Warning – reading this review from a Calgary Flames fan perspective isn’t going to make you feel any better about the result of the game.
Why? Well because Calgary controlled overall possession, scoring chances, and quality of chances and by a fairly significant margin against the Seattle Kraken. They also were ahead in terrible turnovers that led directly to easily preventable goals which is why they get stuck with a big fat loss on the night. Mistakes that the old look Flames didn’t make are starting to bubble up with all the roster changes. Time to sort that out is fading daily as Vegas and Edmonton are off to torrid hot starts. Two games in a row blowing a lead in the third period – a huge slap in the face to those fans that paid to be inside the Saddledome.
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CF% – 58.86%, SCF% -61.97% , HDCF% – 63.71%, xGF% – 65.77%
It’s a Team Game – Don’t get things too twisted – Calgary failed to register a high danger chance 5v5 in the third period. They finished with 9 high danger chances in total only get one combined between the first 20 minutes and the last 20. With the second period the Flames had and the 2 goals in the first minute of the third they should have been able to cruise home. Seattle won the third period in a big way – I hope it stings the players in a way it brings a bit more urgency into some of their games. Smarter puck management all around isn’t just needed, it should be a requirement.
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Corsi King – Andrew Mangiapane (70.11 CF%) has now played with everyone in the top 9 I believe. He started on the wing with Kadri (66.08%) and Huberdeau (55.04%) but was replaced with Dubé (57.47%) at some point. He then got to play with two guys he should be familiar with going back to last year when they were one of the most consistent lines in the league. Rasmus Andersson (64.90%) was the top defender in terms of overall shot attempt ratio – but this is just 5v5 so it doesn’t count ill-advised drop passes into coverage on the power play. Seriously fire that play design into the sun. All six Flames defence actually finished with ratios over 50%.
Corsi Clown – Mikael Backlund (48.63%) was the only one below 50% – and his play once reunited with Mange only brought this up. They were constantly moving north like they did all last season. Again, all of these numbers are spearheaded by an extremely one sided second period – perhaps the most in terms of domination the Flames have played to date this season. To follow that up with the third period they had – it just stings as a fan. Makes for lots to write about as an analyst though.
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Under Pressure –
They really didn’t give the Kraken anything outside of what was given because of the turnovers. That’s what stings the most – the Kraken were efficient in the few chances they got in the third period – statistically improbable to see it all happen that way again.
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Taken By Chance – Did you guys know Michael Stone (71.18 SCF% // 73.30 HDCF%) and Nikita Zadorov (64.42% // 73.30%) were out there for all 4 Flames goals. The fourth line was on for two goals against – but the coach saw that and adjusted their ice time accordingly. Less than 6 minutes 5v5 for that entire line – which makes me skeptical we’ll see Ružička (60.59% // 0%) on Thursday. We might though – after not playing for three weeks it does take some time to get back into the swing of things. Sutter did mention he wanted Huberdeau (71.97% // 76.49%) to play with some more speed (he may have said pace – I’ll have to double check the verbiage). He’s stood out in the fact that he has still yet to be the guy out there on the ice. 8 games in I’ll still give him the breaking in with the new team pass – but times coming quick for an impactful stretch of games. The good news for fans is he’s been one of their best at producing expected goals which as regression takes hold turns into boatloads of actual goals.
xG Breakdown –
Dillon Dubé got really noticeable after his promotion to the top line. He was giving it everything he had to score – I didn’t really mention him anywhere else in this wrap-up but he deserved the shoutout for his hard work. I’m getting quite used to seeing Kadri always leading the Flames here.
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xGF% – Trevor Lewis (84.78%) led the way and got a really nice goal to show for his efforts. He was only out for one of the goals against, so he was even on the actual goals for/against column. Not a single Flames player was below Chris Tanev (55.04%) – I tell you this is two quality overall games in a row and the Flames saw every mistake they make go right in the back of their net. Of course, the mistakes were very loud mistakes in the form of shorthanded breakaways, or a 4-on-1 rush after an opposing blueline turnover special. I don’t normally post the Moneypuck.com deserve-to-win-O-meter but this game deserves it.
Game Flow –
They had it, they flippin’ had the game in their hands. A 6-2 record and a good vibe going into Thursday. Instead it’s 5-3, losers of two straight, and not so great vibes going into Thursday.
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Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
Positive – 4 goals scored at 5v5! Best effort at limiting dangerous chances from the slot so far this season! Negative – All the goals that went in weren’t second chance efforts!
In The Crease – The heatmap showed how little the Kraken actually got in terms of slot chances, but they absolutely torched Vladar on the rush. Anyone that puts the blame on Vladar for the Gourde goal is just being rude – that was terrible for him, as well as trying to save a 4-on-1 rush in the NHL. The team with 4 should score in this league every single time. The Soucy and Geekie goals though – having at least one of those would have been nice. Overall the numbers don’t flatter Vladar – 1.10 expected goals against with one high danger and two medium danger goals against at 5v5.
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Today’s Specials – Someone needs to print a poster out of that turnover and hang it in the office of the coach that decides the bump-back is an effective way to break out on the power play in the NHL. Up a man and the team struggles to enter the zone with possession – maybe show them Oilers power play gametape. That should really fire the top unit up. An atrocious turnover that Gourde was able to read perfectly – should have just never happened in the first place.
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Player Spotlight – Nikita Zadorov – Not only is he the best dressed he had the most heart tonight too. He tallied a big goal in the second to tie the game on a well-executed jump into the rush. Scored that goal like he’s done it 100 times before. The fight, however, is why he gets highlighted here – he showed more emotion when the Flames were puttering around in the first period to try and wake his team up. When I was growing up two guys would always be that guy to get the team going if they could – Jarome Iginla and Mark Giordano. I’m not saying Zadorov should be the captain, not by any means, but that sure was an act of leadership on his part and when you play in Calgary that does not go unnoticed.
The Goals –
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Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Nikita Zadorov
2) Nazem Kadri
3) Trevor Lewis
The Flames next game is against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night at 7 p.m. MT at the ‘Dome.
Don’t forget to listen to the newest edition of the FlamesNation Radio Podcast with Ryan Pike and Shane Stevenson to get yourself prepped for the coming week of Flames hockey.
(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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