Beyond the boxscore – game P1: That game happened

Photo credit:Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports
Shane Stevenson
2 years ago
Welcome familiar readers, welcome new readers. New name, new home, same Flash content. There’s going to be even more when the regular season comes – that’s going to stay hidden so all of you can be surprised – but for now we’re going to publish the pre-season performances to get you used to the feel and flow of these reviews. Also gives you the opportunity to get any questions in if you don’t understand or are confused by what the statistics mean – make no mistake if you’re curious about something ask it in the comments, I’m always looking.
Now that the boring pre-blurb is out of the way lets talk about the game, or as it looked like the Oilers B squad practice against the automated stand-in players. There are two things we should understand before tangibly saying anything 1) It’s the first pre-season game of the year 2) It’s the first PRE-SEASON game of the year. So, I’m not going to be too hard on anyone, except maybe one professional who played pretty poorly – but we do that in “good” fun. (Ha.)
It’s a Team Game – (In this section we look at the overall team score (via Naturalstattrick.com) and how they performed in four major categories: CorsiFenwick% – a decent way to see who had the puck the majority of the time, SCF% – all scoring chances and whoever’s above 50% had the most, HDCF% – isolated high danger scoring chance rates, you really want to win this battle, and xGF% – a look at which team got the most QUALITY out of their shots.)
Sunday night, was bad. Brutal. All around terrible. I knew the advanced stats were going to be terrible before I even opened my laptop, it was hard to watch in person. Beautiful thing is though it’s one game, the first game, and we can move on quickly. CF% – 26.62%, SCF% – 25.07%, HDCF% – 16.47%, xGF% – 16.69%. They never put-up numbers across the board this bad ever once in the last two regular seasons. The Oilers dominated every aspect of this game, especially from about 10 minutes in until the end.
Corsi King – Nobody. Nobody finished over 50%. So nobody really comes out as a real winner. Pitlick in his 3:48 of ice time finished with 48.48%, but he got hurt and never came back. Next best was Brett Ritchie at 35.87%. Basically this just shows you the whole team really never had the puck on their stick very long at even strength.
Corsi Clown – Brad Richardson (13.50%), Trevor Lewis (15.30%), and Matthew Phillips (15.99%) brought up the rear of the night. They really got out-chanced bad on the ice. A lot of pucks directed towards the Flames net when they were out – around 85% of all shot attempts went towards the Flames netminder when those guys were on the ice. Again, first pre-season game but for some of these guys they might only get one (not the guys named, but some of the of the players in camp).
Taken By Chance – Brad Richardson wasn’t on for a single scoring chance for while having nine go against him, which sucks because his first two shifts his puck pursuit was tenacious. Nikita Zadorov (oh, I’m sure he’s going to love these columns) started off the night with a penalty (one that they’d never call in a playoff game, but anyways) and then struggled to transition the puck. Not a lot of “instant chemistry” between Zadorov (8.49% SCF) and Andersson (9.48%) – but they’ve got a couple more weeks to work out the kinks before the season starts. It’s why they play these, to be at fully prepped and ready for their best.
Positive: Juuso Välimäki (56.72%) was the only Flame that was on the ice for more scoring chances (5v5) for than against. High danger he still got beat, but he gets the scoring chance title for the Flames on this occasion.
xGF% – Unfortunately there was way more quality against than was created. When you get to the shot heatmap later you’ll really see why. Brett Ritchie (27.84%), Välimäki (27.45%) and Jakob Pelletier (26.44%) were the best three. Normally I would also tell you who was on the lower end of the spectrum here, especially if it was uncharacteristic for a player to score that low – but everyone is uncharacteristically low in this one.
Game Flow –
Game Score – HockeyStatCards.com takes Dom L’s (from the Athletic) Game Score statistic and gives a great numerical visual every single game. It gives the players average scores too so you can tell if they’re punching above their weight in that game or having an off night. For the pre-season opener, the Flames had two positive scores: Dan Vladar (0.46) and Adam Werner (0.53). Andy Welinski (-3.35) and Connor Mackey (-2.51) brought up the bottom of the list on this night.
Shot Heatmap –
So the more dense the colour on the side of the team, the more shots that were taken from that point on the ice. The Flames hardly shot anything at the net – at all. They were out-shot 49-15 – anyways we move along, nothing to see here.
In The Crease – The tale of two halves can be found here easily. Dan Vladar faced 0.53 expected goals on 10 shots in 20:28 of 5v5 ice time and Adam Werner faced 2.06 xGA on 21 shots in 24:07 of 5v5 ice time. Werner got way more blasted than Vladar as the Flames D struggled more and more as the Oilers forwards adapted to their breakouts. Werner and Vladar were actually bright spots as the score was not really reflective of the game that was played. No seriously it was lucky to only be 4-0. Vladar and Werner? Fantastic effort gentleman.
Today’s Specials – Usually I talk about special teams here, the Flames entire first PP unit wasn’t playing so I don’t have too many comments about the power play – they were able to gain entry to the zone without Johnny though, that was good. Erik Gudbranson played 6:06 on the penalty kill – he did a less than stellar job. The first step going forward, watch the retaliatory penalties in the first place – then you don’t have to kill.
Player Spotlight – Erik Gudbranson – The man just did not have it last night. He’s only been a Flame a short while so he’s not as familiar with some of the guys as those who signed earlier in the summer, but it was still rough today. When you sign for any tangible amount of money you get a microscope pinned to you and the C of Red is really watching what Gudbranson can do – it wasn’t his best, we’ll give him another try next time he suits up in the pre-season.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) The Edmonton Oilers
2) Adam Werner
3) Dan Vladar
(Normally it’s three Flames, just so you all know)
The Flames next pre-season action comes tonight in Abbotsford against Vancouver – it goes on the Flames site at 8 p.m. MT and we’ll have post-game analysis right here on FlamesNation.
I remember I did say I was going to take it easy and then I kind of didn’t – these reviews are not forgiving if the whole team plays bad, that’s just the reality of it, I’ll honestly say that a game like this won’t happen again this season, it was a one off, we’ll throw it in the trash and move on.
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)

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