Finally, a game where there was a little back and forth. Saturday night with all eyes on them as the Islanders open UBS Arena and there were strong efforts from both teams for decent stretches. If Calgary got out of the habit of taking so many consecutive penalties after they take the first one maybe they could have put the sleepy islanders away earlier, but they let them fight back into it and made it a real game. Entertaining – more so with the W. The Flames were the first ever franchise to win in Nassau Coliseum and are now the first ever franchise to win at UBS Arena – nostalgic.
CF% – 53.39%, SCF% – 48.7%, HDCF% – 34.03%, xGF% – 44.13%
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It’s a Team Game – There were some serious extended zone times for the Isles and the Flames were lucky they have such a stud in their net playing some amazing hockey. Chalk this one under “stolen game” for Markström because the second half of the game was really dominated by the home team. Seems weird the just stopped calling penalties altogether at some arbitrary point in the second period, but it didn’t necessarily benefit Calgary this time. The Islanders were always a team I had circled on the schedule because Trotz vs. Sutter intrigued me. Flames won, but there were spots for improvement.
Corsi King – Rasmus Andersson (67.60 CF%) led the way for Calgary with partner Noah Hanifin (59.56%) and his 3 assists close behind. Every Flame but 3 finished over 49% meaning most of them won (or evened out) their overall attempts towards the oppositions net battle – but as we’ll see later the Islanders were able to defend the good chances even without Pelech and Pulock in the lineup.
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Corsi Clown – Nikita Zadorov (35.86%) who in the last review I gave a compliment to completely did a 180 on me for this one. You sir just did not have anything good going on for you in this one. Your partner suffered too – Erik Gudbranson (45.33%) – and together you gave me extreme worry whenever you got pinned in your own zone. Which turned out to happen a lot.
Taken By Chance – It’s worth noting the top line lost their match-up at 5v5 by a significant margin – just the second time this year that has happened (first was in Montreal). Johnny Gaudreau (55.52 SCF% / 0 HDCF%), Elias Lindholm (51.36% // 0%), and Matthew Tkachuk (47.37% // 0%) did not generate a high danger chance in this game. Now I stress the 5v5 part, they did their job on the power play tonight, but against strong well-structured slot defence they’ve come up short on their margin’s twice now. A trend worth watching going forward.
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xGF% – Milan Lucic (73.70 xGF%) played only 7 mins at 5v5 due to the penalty box parade but was effective. The fourth line winning their battles is something we had not seen in about 2 weeks so it’s a very welcome sight. Shoutout to future Canadian Olympian Andrew Mangiapane (58.01%) for both his goals combined with the strong all-around performance. He deserves that honour – no Canadian has scored like he has at 5v5 the last two seasons – nobody.
Game Flow –
As you can see Calgary dominates the start, but as usual struggle getting off a full PK as they try to get their lines back in order. The referees decide that everyone needs to be punished (call the game as it should be, I have no qualms about it) and Calgary being able to put the power play goals in is the difference. That and a very poised/athletic beast of a goaltender in Jacob Markström.
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Game Score – Noah Hanifin (2.43 game // 0.71 average) with his first finish as the top Flame by this metric. Andrew Mangiapane (1.87 // 1.26) is used to this, but Trevor Lewis (1.52 // 0.18) is certainly not. Risky ENG by Lewis but he’d hit a few crossbars so far this season so it’s an earned reward. Semi-earned – his impact tends to fluctuate night-to-night.
Shot Heatmap –
By far the weakest heatmap from a Flames perspective that I’ve seen to date this season – and it should be. The Islanders are a team that’s well coached and they showed it tonight. They may not have got the win, but easily deserved it. Calgary stole these two points and were able to because they got the lead early. Take it and run.
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In The Crease – 42:19 at 5v5, 1.89 expected goals against, just one 5v5 goal got by him classified as a high danger chance. He did not let in any weak goals, he made all the saves he needed to (and then some) when it mattered, and he helped his team get to their 10th W of the season. Those Ws are when Darryl gets impressed, but I’m sure after this one he’ll have some comments. Not anything negative about his goaltender though – the early Vezina candidate (possibly favorite) with another quality performance.
Today’s Specials – Two power play goals make it a good night. If Mangiapane keeps this up he’s going to have to add “tip master” to his resume because that one tonight was sharp. Both units get goals with Mangiapane and Hanifin being on for both. Both came mid-change, and both came from the Bread Man. The penalty killing was once again stellar, and it had to be because the Flames kept going shorthanded. I’m going to start believing soon that they like to play shorthanded with how undisciplined some of these games have been of late.
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(Note: It is completely unfair just how good of a goal scorer Mangiapane is becoming – i love it)
Player Spotlight – Oliver Kylington – Aided by all the special teams no doubt, but your 5v5 leader in TOI was Oliver Kylington at 15:16. That is not insignificant in any way, shape, or form. Tonight was not his sharpest game, but nobody’s expecting 82 straight games of dominance. If this was truly him at a low point, I’ll take that any day of the week. My real question he’s making me think is – what’s his next contract look like? Gustav Forsling might be a decent comparable for a guy like Kylington, in my opinion anyways.
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Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Markström
2) Mangiapane
3) Hanifin
The Flames are right back at it, visiting the Bruins on Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. MT – Revenge of the Sith baby. I expect Darth Vladar to bring the force as he’s expected to face his old team.
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com)