Beyond the Boxscore: Calgary Flames with up and down game in loss to Buffalo Sabres

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
3 months ago
Another game with a valiant effort ending in a loss for the Calgary Flames to the Buffalo Sabres. They are struggling to finish off chances offensively despite getting some fantastic looks. Typically, the strong push for the Flames extends through the third period but in this one it faded out after the end of the second period. Two games in two nights with travel is never the friendliest for fast paced third periods, a fair enough reason to explain the drop off. The Flames certainly didn’t mail it in though, giving the fans at the Saddledome some reasons to cheer on a Sunday evening.
CF% – 50.18%, SCF% – 49.92%, HDCF% – 36.32%, xGF% – 43.17%
It’s a Team Game – After a pretty average first period from both teams the Flames found an edge in the second period. Pushing play, sending out lines who were able to attack in waves, tiring out the opposition – all aspects of play the team elevated in the middle frame. It was great while it lasted – I genuinely thought the Flames were on their way to taking victory – but the Sabres regrouped well before the third. Buffalo came out inspired and found the go-ahead goal on a severe lapse of Flames defensive judgment. The empty net goals really make the score look different, it was clearly a closer match than a 4-1 score.
Corsi King – Blake Coleman (57.56%) was tops on the charts for the Flames just ahead of Brayden Pachal (57.55%). Nobody really got over-matched in this one – every line displayed a run of getting some offensive chances. The only line that struggled mightily was Kadri (40.76%) and the kids who are still trying to re-gel after a month apart. They had some of the best metrics in the entire league prior to Zary’s (41.76%) injury, I have no doubt they will get back to that level fairly soon.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – That’s over 14 high danger chances combined in about 40 5v5 minutes for Rasmus Andersson (41.42 SCF% // 16.66 HDCF%) and Oliver Kylington (36.27% // 16.66%) who have shown in enough games together now they do not have the chemistry to prevent all these chances against. It’s a very awkward balancing act on the defence right now but it’s about time to split up that pair and see if something else works in the next 11 games.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Kevin Rooney (63.60%) being the one to lead because of an xG difference of 0.04 is not ideal. MacKenzie Weegar (58.25%) was the leader amongst the skaters that generated a decent amount of quality. The folks at the bottom of the ratio’s today in fact generated more offensive chances than these players with the higher percentages, but because they gave up so much more in their own end the net result is negative. That’s Sharangovich (40.04%), Andersson (38.81%), and Kadri (35.25%) with his wingers – it’s not all negative but surely things to work on at practice.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – Any night you outperform your expected goals against is a good night for a player in the crease. Dustin Wolf saw 2.09 expected goals against at 5v5 with just 2 goals against. I felt he should have probably had the Krebs goal, but he didn’t let it shake his performance. The go ahead goal was not a nice present for the goaltender from his defenceman as the shot was uncontested from the low slot – Nothing Wolf could have really done. He was not the issue, the Flames just didn’t get enough offence.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –  
1) Jonathan Huberdeau
2) MacKenzie Weegar
3) Dustin Wolf
(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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