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Beyond the Boxscore: Weegar helps Flames cruise past New York Islanders for victory

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Photo credit:Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
4 months ago
Jacob Markstrom once again had to shoulder quite a load and MacKenzie Weegar kept up his immaculate play en route to a 5-2 victory on Long Island Saturday afternoon. Varlamov in the opposite crease let in a few goals he most certainly would want back giving Calgary the ability to play with a lead for almost the entire game. The offence kept rolling and the Flames continue their run of success against the northeastern united states.
CF% – 53.8%, SCF% – 49.22%, HDCF% – 30.08%, xGF% – 50.65%
It’s a Team Game – Only 30% of the high danger chances and yet still even on the quality share shows that overall Calgary had the puck more. The third period was where the Islanders pressed hard – really keeping Calgary on their heels. This is where having a Vezina calibre goaltender helps you win hockey games. If the general managers ever looked at goals saved above expected they would see Markstrom is right up there with Connor Hellebuyck. So long as this year’s version of number 25 patrols the Flames crease, they will never be out of a hockey game.
Corsi King – Jakob Pelletier (66.42 CF%) and his tremendous approach to puck battles led to MacKenzie Weegar’s (62.33%) second goal. It can not be understated how much this team missed Pelletier in their lineup – his energy, motor, and hockey sense are well above average. Walker Duehr (66.42%) has looked more like his old self next to the speedster too. It’s almost as if Pelletier’s speed has brought that back out of Duehr because they both need to be flying to keep up with each other.
Corsi Clown – Martin Pospisil (32.87%) and Connor Zary (35.91%) were out attempted 16-9 in their ice time. I’ve said it before an I’ll say it again, not everyone plays 82 great games a year. Take the off night, brush it off, then come back stronger next game. The only defenceman well below the threshold for an even game was Noah Hanifin (42.86%) whose earned a lot of runway with his offensive contributions of late. Honestly not worried about every single player mentioned here – all of them are fully capable of bouncing back immediately.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – The third period onslaught of chances led to many Flames players finishing below 50%. When combing these with the quality share the final outcome isn’t concerning, but I mean you’re still giving up good looks. When guys who play often against top competition like Weegar (61.30 SCF% // 43.75 HDCF%) end up neutral that’s a win in my books. It’s when they don’t get to participate in as many high danger chances and give up lots of looks that’s a problem – it’s what’s so polarizing with Rasmus Andersson (58.70% // 29.94%). Some nights he’s a clear number 1, other nights you wonder if he’d slot better as a 3.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Easily his best game in a Flames uniform Brayden Pachal (68.86%) is finally starting to settle in. He’s still got another week of runway to get settled before I get overly critical. Oliver Kylington (53.31%) seems like a tailor-made perfect partner for him. They are doing well as a third pair, we’ll see how they eventually fare as a second pair here soon. Andrei Kuzmenko (61.52%) continues to be an absolute sparkplug – he’s been instantly rejuvenated in Calgary and has sparked Jonathan Huberdeau (58.64%) as well. Huberdeau himself had turned a page in the new year already, Kuzmenko took it another step.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – The expected goals against were 1.77 at 5v5 with just one goal getting by Markstrom. He was sensational again and is the number one reason the playoff conversation can even still be happening. Without Markstrom the Flames are probably 5-8 standings points lower than they are right now. Don’t expect him to get moved in-season, I doubt anyone will pony up the price it would take for Conroy to even ask him about his no move clause.
Player Spotlight – Yegor Sharangovich – Three games playing top line centre and three games where he led his line to a clear offensive advantage. He’s not burning them and instead plays more up into the play than Lindholm had been doing. With all these defence first, defensive orientated forwards it was hard to have anyone up in the play with Huberdeau. This relationship is working out fantastic – it’s not like it’s happening against subpar teams either. Boston may not have been on their game, but you can’t fault Sharangovich for that.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) MacKenzie Weegar
2) Jacob Markstrom
3) Brayden Pachal
(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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