes in the green yet again.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars – 
1) Nazem Kadri
2) Jacob Markstrom
3) Martin Pospisil
(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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