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Beyond the Boxscore: The Calgary Flames nightmare homestand continues in loss to Columbus Blue Jackets

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
4 months ago
On a slow Thursday night in southern Alberta the Calgary Flames came and promptly put their fans to sleep with a snoozer of a game when they needed to bring the heat. After the first period the Flames offence dried up at a time when they needed it most. Time isn’t just running out – the time to pay the piper and make a move on the season for a playoff spot was this six-game stretch. Now after a 4-game losing streak and one of the biggest trap games on the schedule next against the Blackhawks, the Flames path forward is clear as day. The trade deadline is on the horizon.
CF% – 48.34%, SCF% – 56.21%, HDCF% – 35.88%, xGF% – 57.1%
It’s a Team Game – Columbus did not have a regulation win in about the span of a month, but they had no problem rolling into Calgary and receiving all of the good fortune bounces. Off of the referee to start the game is just the most unfortunate way of allowing a goal, then you pair that with a bad goal off a played puck and a ridiculous bounce off the post right back to the shooter for a shorthanded goal – things were not going the Flames way. They didn’t do enough to earn more favourable luck themselves, but they struggled to get great looks at 5v5 the final 40 minutes.
Corsi King – Andrew Mangiapane (56.29%) to me appeared as one of the best Flames out there. He and Mikael Backlund (55.19%) and Blake Coleman (54.19%) are the one trio you never have to worry about. They will show up and always be able to drive play against their competition or at least make it close. The next best thing is Kadri (51.16%) and the kids, who were also noticeable in a positive sense. There just weren’t enough chances off the wall at 5v5 tonight. Not enough penetration to the middle of the ice for chances making the opposing goaltenders night easier than necessary.
Corsi Clown – It’s a new age in Calgary as the can no longer go to a blanket safety net of Adam Ružička (plays for the Coyotes now), Dillon Dubé (NHL Non-Roster), and AJ Greer (31.43% – suffered ankle injury) on the fourth line. Instead, they’ll have to endure some growing pains as young guys learn to fill the roles that job entails. Does that mean some nights letting Cole Schwindt (26.69%) struggle his way through some shifts in his own zone? You bet. In the long run giving these young players experience now to grow and learn will help them. If the management group can really just look at what they have and be honest with themselves, they can move forward and use the remaining games post-deadline to help elevate their young talent.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Outside of Zary (85.56 SCF% // 100 HDCF%), Coronato (100% // 100%), and Kadri (71.89% // 100%) none of the other 9 forwards were able to generate more than a single high danger look at 5v5. Elias Lindholm (52.70% // 28.32%) has shown this season to be a perfectly capable defensive player against top competition, but without wingers playing at an elite level there’s a severe lack of offensive creative ability in his game. The Flames are going to get a wake-up call after he’s moved because they’ve done nothing but rely on him more than every player this year. After he’s moved the offence being sparked is a possibility, but who the pivot will be may take a few weeks to find out.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Matt Coronato (89.41%) was buzzing out there. Legs going, driving deep into the attacking zone, heading to the dirty areas. He’s doing a lot of little things that are going to lead to offence if they continue. He’s a special player and he’s getting better by the day. The AHL stint was a great way for him to show himself he belongs at the next level, now it’s making it work on a consistent basis. If he plays like that more often, he’ll start finding the goals. Outside of his line though the sheer amount of quality generated was inferior to the 29th in the standings Blue Jackets. Just simply can’t have that happen and state you’re a playoff team.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – The positive goodwill is enough that there’s no need to roast Markstrom over the second goal. The first goal everyone and their dog knows those happen maybe once a year and it certainly isn’t the goaltenders fault. Not a banner night for Markstrom but you can’t point the finger entirely at goaltender scoring just 2 goals in the game. They had power play chances, but they don’t generate enough there to help out their tendy on nights when he makes a rare mistake. 1.03 expected goals against with 2 at 5v5 getting behind him.
Player Spotlight – Oliver Kylington – No critique, just sheer happiness to see him back and playing at a level like he never even left. The entire C of Red fanbase has been so open and patient in this process so to see him come back feels like a collective win for everyone. Most importantly I am so glad Oliver has gotten back to a good place. We only get one brain and one life and it takes bravery to take a step away to make sure it’s taken care of. I have nothing but respect for Kylington and cannot wait to see him finish out the year.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Matt Coronato
2) Connor Zary
3) MacKenzie Weegar
(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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