Beyond the Boxscore: The Flames get shutout but the sky is not falling

Photo credit:Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 year ago
So the Calgary Flames got shutout and now everybody wants to make fun of how little they can score – good. While the shot pressure and possession were there, it was a pitiful effort to get to significant scoring areas from the road team. 20 games in the Flames are still running hot and cold trying to figure things out. Meanwhile Seattle, Vegas, Los Angeles and Edmonton are all working hard to make sure that if the Flames slump again they’ll be forgot about in a hurry. Making up 2 points in this league can take up to 2 weeks – no time to sit back and wait for things to just mesh, especially with the capital invested in this roster.
CF% – 49.6%, SCF% – 47.09%, HDCF% – 58.45%, xGF% – 56.31%
It’s a Team Game – After perusing Twitter for game opinions I was expecting a whole lot worse than what I saw. Calgary still got a few significant chances, but they just don’t have that one player that can score in spades. It used to be a known thing the Flames top line was going to score, plus you had Mangiapane getting 30+ on the second line. The only constant bright spot every single night is Nikita Zadorov and MacKenzie Weegar. Throw in Huberdeau since he’s played with Backlund – other than that everything’s been very meh for two games, so I understand the line shake-up. There are only so many ways you can structure the lines before you have to start incorporating new blood, and I do not mean via trade.
Corsi King – Mikael Backlund (70.70 CF%) significantly out attempted his opposition, so did Coleman (62.87%) and Huberdeau (67.13%). Zadorov (59.55%) and Weegar (67.30%) – as mentioned above – came in with a strong all-around performance. One other D-man joined them in Dennis Gilbert (50.93%). Most other forward lines graded just shy of even on attempts – hard to win if ¾ forward lines and 3/6 defencemen end up buried in their own zone.
Corsi Clown – Chris Tanev (37.32%) is pretty much a stranger to this section of the write-up. You almost never see him here, certainly not as often as we’ve seen Noah Hanifin (41.56%) and Rasmus Andersson (41.88%). Very upset with the inconsistency out of those two after how they played last year, more is needed from them and it needs to show up every single night. They don’t control a lot of the flow back out of their zone though, that’s on the forwards to properly check. Some of them are lacking the footspeed to do so properly.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Every single Flame was involved in at least one high danger chance, as a team they tabled ten. Lindholm (49.25 SCF% // 62.29 HDCF%) and Toffoli (59.27% // 71.24%) were both a part of half of them. It would be very easy for me to say that I do not care, and I hope somebody would just score, but that’s not analysis that’s the passionate fan within me. Flames did get their looks despite what joe blow on the internet is telling you, shutouts happen both ways sometimes it’s the way it works.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Jonathan Huberdeau (85.25%) has not been the problem of late. Via Evolving-Hockey.com Huberdeau’s 4 games of the road trip – not counting his huge xG percentage against the Capitals – have seen him run a 61.11 CF% and 55.28 xGF%. That’s also come with a measly 5.31 sh% – he’s helping create offence but his linemates can’t finish the chances off. If your criticism is being directed at the new guy find another whipping boy – he ain’t it.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – 1.83 expected goals against 5v5 with 2 goals against, one medium danger and one high danger. Last season Markstrom wasn’t letting as many medium danger chances get by him as he is this season, but amongst goaltenders that have played at least 10 games (30 of them) Markstrom ranks 20th in goals saved above expected at 0.5. Right even – which means he’s not stealing games he’s playing average hockey – which is more than enough if you can get run support, something Calgary just can’t do lately.
Player Spotlight – Milan Lucic – I’m a very avid defender of Lucic, I believe he brings an element to the roster that nobody else brings. That being said right now the Flames need everyone they can to try and find goals and Lucic has not scored in 41 games. If that were Brett Ritchie, Trevor Lewis, or Kevin Rooney that would come with a seat in the press box. I love Looch, but I also love scoring goals and winning hockey games. It’s not just him, and there are other people that need to bring stronger consistent performances, but that can’t always be an excuse to ignore what’s happening.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Huberdeau
2) Weegar
3) Zadorov
The Flames road trip continues on Saturday! Against Carolina! At 2 p.m. MT!
(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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