Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Beyond the Boxscore: Immaculate highs and valley lows in Calgary Flames loss to St. Louis
1 month ago
An electric tilt at the Saddledome against the St. Louis Blues ended in heartbreak fashion as the Calgary Flames lose their third straight. For much of the night the game appeared to be in the Flames control – dominating the second period to a level very rarely seen this season. Alas, it did not hold, and the Flames let their lead wilt away before a soul crushing final minute tally sent everyone home with a bitter taste. This match featured massive highs and incredible lows with an entertainment value that was through the roof.
CF% – 55.79%, SCF% – 58.08%, HDCF% – 57.88%, xGF% – 54.05%
It’s a Team Game – The opening period started off slightly slow but after the first Flames goal they got to work to try and extend the lead. St. Louis found paydirt after a slight push in the second before Calgary stormed back to grab momentum. After the shorthanded goal it seemed like the magic that created all that offence in the first place disappeared and instead, we got a big increase in defending. One bad goal later and the Flames find themselves on the wrong side of the result again. This homestand has turned bad fast – the next two games are crucial for a bounce back before the break.
Corsi King – Rasmus Andersson (69.46%) and MacKenzie Weegar (68.72%) were exceptional at keeping plays alive in the attacking zone. One of the best performances from that duo that we’ve seen all season. Most of the boys were going hard, rolling for chance after chance. You could see how much energy the entire team had. Nobody can say they didn’t work their tail off, they almost always put the work in. That will always endear this team to the city of Calgary no matter which direction they go with roster construction.
Corsi Clown – A.J. Greer (29.10%) is only that low because of the limited amount of ice time vs. chances seen or taken. The less you play the more volatile the percentages can be – in an either good or bad way. For players like that single game samples are next to useless and the aggregate needs looked at for primary assistance in evaluation. Watching should still always be priority number one. Chris Tanev (37.52%) and Noah Hanifin (42.61%) got peppered with the most chances against, which when you get all the top defensive assignments it isn’t unusual for them to be on the south side of 50% – that they usually finish well above that benchmark is a testament to how good they really play together.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – I’ve got no complaints about Andersson (57.42 SCF% // 48.82 HDCF%) or Weegar (57.42% // 48.82 HDCF%) when they go shot for shot with the competition on high danger chances. Weegar has become really good at getting the puck off the cycle and attacking the centre lane for great shots. He’s scored more than a handful of his 11 goals this season in that exact manner. I really don’t mind the entire team result here – every player was able to keep things even in their 5v5 minutes. The concern was the drop-off in the third, the first 40 minutes were really great.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – The Flames had a renovated fourth line with both Adam Klapka (78.22%) and Cole Schwindt (77.81%). They had a pretty marginal impact but also weren’t a negative factor. Staying unnoticeable in the roles they’ve been given is not a bad thing. The more comfortable they get the more chances they’ll be able to generate, then we can really get a sense of what they may be able to accomplish. Matt Coronato (49.94%) looked to be buzzing up in the top 9 forwards. He was all around the net tonight and was robbed of a couple goals from Jordan Binnington. It was a noticeable improvement from the stint at the start of the year which is a tremendous sign. Part of that comes from Yegor Sharangovich (62.93%) bustlin’ and hustlin’ every time he steps on the ice. He isn’t afraid to make a move to get the puck into a dangerous area and the other side better be wary of that insane shot of his. He’s on a heater and I hope it never ends.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – I’m not going to roast Markstrom over the coals for one bad goal when the overall body of work has been at the level of Vezina conversation (it’ll be Hellebuyck or Demko). It wasn’t his fault Kyrou came off the boards unchallenged, or his fault Schenn got sprung on a breakaway. He did more than his fair share of making it so it was even tied when that last goal went in. It was a back breaker of a goal to surrender though, especially after the 3-1 lead.
Player Spotlight – Jonathan Huberdeau – He didn’t earn an assist on the Weegar goal but it is never possible in the first place without the relentless puck pursuit of Huberdeau. He kept battling for the puck all the way from behind the net and into the neutral zone, forced a turnover before getting the puck to Kadri who had fresh legs. Kadri gets it to Andersson, who gets it to Weegar who walks in to shoot a screened goalie. It was Huberdeau with his butt parked in front of the net too. He flashed his superstar ability that shift – it’s been coming out more and more ever since the year hit 2024.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Yegor Sharangovich
2) MacKenzie Weegar
3) Jonathan Huberdeau
(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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