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Flames in seven games: 4-2-1 in fourth segment

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
The Calgary Flames have completed 28 games of their 56 game 2020-21 regular season schedule. They’re halfway through through their schedule. Despite going through some changes, the club actually played pretty well through their last seven games.
Underlying numbers via Natural Stat Trick.

Game by game

(Percentage stats in this table are 5v5.)
DateOpponentResultCF%SC%HDSC%xGF%PPPK
Feb. 27Senators (@)6-3 W56.654.338.552.71-for-43-for-6
Mar. 1Senators (@)5-1 L43.340.542.942.51-for-31-for-1
Mar. 4Senators (vs)7-3 W47.543.658.345.60-for-15-for-6
Mar. 6Oilers (@)3-2 L45.553.966.761.91-for-32-for-2
Mar. 7Senators (vs)4-3 SOL62.562.969.261.51-for-82-for-2
Mar. 11Canadiens (vs)2-1 W62.558.553.963.10-for-32-for-2
Mar. 13Canadiens (vs)3-1 W58.564.969.264.81-for-32-for-2
This 74-2-153.154.057.055.85/2517/21
Last 72-4-150.949.346.548.64/2120/25
This was the segment of three coaches: three under Geoff Ward (2-1-0), two under Ryan Huska (0-1-0), and two under Darryl Sutter (2-0-0). All-told, there was only one game where the team was flat-out bad: the 5-1 loss to Ottawa, which was likely the game that cost Ward his job.
The Flames were generally pretty good over the past seven games. Yes, two of their wins were against Ottawa, but they also handily beat Montreal twice. Across the board, they were better than they were in their prior seven games.
And thank goodness for that.

Team stats

Here’s how the Flames compare within the (Scotia NHL) North Division through 28 games:
  • Their goals for per game is 2.68, up from 2.43. They’re sixth in the division.
  • Their goals against per game is 2.89, down from 2.95. They’re fourth in the division.
  • Their goal differential is -6, up from -10. They’re fifth in the division.
  • Their power play is at 20.8%, down from 21.1%. They’re fifth in the division.
  • Their penalty kill is at 80.7%, up from 80.6%. They’re first in the division.
  • They’ve taken 8.6 penalty minutes per game, up from 8.1. They’re fifth in the division.
  • Their 5v5 xGF/60 is 2.27, down from 2.28. They’re fourth in the division.
  • Their 5v5 xGF/60 is 2.04, down from 2.14. They’re second in the division.
  • Their 5v5 xGF is 52.6%, up from 51.6% They’re second in the division.
  • Their 5v5 shooting percentage is 7.91%, up from 7.05%. They’re fifth in the division.
  • Their 5v5 save percentage is 92.47%, down from 92.56%. They’re third in the division.
  • Their PDO is 1.004, up from 0.996. They’re fifth in the division.
In the previous segment, the Flames got worse at everything.
In this segment, the Flames made some improvements almost across the board. They’re ranked fifth in a lot of things relative to their division, but they’ve shown some promise in structural defensive aspects of their game – looking at you penalty kill and xGA/60 – and that bodes well for them as they transition full-bore into a Sutter hockey club.

Player stats

First, the forwards (all situations, ordered by ice time). Last segment’s values in brackets.
Game scores: Positive values indicate positive impact, negative values reflect negative impact.
PlayerTOIGPP/60SH%xGF%
GF%OZF%Game score
Lindholm137:03
(153:16)
1
(1)
6
(4)
2.6
(1.6)
14.3
(6.7)
48.9
(56.9)
55.6
(57.1)
56.7
(49.6)
0.946
(0.580)
Gaudreau132:46
(136:58)
2
(1)
5
(3)
2.3
(1.3)
18.2
(5.9)
67.1
(62.1)
72.7
(60.0)
69.5
(79.1)
1.084
(0.586)
Backlund132:31
(106:54)
2
(0)
5
(0)
2.3
(0.0)
8.7
(0.0)
57.5
(48.9)
50.0
(14.3)
50.6
(47.5)
1.054
(-0.088)
Monahan125:58
(95:40)
4
(1)
6
(3)
2.9
(1.9)
18.2
(11.1)
61.5
(60.2)
70.0
(44.4)
66.4
(79.4)
1.030
(0.430)
Tkachuk124:52
(138:46)
1
(1)
8
(4)
3.8
(1.7)
6.3
(3.5)
58.4
(58.1)
70.6
(53.9)
74.7
(61.7)
1.379
(0.294)
Mangiapane123:34
(142:48)
1
(3)
4
(3)
1.9
(1.3)
8.3
(21.4)
58.4
(48.0)
53.9
(33.3)
52.4
(52.3)
0.920
(0.184)
Lucic101:37
(94:57)
1
(2)
2
(2)
1.2
(1.3)
8.3
(16.7)
52.7
(50.7)
42.9
(25.0)
49.2
(58.3)
0.183
(-0.183)
Dube100:34
(95:24)
3
(1)
5
(2)
3.0
(1.3)
15.8
(11.1)
52.5
(52.0)
66.7
(27.3)
52.4
(59.2)
0.921
(-0.094)
Ryan63:40
(-)
1
(-)
4
(-)
3.8
(-)
16.7
(-)
65.2
(-)
80.0
(-)
46.2
(-)
1.808
(-)
Bennett62:36
(90:45)
0
(1)
2
(1)
1.9
(0.7)
0.0
(6.7)
63.1
(53.8)
33.3
(30.0)
55.0
(69.6)
0.388
(0.117)
Leivo57:16
(32:40)
3
(0)
3
(0)
3.2
(0.0)
37.5
(0.0)
68.4
(51.3)
57.1
(100)
66.7
(73.9)
0.978
(0.078)
Ritchie49:27
(15:28)
1
(0)
3
(0)
3.6
(0.0)
16.7
(0.0)
62.3
(46.8)
75.0
(0.0)
53.6
(75.0)
0.714
(-0.655)
Nordstrom43:18
(63:15)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
39.9
(29.4)
40.0
(0.0)
28.0
(31.9)
-0.673
(-0.079)
Simon5:37
(19:46)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
59.2
(53.8)
n/a
(0.0)
100
(75.0)
0.150
(-0.270)
Robinson5:31
(20:00)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
12.7
(45.0)
n/a
(0.0)
60.0
(72.7)
-0.040
(-0.150)
Gawdin5:10
(23:18)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
13.7
(33.4)
n/a
(0.0)
60.0
(92.9)
-0.060
(-0.400)
Rinaldo2:13
(-)

(-)

(-)

(-)

(-)
39.7
(-)
0.0
(-)
n/a
(-)
-0.570
(-)
Froese
(19:22)

(0)

(0)

(0.0)

(0.0)

(13.8)

(0.0)

(11.1)

(-0.325)
The five most common Flames forward lines were (in descending order):
  • Lucic – Backlund – Mangiapane
  • Dube – Lindholm – Tkachuk
  • Mangiapane – Backlund – Tkachuk
  • Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
  • Gaudreau – Monahan – Ritchie
Of these lines, only two were in the black for expected goals: Lucic-Backlund-Mangiapane and Mangiapane-Backlund-Tkachuk. (Yes, we’re also shocked that Backlund, Mangiapane and anybody else is a good puck possession line.)
In terms of game score, only Nordstrom was worse in this segment than he was in the prior one. Basically every other regular forward took a step forward. In terms of expected goals, Lindholm slid back a little bit (as did fringe fourth line bodies Robinson, Gawdin and Rinaldo), but everyone else seemed to improve.
If you want to argue that the last segment – where everyone took a step back – was the team’s rock-bottom, or at least the forward group’s, that’s not a terrible argument.
Now, the defence (all situations, ordered by ice time):
PlayerTOIGPP/60SH%xGF%
GF%OZF%Game score
Giordano158:25
(153:25)
1
(0)
3
(3)
1.4
(1.2)
5.3
(0.0)
48.3
(47.9)
50.0
(29.4)
45.9
(43.3)
0.479
(-0.059)
Tanev156:37
(157:16)
0
(0)
0
(1)
0.0
(0.4)
0.0
(0.0)
53.8
(47.3)
50.0
(12.5)
37.2
(39.2)
1.350
(0.407)
Andersson153:25
(154:43)
0
(1)
2
(5)
0.8
(1.9)
0.0
(6.7)
49.9
(49.6)
56.3
(37.5)
65.9
(61.5)
0.213
(-0.178)
Hanifin138:19
(138:27)
2
(0)
2
(0)
0.9
(0.0)
13.3
(0.0)
60.7
(50.6)
66.7
(25.0)
47.3
(59.7)
1.421
(-0.017)
Valimaki102:09
(112:15)
1
(0)
1
(1)
0.6
(0.5)
12.5
(0.0)
53.1
(46.9)
42.9
(30.0)
63.5
(61.8)
0.530
(-0.023)
Nesterov65:37
(49:55)
0
(0)
1
(0)
0.9
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
55.1
(38.3)
50.0
(0.0)
56.7
(69.0)
0.258
(-1.260)
Kylington31:15
(17:51)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
63.0
(27.8)
50.0
(n/a)
88.9
(100)
0.670
(-0.390)
Mackey
(23:03)

(0)

(1)

(2.6)

(0.0)

(46.3)

(100)

(61.5)

(0.425)
The three most common defensive pairings were (in descending order):
  • Hanifin & Tanev
  • Giordano & Andersson
  • Nesterov & Valimaki
At five-on-five: Hanifin/Tanev were 66.2% xGF. Nesterov/Valimaki were 57.6% and Giordano/Andersson were 46.5%. Nesterov/Valimaki were the only pairing of the three to be out-scored.
As with the forwards, everybody was better this segment (in terms of game score and expected goals) than they were last segment.
And finally, goalies (all situations):
PlayerTOISV%ldSV%mdSV%hdSV%Game score
Markstrom243:06
(136:26)
.918
(.829)
.974
(.929)
.897
(.778)
.826
(.696)
-0.233
(-2.227)
Rittich179:39
(254:46)
.901
(.924)
.975
(.980)
.767
(.971)
.905
(.829)
-0.870
(0.155)
Zagidulin
(28:13)

(.818)

(1.000)

(.750)

(.667)

(-1.170)
The data is a little noisy here, as Rittich played a bit when the team was pretty rough defensively and Markstrom’s numbers are boosted a bit by two games played under Sutter. But Markstrom’s numbers have bounced back and Rittich’s aren’t horrendous when you consider the context of the games he played.

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