Beyond the boxscore – G10: Battle back point II – Zadorov’s revenge

Photo credit:Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports
Shane Stevenson
2 years ago
For the first time this season the Flames got outplayed in a first period. It had me on the edge of my seat waiting with anticipation to see how they would respond. At the end of it they escape with one point in a game that – if I’m being honest – was quite evenly played. The goals that beat the goaltenders in regulation were either deflections or ones they’d really want back. Miro Heiskanen showed Calgary just why he was worth 8.45M as he was magic in the offensive zone. Thankfully the offensive dynamo that is *checks notes* Nikita Zadorov was here to keep the point streak alive at nine games. 6-0-3 in their last nine – I’ll take that anytime of the day.
CF% – 53.32%, SCF% – 51.57%, HDCF% – 60.1%, xGF% – 52.66%
It’s a Team Game – As mentioned above the Flames came out not like they usually do… but I’m not of the belief that was them slacking off. Dallas came to play in this one employing an eerily similar defensive structure to the one Calgary employs. They have big bodies down the middle and on defence with some real speedy wingers to compliment them. Dallas effectively turned the neutral zone into a sloppy turnover mess for more than half the game. Calgary never quit (positive sign) and kept fighting back with some aggressive shifts in the offensive zone, but it was the weird goal from out far that Zadorov was able to score to tie the game and send it to OT.
Corsi King – Offensive dynamo Nikita Zadorov (74.86 CF%) led the team in this one with partner Erik Gudbranson (68.68%) in tow. They were very impressive in the offensive zone tonight keeping play alive down low with timely pinches and well timed/placed shots. Good news for them they spent much of the time in the attacking zone because that’s not the zone where their troubles bubble to the surface. Andrew Mangiapane (59.73%) once again finished ninth amongst forwards in 5v5 TOI.
Corsi Clown – Trevor Lewis (20.81 CF%) and Brad Richardson (20.81%) did NOT play no event hockey. They created nothing out there tonight and even allowed high danger chances against. Sean Monahan would be down there with them too if not for what I call the PP boost (being out at 5v5 when the power play ends). That line had no chemistry together at 5v5 and got buried in their own end.
Taken By Chance – Top line may not have scored at 5v5 tonight but once again when they hit the ice, they were the better players. Elias Lindholm (88.08 SCF% // 100 HDCF%), Matthew Tkachuk (78.70% // 100%), and Johnny Gaudreau (74.26% // 100%) were the three players that never saw a high danger chance go against them while creating 3+ themselves. The top D-pair was current success story Oliver Kylington (74.13% // 83.66%) and Chris Tanev (74.13% // 83.66%). Kylington specifically has looked not just like an NHL player, but a seasoned top 4 veteran. It’s the breakout story of the season so far and if there were a most improved award in the NHL like in the NBA Kylington would be an easy front-runner.
xGF% – Two players finished below 10%. Under 45% is what I consider an off-night, under 30% I consider really bad, under 10% I just want to know what exactly you were trying to do out there? Trevor Lewis (6.90 xGF%) and Brad Richardson (4.68%) weren’t very successful. Sure, sure I can hear the “Richardson’s first game” narrative, but folks this was bad bad. Need to rebound quickly or it’s Walker Duehr season. One D-pair did struggle mightily in their match-ups. Noah Hanifin (26.17%) and Rasmus Andersson (26.32%) had an off night when the usual pairing that’s slightly off was unexpectedly at their best. Talk about good timing.
Game Flow –
Power plays help the pushback effort more than you think. I know there’s lots of talk about the refs being bad, but in both of the last two games Calgary has got more than their fair share of power play opportunities. The fact that they sometimes lose momentum while they’re on the power play confuses me (no not after it expires – while they still have one).
Game Score – The best player in the whole game was Miro Heiskanen (3.95 in game // 1.00 season average). Yeah, this is a Flames recap, but it’s worth mentioning because he torched the Flames with amazing patience, poise, and offensive instincts. Elias Lindholm (2.36 // 1.61) picked up an apple and Nikita Zadorov (2.27 // 0.23) vastly outperformed his average with a goal and a primary assist. At the end of the day nine Flames skaters had negative scores making this easily a bottom three performance from the team so far.
Shot Heatmap –
Calgary got in Khudobin’s crease quite heavily, mind you Dallas did the same to Markström albeit not quite to the same extent as the Flames. Calgary has done an exceptional job at getting shots from in tight – just need them to figure out how to constantly move the puck on the power play and they’d become the toughest team to outright beat in the league – well, the Pacific at least.
In The Crease – 1.33 expected goals against, 0.900 SV%, one high danger chance and one low danger chance against at 5v5. The first power play goal was an elite as a pass as you’ll ever see someone make, the second one Markström will want back, and the third goal there was nobody covering Seguin. It’s that Comeau one that stings – you stop that one you go into the third up 2-1 and maybe the outcomes a different story. Markström has also allowed the last 3 shots he’s faced in overtime to beat him. One thing that really rings true – when Markström lets in a bad one in a game he comes out flying afterwards. Good luck trying to score on Saturday Rangers.
Today’s Specials – What did Matthew Tkachuk say to the ref? Why does Matthew Tkachuk keep getting weird penalties while sitting on the bench? Why are they still trying the terrible bump back to Gaudreau and sending him into a wall of players at the opposing blueline? Why is Andrew Mangiapane not playing on PP1 over Sean Monahan? Why am I still asking all these questions? Okay, segment done.
Player Spotlight – Tyler Pitlick – He didn’t have the strongest game in this one, but he’s also tasked to take on the toughest match-ups with Coleman and Backlund every single night. He’s been a nice little plug and play player for the Flames. He’s never going to be the most offensive player and that’s fine. If he keeps up his defensive game and physical presence on a heavy forecheck I wouldn’t mind extending the man a few more years. (There’s other extensions to worry about first though)
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –  
1) Nikita Zadorov
2) Elias Lindholm
3) Oliver Kylington
HM: Matthew Tkachuk – still a Calgary Flame, and still beloved by this fan base.
The Flames continue their homestand against Adam Fox and the New York Rangers on Saturday at 8 p.m. MT on Hockey Night in Canada. All covered here at FlamesNation!
(Shoutout to fellow FN writer Pat Steinberg for the mention on the post-game show – you’re the man Pat!)
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)

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