Beyond the Boxscore: Kiprusoff night in Calgary ends with electrifying comeback victory

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 month ago
A great night honouring a Flames legend made better by the team earning their fifth straight victory in comeback fashion. Calgary looked down and out as the clock ticked away in the third before Nazem Kadri sparked the team with an incredible goal. The kind of goal you’ll see on replays for the rest of the season. The play before that was a bit disheartening, but one massive jump-start and they were able to pour it on Tristan Jarry and find some cracks.
CF% – 47.51, SCF% – 45.27%, HDCF% – 41.33%, xGF% – 45.6%
It’s a Team Game – The Flames got off to a horrible start – they barely spent any sustained time in the attacking zone in the first frame. They found some better legs in the second frame following some great physical play from guys like Pospisil and Pachal. After the Carter deflection the Flames could have rolled over, but through some veteran leadership they crawled back and let one of their new shining lights seal the victory with a regulation snipe. A dramatic end fitting for a legendary night.
Corsi King – I felt Mikael Backlund (59.76%) was consistent all night long. Even when the Flames fell into their early lull I felt Backlund was always able to calm the storm and at least help give the team time to breathe. The game winning goal doesn’t happen without him jumping on the turnover in the first place either – he was a crucial piece in a big stage game. On the other side of things, the fourth line got hemmed in quite a bit early. They couldn’t get out of their own zone no matter what they tried to do, but it wasn’t as terrible as it sounds.
By the way, the “A” looks great on Blake Coleman’s (58.15%) sweater.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – The fourth line duo of Rooney and Pelletier achieved no high danger chances – for or against – in their ice time tonight. No event hockey does not hurt your team and as such I celebrate it. Would you like some more offence? Sure! In the meantime at least they aren’t a detriment to your nightly success. They missed so much time and are still getting up to proper game speed, Calgary’s in a position where letting them ease into that playing 10 minutes or less is feasible.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Andrei Kuzmenko (20.83%) got limited again – rightfully so he was having a very rough night. This is exactly what the Flames signed up for when they chose to acquire this player in the Lindholm return if they can work through the issues there’s a talented offensive player on the other side. On the positive side of things, I’m wanting to shout out Andrew Mangiapane (62.38%) who has looked massively improved of late. The last month being reunited with Backlund (60.85%) he has had more successful charges into the offensive zone and is back finding chances in or around the blue paint at least once a period. Don’t write him off too quickly folks, he wasn’t the only one who struggled next to Lindholm this year. Back in a familiar environment he is starting to thrive once again.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – There’s not much else to say about Markstrom’s ability to focus being at the highest of levels after this game. For the last 48 hours the soundbite from the scrum where he talks about his situation in Calgary was playing on loop everywhere. The outside noise is extremely loud and he shows up to honour one of the two greatest goaltenders in Flames history with another standard solid performance. Markstrom is being nothing but professional in all this, I take no issue with him voicing his displeasure. 2.16 expected goals against at 5v5, two against.
Player Spotlight – Miikka Kiprusoff – For 9 years the Flames got to watch excellence in virtually every single game that was scheduled. His run of 70+ games in 7 straight years (by a goaltender) may never be replicated with where the league has evolved in terms of goaltender usage. He was a special player immediately upon arrival and gave a spiritual boost to the city of Calgary in such a unique way. Just hearing the name Kipper brings a smile to every Flames fan that got the pleasure of watching him – old & young. Now he is etched in Flames lore exactly where he belongs, a true legend whose number will fly in Calgary for eternity. Thank you for all the great memories, Kipper.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Yegor Sharangovich
2) Jacob Markstrom
3) Mikael Backlund
HM) Nazem Kadri because that goal was just filthy
(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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