Beyond the Boxscore: Jacob Markstrom guides Flames through rough third period to emerge victorious

Photo credit:Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
5 months ago
For two periods the Calgary Flames were playing a nice game, controlling the flow and keeping things relatively close. Then the third period started and the Wild found a new gear, peppering the Flames with shot after shot. Aided by the two power plays Calgary was pinned back needing on man to step up and perform above expectations like he has all season. Jacob Markstrom earned his team a hard fought 2 points to get them back to .500 on the season, surviving an onslaught to do it.
CF% – 56.03%, SCF% – 58.22%, HDCF% – 39.82%, xGF% – 52.09%
It’s a Team Game – The expected goals finishing above 50% is a testament to the strong first 40 the team put together. Scoring chances allowed were consistent in each period too, it’s just the third saw the Wild gather over 5 of them at a high danger quality. Calgary recovered to play a strong last 8 minutes in the third after the Wild power play boosts to the 5v5 play stopped happening. When you see the Game Flow map you will see just how much of a dangerous stretch that was for Markstrom and the Flames.
Corsi King – The Flames fourth line were above their matchups significantly in this one with Adam Ružička (85.22%) finishing in top spot. In the crunch time AJ Greer (75.56%) found himself about 2 extra minutes of ice time coming directly from Martin Pospisil (52.40%). The one thing I don’t mind about Huska is he is never scared to make a lineup change in the moment to try and win every two points. The more experience he has being the head coach the more he can learn to tinker in ways to help gain advantages. Not just players need to grow, coaches do too.
Corsi Clown – It is very rare of me to say Chris Tanev (43.09%) finished at the bottom here but when you’re killing penalties and they end all those shot attempts start counting against you. So by that logic it’s also no surprise to see Mangiapane (43.17%) and Coleman (45.07%) down there as well. Through 2 periods nobody was really getting cooked but that rough start to the third had some reverberations through the numbers. It’s the NHL, the other team has some skilled guys too.
Under Pressure –
(Minnesota POURED it on there, and somehow did not score)
Taken By Chance – The Flames are trying out new defence pairs in recent games and one that is polarizing is Oesterle (64.57 SCF% // 50.80 HDCF%) and Weegar (56.20% // 46.76%), but I do not think Oesterle has the defensive chops necessary to be playing regular minutes with Weegar. He’s clearly offensively driven but doesn’t usually provide enough to stay in the lineup constantly. They are getting mentioned here because they led the team seeing over 5 high danger chances for the Flames while deployed, but also seeing over 6 against them – all at 5v5 (SVA). Huberdeau (54.64% // 31.38%) and Lindholm (52.41% // 31.54%) will get some praise for helping get the go-ahead goal, but they really struggled outside of that nice first stretch.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – This game has blessed us with a perfect way to praise just how effective Chris Tanev (62.28%) is. Despite being last in terms of ratios for overall shot attempts his defence pairing had the highest percentage of the quality share. So, he saw a bunch of shots that were not dangerous and when deployed was a major factor in making his goaltenders night easier. If there was a defensive defenceman of the year award he’d almost, have it named after him by now. Just an extremely knowledgeable and valuable player to his team.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – From being able to take regular naps to having to be spinning like a top on his head Markstrom never let himself get cold. The only goal that beat him he got a piece of it only for it to bounce directly onto the shooters stick. One more little hop or catch a small edge in the ice that puck bounces and Markstrom gets the ol’ shutout. Instead, he’ll take the more important W as he tries to crawl his team back to relevance. As long as he’s playing like the true starter, he’s capable of being the Flames will never come close to the bottom of the standings.
Player Spotlight – Mangiapane/Backlund/Coleman – The line that always works together. The line that can keep Andrew Mangiapane scoring 20+ goals a season because the chemistry they have is at the very top of the league. Every coach tries to split them up only to get them back together and see them thrive. Yes, Huberdeau may negatively affect the trade value of Elias Lindholm, but if we’re being brutally honest here Lindholm isn’t doing himself any favours. With Mangiapane where he belongs the Flames can roll 2/3rds of an effective top 9 and just hope the other line doesn’t screw it up most nights.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Jacob Markstrom
2) Noah Hanifin
3) Blake Coleman
(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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