Writing an article like this is difficult because 11 skaters on the Calgary Flames roster had career years last season. Because of that it will be difficult for some players to build off their incredible production from their 2021-22 campaigns. However, there are two players who could be even better from a point production standpoint.
(All stats used in this article are courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.)
Although Mangiapane had a great year, there is more offence for him to contribute to the Flames next season. That will come from greater opportunity.
Mangiapane was underutilized at times by the Flames last season. At 5 on 5, he ranked sixth in average ice time per game over the course of the entire 2021-22 campaign. There were stretches during the season when he would be in the bottom six for ice time among Flames forwards, which is not enough for a player of Mangiapane’s caliber.
Mangiapane also spent very little time on the Flames top power play unit. He played a total of 31 minutes on the top power play unit with the Flames big three in Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk.
That has to change this season. Mangiapane is in a prime position to play on the top power play, and potentially even the first line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Lindholm. Among Flames forwards last season, Mangiapane ranked first in goals/60, first in individual high danger chances created, and fourth in points/60 at 5 on 5. Mangiapane has the potential to be a 60–70-point player and break the 40-goal mark if he is given a larger offensive role on the team next season.
Mangiapane doesn’t necessarily have to play on the top line at 5 on 5 to eclipse his point total from last season. The line of Mangiapane, Mikael Backlund and Blake Coleman, were one of the most dominant lines in the NHL last season from a possession standpoint. Based off their totals from last season, Mangiapane and his line mates could be in for increased offensive production next season if they get the opportunity to play with each other for the majority of the year. They played 336:24 together at 5 on 5 which was about a third of the regular season. In those minutes they overwhelmed the opposition.
Corsi For %
Goals For %
Expected Goals %
High Danger Scoring Chances %
Scoring Chances %
(Mangiapane-Backlund-Coleman results in 336:24 of ice time at 5 on 5)
Coleman finished the regular season with 16 goals in 81 games. That was the second least productive year for Coleman based on an 82-game goal pace.
82 Game Goal Pace
But that certainly wasn’t from a lack of trying. Coleman is one of the hardest working players on the Flames and is a shot generating machine. Coleman led the Flames by generating 11.52 shots/60. The next closest player was Tyler Toffoli at 10.06/60. Coleman had bad shooting luck as he had the worst shooting percentage of his career at 7.50%. His average career shooting percentage including his career low from last season is 9.75%. Had Coleman shot at his career average, he would have scored at a 21-goal pace over 82 games.
Coleman can eclipse the 20-goal mark next season if Head Coach Darryl Sutter plays him Backlund and Mangiapane together for the vast majority of the season, where he had his most success in the 2021/22.
Coleman could also get some looks on the second power play unit as there is an open spot to be filled with the departure of two power play regulars in Tkachuk and Gaudreau. Coleman only averaged 18 seconds a night on the power play last season. Coleman has the potential to be an effective net front presence on the second unit. The majority of Coleman’s goals last season were scored in tight around the net and on tips.
It’s going to be difficult for the majority of players on the Flames to improve upon their career years during the historic 2021-22 season. But if the Flames are going to be successful and make the playoffs next season, they will need a couple guys to step up and produce more offensively, especially with the losses of two 100 point players in Gaudreau and Tkachuk. Mangiapane and Blake Coleman are two guys who I think have the best chance at doing just that.
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