You don’t get to make the schedule you just have to play the games as they lie. The Flames were in a situation where a win was needed while Ottawa was missing seemingly their entire starting lineup. There were still some good players on the ice (B. Tkachuk, Chabot, Norris, Zub) but it didn’t matter in the end. Calgary re-found what made them so competitive in the beginning in the second period and put the wheels down on the shorthanded Ottawa team. Missing players or not – felt good after what Ottawa did to Calgary in the North Division last season.
CF% – 62.83%, SCF% – 70.28%, HDCF% – 62.37%, xGF% – 70.11%
It’s a Team Game – After the first it was an even game – The Flames used that Mangiapane goal to kick themselves in the pants though. Was not good for all the Ottawa youngsters after that. Three lines and three defence pairs were just trucking and the one D pair that had been struggling lately even chipped in offensively. The Flames played their best defensive game of the year but weren’t really tested from an NHL squad, but we know just because players are missing doesn’t mean you’ll win (hello Sharks).
Corsi King – Dillon Dubé (75.33 CF%) and Mikael Backlund (75.33%) co-lead this one. Andrew Mangiapane (74.07%) and Matthew Tkachuk (71.50%) also finished over that 70% threshold. This was another game where almost everyone finished over 50% – almost.
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Corsi Clown – Brad Richardson (28.22%) really should not have been outmatched tonight. Walker Duehr (36.56%) was in his first ever game, so we won’t critique him yet, but Milan Lucic (39.06%) was down there too. This is about the point where it’s worth asking if Richardson still has it. He scored one goal so far this season, but outside of that game the other five have seen him get outplayed. Tonight, against a lower-level competition than he’ll most likely face all year he faltered. I mean no disrespect to Richardson, but the age curve comes for everyone – time always wins.
Taken By Chance – Dillon Dubé (80.67 SCF% // 100 HDCF%) led the way despite playing the second least amount of minutes in all situations. At 5v5 he was a full 2 minutes+ behind Brad Richardson (38.96% // 0%) who spent seemingly all that time in his own zone. Dubé tied with Mikael Backlund (80.67% // 100%) for the high danger ratio lead. Milan Lucic (71.71% // 100%) and Walker Duehr (71.71% // 100%) on their one shift without Richardson created a high danger chance for too. You don’t win too many games with your fourth line, but you can sure lose them if they aren’t playing competently.
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The most raw high danger totals came from Elias Lindholm (81.84% // 80.86%) and Flames super-weapon Oliver Kylington (79.95% // 66.92%). Now that I’ve mentioned Kylington it’s worth noting how lucky (yes, lucky) he was on that first goal. If he missed knocking that puck out of thin air it goes the other way immediately. Two reasons why that didn’t bother me: 1) Chris Tanev was already back covering at the red line when he saw Kylington step up and 2) Kylington has the speed to get back and catch anyone not named McDavid/Barzal in this league.
xGF% – Mikael Backlund (84.60 xGF%) and Dillon Dubé (84.60%) seemingly co-lead every category and they both ended up with no points. Dubé himself is due to have the dam break open here which is great news. Underlying numbers are excellent across an extended period of games, eventually the bounces will go his way – that’s positive regression! Brad Richardson (6.97%) was under 10% for the second time in 6 games. Outside the bottom forward line, the lowest mark was Blake Coleman (57.47%) – which is really good.
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Game Flow –
You can pinpoint the areas where Calgary applied severe pressure to the Sens and it’s great that it was rewarded in both instances with goals. Not immensely pretty goals, but well earned. Honestly though, a decent experience for a few young Senators to come up and experience some extended NHL action isn’t a bad thing for them. When they go back to the AHL (and most will) they’ll know what it takes to play at this level going forward – thanks to Calgary anyways.
Game Score – Elias Lindholm (3.06 this game // 1.51 season average) leads a Flames dominated list with Oliver Kylington (2.67 // 1.21) and Andrew Mangiapane (2.58 // 1.20) rounding out the podium. Even the guy I was harping on had a positive impact game in Brad Richardson (0.16 // 0.06). Honestly almost everyone played well against a depleted roster so it’s just the one guy that did bad that stands out like a sore thumb.
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Shot Heatmap –
The Senators sure tried, but the Flames really made sure to give them nothing. While earlier in the game i wasn’t blaming Forsberg too harshly for the tipped goals the one against Zadorov was bad… and Zadorov also knew it right away (below). I don’t think the next shutout Vladar gets in his career will come so… untested.
In The Crease – After looking at that heatmap you might wonder how Dan Vladar was able to stay awake all game. Well, he did, and he stopped everything for his first career shutout. At 5v5 his expected goals against were only 0.80 and he only had to stop 3 high danger opportunities. Regardless how they’re made they all count in the SO column, and this was Vladar’s first ever. Congrats Darth, and may the force be with you.
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Today’s Specials – What did coach Sutter say last week – any game you get one that’s a win? I’m paraphrasing a bit but that’s the message in a nutshell. Flames do get a PP marker in this one and it came because they were moving their feet on entry into the zone. No, I’m not talking about the puck carrier I’m talking about the other 3 guys who tend to stand still at the blueline. On the goal they were all moving, and it drove the defenders back and allowed Calgary to get to the net and cause chaos. M. Tkachuk eventually gets the puck and buries it, and we all live happily ever after.
Player Spotlight – Trevor Lewis – I still believe against good competition he’s best suited for 4th line duties (like Richardson, Pitlick, Lucic, Gawdin, Duehr) but tonight he was a participant on the line that got the most and best chances 5v5. Still, he was on the lower end of Flames making an impact. When playing with Lucic and Monahan he had some decent games and a ton of low danger scoring attempts, since the line shuffle he had been a little lost. Maybe this game sparks him but be wary of guys playing above their NHL skillset – it doesn’t lead to long-term success for player or team.
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Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
 1) Elias Lindholm
2) Andrew Mangiapane
3) Dan Vladar
HM: Dillon Dubé and Mikael Backlund
The Flames continue their road swing with number four against the Flyers Tues., Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. MT – all covered here at FlamesNation.
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)