Beyond the Boxscore: Wolf, Hunt, Zary impress against Jets as camp battles heat up

Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
6 months ago
Welcome back one and all to Beyond the Boxscore: Season 3 –  a place to find out which Calgary Flames players had statistically great nights combined with some insight into what was working or not by myself (Shane Stevenson – @Flash_33 on X (formerly known as Twitter) // @Flash_btb on IG // @flashbtb on Bluesky). We’ll have charts, video breakdowns, colour commentary, and plenty of in-depth analysis.
CF% – 51.14%, SCF% – 35.79%, HDCF% – 60.5%, xGF% – 51.87%
It’s a Team Game – It’s kind of a polar opposite to what we saw the Flames do consistently last season. In 2022-23 the Flames would control possession and the number of overall regular shot attempts but get buried in terms of high danger chances against. This game saw them keep overall shot attempts pretty close, but absolutely rip up the high danger chances, Translated: the Flames are trying to find better quality of shots instead of throwing everything at the net. They are also staying savvy in their own end defending shots. It’s hopefully a trend towards the new Huska style of offence that could unlock players like Huberdeau or Kadri. They didn’t play  tonight, but the whole group is seemingly getting the same directive right now.
Corsi King – Dryden Hunt (73.02 CF%) was getting praised on X by fellow FlamesNation contributors Robert Munnich and Mike Gould – and for good reason. At a time when there are seemingly 2-3 jobs open on the Flames roster players like Hunt, Klapka (65.40%), Zary (41.37%), and maybe Ben Jones (DNP) are in a prime time spot to try and strut their stuff. Hunt having the amount of NHL experience he’s collected already can use his experience to stay a step ahead. It’s a long season though, having any of those players become contributors may be necessary .
Corsi Clown – Walker Duehr (31.74%) was last on the team tonight. His overall quality share (xGF%) wasn’t too terrible so the chances going against him weren’t crazy dangerous. MacKenzie Weegar (38.95%) finished with a 7 for to 11 against shot share ratio – which you could look at and say it’s bad. When you dive deeper and look at other numbers you’ll see he didn’t surrender a high danger chance at 5v5. Remember kids, no one stat will ever paint an entire picture. No one game will ever do that either. A combination and the accumulation over time present us with a players average performance.
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – Dryden Hunt (76.47 SCF% // 100 HDCF%) led the Flames with Kevin Rooney (41.90% // 100%) also not seeing a high danger chance against. The guy on the PTO, Jonathan Aspirot (26.36% // 27.53%), had the most 5v5 high danger chances go against himself. Aspirot has never played in the NHL before and spent the last 4 seasons with the Belleville Senators. Adam Klapka (33.13% // NA%) played a very good no-event hockey game. He didn’t allow nor did he help in creating any 5v5 high danger chances. This is what I like my makeup of previous fourth lines to look like – but with Huska having a fourth line that can score (X-Ruzicka-Duehr for example) I may be swayed in my perspective on that.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Cumulative quality is a bit tricky to understand. Let’s take Dryden Hunt (61.97%) and Nick DeSimone (61.77%) for example. Hunt’s ratio was 0.2:0.12 (For:Against) while DeSimone was 0.5:0.31. percentages almost equal because of the ratios but completely different methods of getting there. Under the previous regime a high-quality share was a way to show the player was on the ice a lot, had good possession and took lots of chances – typically low-quality ones. Hopefully this season prioritizing more dangerous chances from the slot will result in similar ratios but a whole hell of a lot more goals. Doing so does sacrifice some possession time and some quality chances against, but if you  have the offensive weapons (the Flames do) you can more than run and gun with that priority.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – You want some real official analysis from my camp? In regards to goalies? It’s really simple – Dustin Wolf belongs in the National Hockey League. Flip-flopping him back and forth between the AHL and NHL is going to a) put less dough in his pocket and b) not give him the level of competition he truly needs to keep ascending to what could be the highest of peaks. Yes, you have three goaltenders you like – maybe don’t skimp on the one with the highest possible ceiling, the biggest long-term future, and an already partially filled awards cabinet. I know the franchise is paying another guy $6 million a year, but if Wolf shows he’s better – you should do what’s best for your team to win games. I also think the rumour around goaltenders taking longer to develop stems only from a lack of top end jobs being available, but that’s a whole different rant for another time.
Player Spotlight – Adam Klapka – Now I’m not going to claim I’m the first to say he’s got a shot at the NHL roster – I believe Eric Francis was the first I saw of that suggestion, but I certainly don’t disagree with it. He’s got good speed, physical presence, and for his size really good puck handling. Pelletier’s injury has opened a hole I didn’t calculate before training camp started as being open. I always thought Zary would be the clear first call-up option, but with Hunt making a case too, the waters are getting muddier (that’s a good thing). Don’t sleep on the big man – it’s not like he’ll get pushed around playing 8 minutes a night against lower-level competition. He’s not my  front-runner but I would not scoff at the idea of him playing games this season.
The Goals –
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Dustin Wolf
2) Dryden Hunt
3) Connor Zary

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