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Beyond the Boxscore: Flames flattened by Los Angeles in a ‘burn the tape’ game

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Photo credit:Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
11 months ago
The Calgary Flames went down to Los Angeles in physical form but nothing that resembled the normal Flames style of play was witnessed at any point and time. They were caught back on their heels right off the hop and could never recover against a Kings team that asserted it’s dominance. Whether the team has truly given up, the coach needs to change, or whatever excuse anybody wants to create or double down on – this game was played at a level unacceptable to the levels the Flames fanbase expects. Especially considering the amount of talk of playoffs from that room and the stakes of the match itself.
CF% – 39.37%, SCF% – 38.31%, HDCF% – 30.66%, xGF% – 34.92%
It’s a Team Game – You certainly do not need the numbers to let me tell you the Flames played like dog (expletive) but have no fear – they back up that hypothesis quite well. This is absolutely a contender for worst game of the year and it’s certainly competing for a top three spot with other losses to Chicago and Columbus in mind. Analyzing this from any perspective isn’t going to do much good, and I certainly do not have an appetite to write some inherently positive things either. So the following will be an iteration of me telling you just how badly the advanced numbers were.
Corsi King – Kadri (57.41%) is the only one passable… well Pelletier (50.62%) too. From doghouse to penthouse in just one blowout, right? Wrong, he still played less than 13 minutes in all situations. His results still aren’t fairing much better anywhere else, but he was tops here.
Corsi Clown – The score effects do change quite a bit of the ratios in this game – if you are curious please visit NaturalStatTrick.com for more. Lindholm (25.98%) was bottom rung with Mangiapane (30.57%) and Andersson (30.58%) right above him. Four of the Flames top four defencemen all finished under 40%. Everyone was quite bad, and the Kings were quite good. Remember, just because the all-situations shot attempts are semi-okay the quality is where you can find it gets much worse.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Congratulations to the only line that did something kind of positive all night long. Backlund (40.59 SCF% // 59.18%) with his linemates and Tanev (39.84% // 74.36%) with Hanifin (44.14% // 74.26%) for being the only Flames to get more dangerous chances than you gave up. Backlund and company still gave up 2 looks anyways. Zadorov (33.72% // 13.52%) and Stecher (40.27% // 13.48%) gave up the most raw high danger chances on the team. As a pair they have not worked at all constantly giving up way to much in their own zone.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Real goals will dominate first because two players on Calgary did not get scored against at 5v5: Troy Stecher (18.60%) and Tyler Toffoli (15.61%). The ratios of raw xGA for both players is abnormally high for any single game. The real kicker is the guys that got scored on 4 times at 5v5 had the best numbers in terms of chance creation for vs. against. That’s not to say the played well – Nobody gets that level of praise in this review – but at least there was a few positive signs somewhere. Those guys were Hanifin (60.60%) and Tanev (55.26%).
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – It was atrocious from every party involved. Vladar let in bad goals, Markstrom let in bad goals, I just hope it isn’t contagious and the best goaltender not playing in the NHL – Dustin Wolf – doesn’t catch it. It would be a shame for the best goaltender not in the NHL – Dustin Wolf – to play some subpar hockey. For the best goaltender not playing in the NHL – Dustin Wolf – that level of subpar would bottom out with a 0.918 SV%.
Look all that repeating commentary is not to add pressure to the kid – he could come up and get smoked yes. I think this guy also has the mental fortitude to handle a bad game  if his first one ends up being that. Based on his track record though bad games are not something you should ever expect out of him.
If the Flames are dead serious about playoffs this year in any fashion Dustin Wolf starts the next game. Period.
Player Spotlight – Jakob Pelletier – I want to discuss his turnover tonight because I was completely okay with it. If you are still trying to play structured play it safe hockey when the score is that lopsided then I would think you truly do not care about the outcome. At least Pelletier was trying to get the puck into the middle of the ice which couldn’t be said for every Flames skater in this match. Also, if you are going to learn a tough lesson in puck management as a rookie, I would prefer it take place in an 8-2 blowout then a close game they could win. Personally, I don’t think he needs sat to learn a lesson again, I think you need to let him go out there and work away as many possible mistakes as he can before next season.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Lanny McDonald
2) Ryan Leslie
3) Eric Francis
(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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