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Beyond the Boxscore: The Calgary Flames don’t let their season burn out in Winnipeg

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Photo credit:Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
10 months ago
No matter how many times the Flames dip their toes off the cliff of elimination they find a way to not fall down. A physical match started out as a back-and-forth match, but after the Calgary Flames went up by 2 the Winnipeg Jets pressed hard. Markstrom stood tall the day after taking the loss in Chicago to extend the run of Flames playing games that have purpose. They are fighting hard to get in and will be battle tested should they pull off a playoff spot.
CF% – 46.6%, SCF% – 41.7%, HDCF% – 47.01%, xGF% – 42.99%
It’s a Team Game – Calgary’s best period of play was certainly their first period. The Jets didn’t get any significant looks and – from what they were allowed to play at 5v5 – Calgary took control. Winnipeg more than made up for that later in the game, but they struggled off the bat. Once up Calgary can clog the neutral zone more taking away odd man rushes and giving up more one on one situations. Usually, this year, that’s been an area the goaltending has let them down – but not last night.
Corsi King – Milan Lucic (68.98%) and linemates doubled up their shot attempts on the night. The other lines flow better when making changes into the offensive zone so when this line doesn’t get buried in their own zone it helps. Being this match-up fared out in the Jets’ advantage those with higher ice times saw more against and as such have lesser numbers. Chris Tanev (61.33%) and Nikita Zadorov (60.34%) were not in the lower half.
Corsi Clown – Rasmus Andersson (18.76%) and MacKenzie Weegar (24.03%) had a night to forget spending most of it at 5v5 in their own zone defending. The Flames didn’t surrender a 5v5 goal, so everyone gets the pass there, but this was peculiar to see these guys get so outdone in mere shots. Dillon Dubé (18.01%) was the bottom rung on this game’s ladder. Good news is who finishes on the bottom typically rotates and Dubé is a good candidate for a strong bounce back game soon.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Only Nazem Kadri (70.11 SCF% // 100 HDCF%) didn’t see a high danger chance against. Nikita Zadorov (60.55% // 74.03%) with the gorgeous snipe to get some insurance was the Flames best defenceman tonight. He’s certainly re-established himself as a quality defender in a high possession system. The lack of chaos on the rush has really allowed him to see more of the ice.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Rasmus Andersson (6.81%) probably got a season low number here, but again no goals against so still positives. Mikael Backlund (15.89%) made a great play on the first goal to get the puck in Mangiapane’s (35.63%) wheelhouse, but that was one of the few times he got into the offensive zone. Talk about making your time count. Lindholm (57.51%) and Toffoli (58.21%) were on the positive side of the quality share too.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – One night it’s up, the next few nights its down, then right when you need it most the quality of play is right where you need it to be. 2.51 expected goals against with no 5v5 goals getting behind Markstrom. I don’t know why he can’t get those extra saves against Chicago or Columbus, but he did it when he needed to do it. Now the Flames need to do their best to try and pass the Jets because a tie won’t cut it.
Player Spotlight – Walker Duehr – The man, the myth, the legend, the only guy with under 200 games of NHL experience that Darryl Sutter will put into his lineup when things matter. His sheer speed has been the largest factor for him being effective – a sign that maybe more speed throughout the roster would make things easier for the Flames to win games. Duehr has been a fantastic add this season and certainly looks to be a Calgary Flame going forward.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Jacob Markstrom
2) Nikita Zadorov
3) Nazem Kadri
 (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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