Beyond The Boxscore: Flames bring the heat against Kraken for 4-1 victory

Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 year ago
Welcome back one and all to Beyond the Boxscore: Season 2 –  a place to find out which Flames players had statistically great nights combined with some insight into what was working or not by myself (Shane Stevenson – @Flash_33 on Twitter). We’ll have charts, video breakdowns, colour commentary, and plenty of in-depth analysis.
Their most complete game as a squad so far, Calgary was able to put the pressure on the Kraken early. It felt like the ice was tilted one way for the first 1o minutes of the contest. The guys on PTOs all stood out for their own reasons – some good and some bad. It is getting very late into the preseason to still be making some of the mistakes I see getting made, the time to stand up and stand out is now.
CF% – 67.13%, SCF% – 66.9%, HDCF% – 55.7%, xGF% – 57.27%
It’s a Team Game – The only period Seattle was to gain an advantage was the second period. Good on the Flames for coming back in the third and giving it their all – very easily could have been a comeback if not for being in the right headspace. It wasn’t the top line guys that ended up getting stuck in their own zone – Matt Beniers had a really good game himself and he tried his best to feast on the Flames fourth line. Sidebar – SEA is going to have Beniers and Wright as a 1-2 punch for what appears to be the next decade – tidy bit of work there.
Corsi King – Blake Coleman (88.01 CF%) getting regular shifts with his old pal Mikael Backlund (86.45%) paced the way for Calgary. The lucky linemate to play with two of the most consistent Flames was Kevin Rooney (82.39%). As a line the constantly pushed play into the attacking zone – they maintained possession and pressure, eventually getting a goal for their efforts. Chris Tanev (80.69%) finished the best amongst the defence, got a lucky bounce for his first goal but that’s a lesson in second and third efforts Sutter keeps talking about – no question Tanev is well versed in the art of never giving up.
Corsi Clown – Almost got away with no player finishing below 50% on chances taken, but Brett Ritchie (57.40 CF%) didn’t let that happen. Micheal Stone (50.66%) and Connor Mackey (50.91%) were just ahead of him. Michael Stone has been leaving some noticeable gaps in his defensive zone coverage of late. It doesn’t happen every shift but when it does it’s pretty bad. This match saw Stone lose Burakovsky behind him but Markstrom had the answer. There’s quite the fight going on for the last two defence spots – Stone has the goals for yes, but for a defenceman the defence part is definitively more important.
Under Pressure –
Note: remember when reading this – the higher the spike the more shots were taken per 60 minutes in that span. A large spike = a flurry of shot attempts.
Taken By Chance – Two players failed to register a high danger chance while also giving some up. Trevor Lewis (45.83 SCF% // 0 HDCF%) and Milan Lucic (56.61% // 0%) got stuck in their own zone with no way out more than any other forwards. The Backlund (76.14% // 78.13%) line created over 6 high danger chances themselves. A new look defence pairing excelled in dangerous chance ratios – Nikita Zadorov (88.87% // 100%) and MacKenzie Weegar (74.66% // 71.58%) both were able to see more high danger chances for themselves than they saw against them. The pairings aren’t set just yet, but Zadorov is having a major camp and is poised to really make it difficult for opponents to find space in Calgary’s own zone this upcoming season.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – The culprits that were below 50% should come as no surprise by this point of the article. If you were buried in high danger chances odds are you are also going to have a very bad xG ratio – something I call a quality of chance ratio. The more quality of chances you get the more xG you rack up, simple as that. You can see above the breakdown from Hockeyviz.com for more info on total of individual expected goals created. xG% will take into account what happened against you though, not just what you created yourself. Trevor Lewis, Connor Mackey, Michael Stone, Milan Lucic, Cody Eakin, and Brett Ritchie were all under 50%.
Someone who was good across the board tonight, despite some saying he looked lost, was Sonny Milano (56.69 xGF%). Was it anything spectacular that jumped off the page – no. He was always in the right spot and with a bit of puck luck could have created a few more chances as well. Everyone always wants the new guy to come in and get scoring results – I just want to see consistent play in zone exits and maintaining Ozone possession. It was a solid outing from him in those terms – which matters because new waiver claim Radim Zohorna has just added to the roster spot competition.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
A lot of the times i like to send these tweets in the articles so everyone that’s reading knows exactly where to find this information. If you follow that account it provides these two sheets after every single game played.
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – I certainly don’t need to say anything bad about Jacob Markstrom. He looked as sharp as one could on many plays and kept the score low in the second when the Kraken were pushing their strongest. A couple goals go in and you never know how the team is going to respond – with Markstrom you never have to worry about that. One of the league’s best at the position it’s always a treat to see him operating at full strength. 1.67 expected goals against at 5v5 with none getting by him – tidy bit of work Mr. Markstrom.
Today’s Specials – Meh – still not a complete look at any of the final units. Kevin Rooney made a case to be a regular PK guy and Nazem Kadri continued to look dangerous with the man advantage – outside of that not much to say really.
Player Spotlight – Cody Eakin – His play has been mediocre at best so far, nothing unlike any of the other fourth line candidates if I’m being honest. One thing that has stood out is Eakin’s tendency to pass the puck directly into the ethereal plain where there is nothing but enemy players ready to go on breakaways. Seriously it’s the third game he’s been aggressively trying to exit his own zone and his pass is nowhere near the target, the puck gets turned over and the opposition gets a prime scoring chance. If it was just one incident in one game I’d just let it go – seeing it 3 games in a row from him means it’s time to bring it up. Does Eakin earn a contract with the team? At this point with Zohorna coming and the cap space they have I would say no, but it wouldn’t shock me if they did.
The Goals –
Note: If you want to see every single Flames goal all season long on your timeline – follow these two guys above this too. Taranjot and Robert do fantastic work and are usually the first to post any such video’s on the interweb.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Kevin Rooney
2) Mikael Backlund
3) Chris Tanev
The Flames’ next pre-season game is Wednesday against the Winnipeg Jets, puck drop just after 6 p.m. MT.
(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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