Beyond the Boxscore: Jacob Markstrom proves to be the real fortress as the Flames down the Golden Knights.

Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
6 months ago
The Calgary Flames edged out the Vegas Golden Knights in a defence first clash on Saturday night. After some early power plays Calgary was able to snag 5v5 momentum and keep it into the early portion of the second. By the time Vegas scored in the third they had crawled back into the lead of the quality share, but Jacob Markstrom proved to be too much of a test for the competition. Calgary gets yet another win to move to 9-4-2 In their last 15 games, 20-18-5 overall.
CF% – 49.18%, SCF% – 41.22%, HDCF% – 48.63%, xGF% – 45.08%
It’s a Team Game – One common theme amongst this recent stretch of success is the Flames getting off to hot starts in their wins. They come out of the gate firing and forcing turnovers which allows them to find ways to score first. The polar opposite of everything that went down during their long win streak earlier in the year. Calgary gets in front and then dictates the game flow to a very high degree. The other team may gain on them in quality, but find it very hard to pull ahead on the actual scoreboard.
Corsi King – Mikael Backlund (57.50%) has also been highly rejuvenated of late. It’s almost like moving into second all-time in Franchise history on the games played list re-awoken second half Backlund which typically leads to more Flames wins. Mangiapane (52.24%) being moved their right as this spike happened is not a coincidence.  Jordan Oesterle (56.33) led all Flames on the back-end with DeSimone (51.04%) right there with them. They kept things simple and played strong defence.
Corsi Clown – Out chanced over 2:1 on the game Ružička (27.37%) did not have himself a very flattering time. Dubé (33.47) and Greer (36.31%) also shared in the collective struggles. The defence all took a step up for Calgary as their lowest rated defenceman on the night turned out to be MacKenzie Weegar (43.63%). There were more people that finished in the 48-53% range than what is usually there.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – The most dangerous chances belong to a trio of men: Andrew Mangiapane (38.96 SCF% // 56.99 HDCF%), Blake Coleman (42.66% // 66.73%), and Mikael Backlund (44.79% // 55.73%). You can count on these guys night in and night out to provide some form of spark. They never fall to much into a lull and are producing nightly now. It is also worth noting that – at 5v5 – The Lindholm (46.52% // 0%) line collectively failed to generate a high danger look.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – I know he only finished with a smaller percentage than I prefer, but I still felt Huberdeau (44.34%) made some nice passes. He’s really come on of late and visibly is playing a better style of game than before. Mikael Backlund (63.24%) enjoyed feasting on his competition as well. He’s been nothing if not extremely consistent this year. Blake Coleman (61.16%) is having a career resurgence under Ryan Huska and beside Backlund – he really has made a massive difference for the team this season.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – How many nights in a row can you give an amazing performance? Markstrom looks like he’s never going to falter again, and the Flames keep winning. Jacob faced 2.25 expected goals against with just 1 goal getting by him. The number of serious chances were quite low, but Markstrom was there when he needed to be. Another goaltending duel win for a guy playing like a top 10 netminder in the world. 
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Jacob Markstrom
2) Mikael Backlund
3) Blake the “Texas Tiger” 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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