Looking into Andrew Mangiapane’s 2023-24 season

Photo credit:© Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Munnich
28 days ago
Andrew Mangiapane has been one of the more interesting players to cover on the Flames this season. He hasn’t had the statistical impact on this Flames team that many had hoped. As of March 21st, Mangiapane has only scored 13 goals in 66 games.
Why isn’t he producing at the level he was in the 2021 and 2021-22 seasons? Is he is still an effective player? Why does he only have 13 goals?
Those are some of the questions I want to investigate and find an answer to.
To do that, let’s take a look back at his counting stats from the last five seasons. These numbers are based on an 82 game point projection because of the shortened season four and five years ago.
(All stats courtesy of Natural Stat Trick)
Between goals and assists, Mangiapane is having a solid season based off his previous results. If he were to finish with 47 points, that would tie his second best output of his career. He may not be scoring as many goals this season, but he is still helping out offensively with his play making. Mangiapane is third on the Flames in first assists/60 and total assists/60.
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to Mangiapane is that he has done almost all of his scoring at 5-on-5. Among Flames forwards, he ranks 2nd in assists at 5-on-5, and 4th in points. He has more points at 5-on-5 than Jonathan Huberdeau and Mikael Backlund.
Where he is lacking, is on the power play. And that’s because he doesn’t get much ice time on the man advantage. He ranks seventh in power play ice time among Flames forwards.  Andrei Kuzmenko, Yegor Sharangovich, Nazem Kadri, Connor Zary, Huberdeau and Backlund all play more on the power play than Mangiapane. He essentially has to produce all his points at 5-on-5.
That’s not easy to do when you’re on the shut down line with Blake Coleman and Backlund. Their job is to matchup against the best players in the NHL night in night out. Mangiapane’s line starts 76% of their shifts outside the offensive zone. The fact this trio is as productive as they are is pretty impressive considering their role on the team.
The underlying numbers at 5-on-5 tell an interesting story.
This season, Mangiapane has been a lot more careful about where and when he is shooting the puck. Among 12 Flames forwards to play at least 300 minutes at 5-on-5 this season, Mangiapane ranks 6th in shot attempts per 60, and 8th in shots per 60. But he is 1st on the Flames in scoring chances and high danger scoring chances per 60. That tells me that he isn’t shooting much, but when he does, it’s a high quality chance.
He’s still generating a lot of opportunities, but is having a hard time burying them. As seen by his 11.6% shooting percentage. Mangiapane’s career shooting percentage, including this season is 14.7%. Had Mangiapane been shooting at an average level, he would have 17 goals right now, which would put him on pace for 21. Would that change the narrative around his season?
We know what the numbers say about Mangiapane’s season. But what about the eye test?
Based on what I’ve watched this season, Mangiapane is trying to score more finesse goals than he has in the past. I find a lot of his opportunities are coming off the rush or are shots from distance. He needs to snipe in order to score goals at a higher rate with the way he is playing.
I would like to see him become more of a grinder and less of a skill player. That’s what made him so effective in his first few years with the Flames. Win more board battles. Get more engaged around the net. Take some punishment to get to the hard areas. Piss off his opposition. Get in their space and face more. I think we would see a more productive Mangiapane if he focused less on being a finesse playing and more on being a mucker and grinder.
Overall, Mangiapane’s game has been solid this season. He is still an incredibly effective, play driving forward at 5-on-5. He creates a ton of high quality chances for the Flames, more than anyone on the team at 5-on-5. But he just happens to be a little snake bitten. He isn’t putting away goals at the rate we expect him to. But that will change eventually.
If I were in charge of the Flames, I would not move Mangiapane this summer. I would keep him in hopes of him finding his scoring touch and either increasing his trade value or showing he should be signed to a new contract.
Here are some of the chances he hasn’t been able to bury, which helps explain why his goal total is where it is.
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