Beyond the Boxscore: Vegas proves too much for Calgary in overtime crusher

Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
6 months ago
The Calgary Flames were allergic to the lead on Tuesday night as they let Vegas stay close and steal it from underneath them. Yegor Sharangovich continued to shine for the Flames and even was able to get a piece of a puck to deflect in a late tying goal. Ultimately too many mistakes were made against a team as formidable as Vegas is to expect much more. 5v5 the Flames were great – they really are a tremendous team at 5v5 – but they have some serious special teams problems that are really bringing down their record.
CF% – 48.58%, SCF% – 51.61%, HDCF% – 70.63%, xGF% – 56.24%
It’s a Team Game – The Flames won the 5v5 scoring battle 3 to 2 largely because their goaltender has the tremendous athleticism to take away rush chances, breakaways, and in-tight opportunities. They swarmed the Vegas net all night with high danger chances and still were able to find a significant amount of offence. The two power play goals against while getting none themselves is just too much to overcome. The Flames need to make a choice about their direction after Christmas, and if it’s incorporating winning into the strategy, they are going to have to do something drastically different with the powerplay.
Corsi King – Martin Pospisil (79.59%) had his motor running tonight. When he’s on you can really see it when he enters the attacking zone along the boards. When he’s having a good game, he powers into the zone with confidence. Nick DeSimone (57.52%) had a nice return to the lineup with Gilbert (55.33%). They make a better third pair than I ever thought. I had been comparing Gilbert to Jordie Benn when talking to people face to face, but if he keeps playing strong like this without Tanev, I’ll have to find a new comparable.
Corsi Clown – Adam Ružička (27.66%) can’t maintain a string of successful games. One night he gets back into the swing and rhythm of the offence and the next he’s out there for just 3 shot attempts for and 9 against in 6 minutes of 5v5 time. He did look good on the PP2 unit with Zary moving perpendicularly to the goal line, but the rest of the game he and his line were invisible. They may have got the game winning goal, but Lindholm (32.18%) had another game where he couldn’t find a way to out chance the competition. It’s a recurring theme so far this season.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Now the high danger chance ratio sitting above 70% would make you think Calgary was constantly getting dangerous chances throughout their lineup. They were getting those chances, but it was just one line. You guessed it, Kadri (91.72 SCF% // 100 HDCF%) and the kids continue to thrive. Zary (100% // 100%) and Pospisil (100% // 100%) both actually didn’t see a 5v5 chance go against them. On a night when they needed their best hockey from everyone, they showed they really are top notch players. Bring on anybody these world beaters do nothing but win.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Nick DeSimone went straight from the AHL to the best metrics on the blueline, Gilbert (70.32%) right there with him. Rasmus Andersson (47.29%) is very high event – he spends either a lot of time attacking or a lot of time defending. It’s an okay balance but one that drives me nuts. Tremendous talent but the final touch to consistently shutdown teams in your own zone without sacrificing offence is rare – he’s right on that line. Elias Lindholm (15.73%) getting rolled out every shift with no repercussions is getting ridiculous. He shouldn’t be immune to the same treatment Huberdeau (50.22%) and others have faced.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – After the game coach Ryan Huska said Wolf would probably like a couple of those goals back, but other than Stone’s overtime winner I have a hard time seeing which other one is directly his fault. Nevermind all the breakaways and power play saves he had to stop, but he also has to deal with players like Oesterle constantly turning the puck over. No reason Solovyov was in the box tonight – zero. To me this was a bad game for the coach, and I think if he really thinks about this again, he’ll know it was hardly worth any fingers pointed at Wolf. 
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Nazem Kadri
2) Connor Zary
3) Martin Pospisil
(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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