Beyond The Boxscore: Flames lose pre-season tilt to the Oilers

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-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.
Another pretty standard performance for the Flames up front. Calgary ended up sending a few of their veteran players to Edmonton – but left all 3 of their top centermen at home. The result was what you’d expect it be going up against the Oilers top players. Another opportunity was presented for bubble players to stake their claim for the roster. Lets see if any stood out:
CF% -39.66% , SCF% -36.75% , HDCF% – 25.58%, xGF% – 36.33%
It’s a Team Game – The Flames really ended this one strong. Yeah, the Oilers found that distance goal, but after the second intermission the Calgary players took control of the play. McDavid still made chances appear out of thin air, but they just came less often in the final frame. The score itself should have been a lot worse – we’ll get to Vladar and his great play later.
Corsi King – Connor Zary (52.5 CF%) has been the Wrangler/Heat player to stand out most so far at this year’s training camp. He really listens to the message of always giving it second and third efforts, and always hustles to wherever he needs to be on the ice – no coasting. Dillon Dubé (51.78%) also managed to finish on the positive side of chances. He’s been trusted to be a leader in these earlier pre-season games with a more inexperienced roster and it’s looking really good for him. He’s been heavily engaged every single period he’s been iced for so far.
Corsi Clown – Jonathan Huberdeau (23.36 CF%) went up against the top Oilers without Kadri, Lindholm, or Backlund dressed. He was given Adam Ružička (24.25%) and it just didn’t work out. It’s only one game but barring a plethora of future injuries Ružička won’t be put in a spot like that in the regular season. Juuso Valimaki (28.06%) paced the defence in overall attempts against.
Under Pressure –
The Oilers really brought the pace of shots up to start the 1st and 2nd period. The long lull from Calgary in the second period was the ideal time to refresh your beverages and snacks.
Taken By Chance – Only one forward line finished with more high danger chances then they got against them. Kevin Rooney (51.98 SCF% // 77.02 HDCF%), Cody Eakin (47.96% // 77.02%), and Dillon Dubé (54.87% // 77.02%) were those guys. Eakin had some questionable passing decisions but so far throughout all his games he’s had good metrics. It’s going to be interesting to see – as we get into the second phase of training camp – the partners and line combos that get put together.
xG Breakdown –
Connor Zary we see you, Dillon Dubé we see you – great game from a couple of young western Canadians.
xGF% – Clark Bishop (7.08 xGF%), Walker Duehr (9.62%), and Mitch McClain (12.70%) all work hard, but the game was a bit too much for them tonight. I agree with Darryl Sutter in his assessment that these guys certainly work harder than some of the kids, but despite that I would expect these guys to all be sent to the Wranglers. Despite a lack of possessive centre help outside of Zary both Noah Hanifin (43.08%) and Rasmus Andersson (44.07%) had decent outings.
Game Flow –
In a similar pattern to Micah’s shot pressure chart, whenever you see a high wave their the line will shift towards that teams section. More shot pressure = more expected goals accumulating. The more expected goals you create the more you’ll get actual goals.
Game Score – Only one Flame with a breakout performance –  Dan Vladar (2.53 game score). Dillon Dubé (1.79) and Kevin Rooney (1.40) followed up behind – strong possessive metrics, chance metrics, and the actual counting stats (goals or assists) for the both of them. With how the lineups were constructed anyone finishing with impactful positive scores is a welcome bonus. I look forward to the game soon when we get the full NHL lineup out there together.
Shot Heatmap –
Let’s get Tanev and Weegar in their to defend the front of the net. Zadorov too – Darryl highlighted he’s had a strong camp and is pushing to be trusted with more ice time and responsibility.
In The Crease – First and foremost I do not put any of the shorthanded goal on Vladar. It was some questionable defending at best and the guy that got the backdoor pass is one of the best goal scorers in the game today. The second goal however – those are the low danger goals you try to avoid. Vladar had a 5v5 sv% of 0.960 on 2.70 expected goals against. The only goal getting by him at 5v5 was the long-range game winner.
Today’s Specials – No Kadri or Lindholm translates to not much concern for what happened. No Mangiapane yet for the second line to get reps. Penalty Killing without most of the main guys is also not great for evaluation. The Flames already have their specialists – this was a good game to really dial in on everyone’s 5v5 play against NHL level competition.
Player Spotlight – Connor Mackey – He’s been good to start the pre-season, nothing over the top, just steady in what he’s brought to the table. There’s 2 spots open on the back end for the opening night roster – the number six and seven defenceman. He’s up against a long term veteran whose been noticeably positive, a right handed defensive minded player, and a former high draft pick trying to finally break through. Mackey’s best attribute so far in camp is that he’s been consistent – shift over shift. Nothing that screams top 4 defenceman yet, but enough to show he can be a reliable option on an NHL third pair.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Dan Vladar
2) Dillon Dubé
3) Connor Zary
The Flames next pre-season match is in Calgary on Monday night against the Seattle Kraken.
(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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