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Beyond the Boxscore: Johnny Gaudreau comes up clutch as the Calgary Flames advance to Round 2

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Photo credit:Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
6 months ago
Game 7 – overtime. When I was a young lad, I spent more nights on the street till it was pitch dark than I should have. All I had to see with was the streetlights that came on. Why was I out there? Well, it was Game 7 of the Stanley cup playoffs and little Shane had to make sure his team won. I always ended up passing the puck to Jarome Iginla, because he was the guy who scored the big goals.
It makes me happy knowing there’s going to be a kid out there who’s always going to pass the puck to Johnny Gaudreau now after one of the most exciting goals in Calgary Flames history. One of the most exciting players in franchise history.
CF% – 64.82%, SCF% – 66.84%, HDCF% – 66.39%, xGF% – 59.52%
It’s a Team Game – Darryl Sutter said it best post-game – “We deserved to win this series, simple.” The only reason it ever even went past 6 games (heck it could have been five) was Jake Oettinger. I’ll link a tweet below this showing that he had the greatest goaltending performance in a first-round season of the modern-day era (2007-08 and later). Calgary still persevered, they played the right way all night, minus some nervous plays from a few younger players, but ultimately are winners… of one round. Next up, get another win – Game One in Calgary Wednesday.
Corsi King – Michael Stone (87.14 CF%) came into the series and was a rock. Losing a player like Chris Tanev is massive, but ever since Sutter took over Michael Stone has played like a bonafide everyday NHL player. No more silly pinches from any defenders, everyone comes and plays the right way. Oliver Kylington (81.01%) hardly had his shaky moments and was huge with his partner as the two of them were constantly in the offensive zone. Hopefully Tanev can use the days off and be back for Game One, but Stone’s performance tonight was top notch. I spent the first 3 years of his career in Calgary not saying many nice things about the player – he shut me up and I couldn’t be happier.
Corsi Clown – When we factor in the overtime 5v5 there were 68 minutes in total. Lots of time to skew numbers, but only one Flame finished seeing less attempts taken than against. Rasmus Andersson (47.22%) and Noah Hanifin (50.67%) were the two lowest ranked Flames. If you’re entire team is above even in terms of overall shot attempts you probably should win the game 7-2, another testament to the play of Oettinger.
Taken By Chance – 4 players never saw the Stars get a high danger chance while out at 5v5. Lindholm (67.66 SCF% // 100 HDCF%), Dubé (85.72% // 100%), Kylington (55.70% // 100%), and Stone (90.07% // 100%) were those guys. Just outside was Game 7 hero Johnny Gaudreau (67.36% // 83.66%). Overall, the Flames out high danger chanced the Stars 19-8 in this one, a win they most certainly earned with hard work.
xGF% – Let’s talk about two guys everyone was asking to show up and score – and then they did. Tyler Toffoli (57.10 xGF%) and Matthew Tkachuk (69.28%) came up clutch. Toffoli has been consistent all series him burying one felt inevitable, but Tkachuk hadn’t always been able to create chances. He spent quite a bit of the early games in the penalty box – but he needs to be on the ice. Tkachuk was a significant game changer in Game 7 – his strongest game of the series. Let’s leave the shenanigans alone and just play good hard hockey – like this game. The BoA doesn’t need to start out with fights – I prefer it starts out with wins.
Game Flow –
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It was all Calgary through 2 periods. The Stars were able to get thing into a chance for chance game when the third hit which was terrible because the score was tied. Games like this should end with a 3 goal win but that just wasn’t the case. The test the Flames just got through was harder than i ever expected them to face and everyone should be better for it.
Game Score – Who did you have your money on for the best game of a Flame? Now Johnny Gaudreau (2.87 game // 1.85 average) was fantastic. Michael Stone (4.28 // 0.95) was the one who led in score though. Over 90% of the expected goal differential – defensive excellence from the blueliner who was healthy scratched for 70+ regular season games. The playoffs are a different animal and Michael Stone was ready.
Shot Heatmap –
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Look where Calgary got their 5v5 goals from – in tight. For too long in this series they were just defaulting to shoot from the blueline despite their being hardly any traffic in front of the Stars net. When it came down to it in Game 7 the Flames prioritized deep slot chances, but also took what they could take when it was given to them. Lots of possession for the Flames which helped them wear down the Stars.
In The Crease – So I said earlier Oettinger had the best first round goaltending performance ever – but the Flames man got the win. He was across the ice for long stretches of play watching his skaters throw everything including the kitchen sink at the other guy and then having to match that level whenever the Stars were able to apply pressure. Markstrom was left out to dry on the first goal by some bad coverage, and the second goal Miro Heiskanen was going number one D mode on the zone entry. 2.60 expected goals against with 2 medium danger goals against, and he gets to keep playing. Fantastic series Markstrom – you deserve praise as well as Oettinger, especially considering you’re the guy with the win.
Today’s Specials – I’m going to use this section to talk about the overtime penalty the Stars took. A massive opportunity with amazing chances but as was the story for most of everything this series Oettinger was in the way. As a fan – because I’ll be honest I’ve been a Flames fan my whole life – my heart was in my chest. The hair on my arms was on edge, I was constantly pacing, and I loved it. Playoff hockey – what could be better?
Player Spotlight – Johnny Gaudreau – Johnny Hockey was the single best skater on the ice tonight. Enough about the other teams goaltender – the entire series the one player to constantly change momentum and put the team on his back was Johnny. He was at true superstar level and now has a superstar goal to add to his resume. Darryl Sutter said all year he prefers big goals to regular season goals – don’t worry Darryl, Johnny heard you. (Also Mr. Conroy & Mr. Treliving can you give him a massive contract extension after all this? Thanks a bunch!)
Yes i shared the Gaudreau goal twice, both announcers deserve to have their fantastic goal calls shared. Sportsnet has announced Chris Cuthbert for the Flames second round series – so my farewell for the season to Rick Ball, always a pleasure for Flames fans to listen to your games. Derek Wills will be with the Flames for as long as their playoff run lasts (on Sportsnet 960).
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Johnny Gaudreau
2) Michael Stone
3) Matthew Tkachuk
The Flames win the series against the Dallas Stars 4 games to 3. Next up is Round 2 against Edmonton – starting Wed., May 18 at 7:30 p.m. MT.
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)

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