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Beyond the Boxscore: Jakob Pelletier the lone positive as the Calgary Flames lose emotionless contest to the Wild

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
8 months ago
From a couple of high-flying games that saw every player going full tilt against a pair of top 5 NHL teams to a prime-time Saturday night match-up against the Minnesota Wild where everyone in the stands fell asleep about the second period – the Calgary Flames are all over the map. On Saturday, goaltending was not an issue, instead the scoring woes reared their head. Not surprising as the Wild are a tremendous defensive squad on a bit of a run (8-1-2 last 11 after this game). The game was very low event for the home side who seemingly had everybody take the night off. A performance like that in the middle of what is supposed to be a playoff push is completely unacceptable – for the fans, the coaches, and I would certainly think the players themselves.
CF% – 42.15%, SCF% – 28.9%, HDCF% – 29.88%, xGF% – 34.1%
It’s a Team Game – Easily the worst performance for the Flames across the board. They usually lose with 55-60% of the scoring chances what chance did they have getting only 30%? The second period was actually the one where Calgary got their biggest push in terms of how close they kept the gap between them and the stars – they handily lost all three periods if isolating them as individual events. They collected their most high danger chances in the third frame (all at 5v5) and countered by letting the Wild get 7 to their 4. I would love to write that despite the loss the team looked engaged, but if I said that it would be a blatant lie.
Corsi King – I am going to compliment two players in this review – everyone else gets a failing grade. Markstrom will get his praise in goaler section, the rest will all start with praise for Jakob Pelletier (62.27%) who completely missed the team memo that it was a night to play terribly and instead actually found success all over the ice. His linemates Kadri (44.37%) and Huberdeau (41.05%) were not his linemates to end the night – instead he got moved to playing in Mangiapane’s (41.50%)  spot with Backlund (51.27%) and Coleman (50%).
Corsi Clown – The entire roster outside of Pelletier. All three D pairs, and every single forward line. Nothing worked for the Flames as a group. Weegar (48.62%) led the defensive core here, but it does not calculate the danger of the attempts. When I expand on that you’re going to see just how one-sided tonight was for the Wild. May well be the easiest shutout of Gustavsson’s young career.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – I don’t know how you only end up on the ice for less than 10% of all the scoring chances for in a game, but Lewis (7.80 SCF% // 27.84 HDCF%), Lindholm (9.30% // 0%), and Dubé (9.30% // 0%) achieved that feat. Dubé and his line failed to generate a single dangerous chance at 5v5 – heck they only generated one chance for themselves all game. Period. Toffoli (21.26% // 0%) found a way to be on the ice for one chance his teammates weren’t, but don’t worry it wasn’t dangerous either. Everyone saw between 2 high danger chances against (fourth line) all the way up past 9 (Mangiapane). Pelletier (48.30% // 80.51%) not only was out there for just one high danger chance against, but he was also involved in over 4 of his own being the only player to achieve a positive result.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – How do I spin this paragraph to be any different than the ones above. It’s the same story across the board when you get dominated. Pelletier (62.27%) gave me at least one nice thing to talk about regularly so bless him. One of the next best players here is the guy who gets a clear pass as it was the first time he’s ever played with this group – Troy Stecher (43.35%). Early chemistry issues definitely contributed to the numbers here, but if I have to say a nice thing about a defenceman today, I’ll say it about the new guy.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – The garbage time at the end of the game (the third goal) I’m not sure there was any emotion left inside the soul of a skater not named Pelletier so I’m not even considering it. Markstrom did a bunch to keep this game close only to have the puck bounce off the top of the net and then directly out front of the net. Not that it mattered because the team never got the run support to overcome the first goal. Right when the goaltending goes back to where it needs to be the offence vanishes – if there’s ever a year for this to all play out as bad as it has I’m sure glad it’s the one with this draft class.
Player Spotlight – Troy Stecher – That is not the Calgary Flames Stecher was probably expecting. I’d imagine him and Ritchie would be excited to go from playing in a hot dog stand to a real arena – even if it is the oldest in the league and has decorative concrete crumbling away. Hard to make an impression when everyone else shows up to your debut with that level of performance. I will say the Backlund line being handled as handily as they were a shock for me, but there was nothing Stecher could have really done in his role to change the flow of this one. It was a good first skate and hopefully the guys play a little harder for you in Dallas.
The Goals – I won’t torture you by posting the three Wild goals… this time.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Jakob Pelletier
2) Jacob Markstrom
3) Is your name Jacob/Jakob? How about I pick you.
(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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