Calgary Flames have a better game than some think, they lose to top Oilers talent – ​​Flamesnation

It’s hard to see because this game was well within reach for the Calgary Flames in terms of a win – but they made some bad moves late in the game. I don’t want to completely discredit the Oilers, but if Calgary had finished a little more, they could have won Game 2 themselves. The parade to the penalty box wasn’t enjoyed by fans and became a bigger story than it needed to be, but in the end, Edmonton had the special teams advantage. Period. If the Flames want to advance, they need to be completely disciplined — even 4-on-4 doesn’t benefit them.

CF% – 60.01%, SCF% – 50.86%, HDCF% – 64.87%, xGF% – 56.3%

It’s a team game – The start was exactly what Calgary wanted, but you can only contain a motivated McDavid for so long. I’m willing to admit we’ve seen his skills on full display and the only thing Flames fans can really do when they watch it happen is curse a little. He seems to have gotten even stronger physically on the puck than he was before and he’s just plain dangerous. A series change difference would have been a healthy Chris Tanev – but even having him McDavid would still make things extremely difficult. In the series preview, I mentioned that he would pick up some games for them to win some – so far he’s been MVP in 2 games.

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King Corsi – Brett Ritchie (75.88 CF%) led the Flames in ratio, but in a time limit of 5-5. Andrew Mangiapane (73.73%) has been on fire since playing the least amount of time in a game in the first round – but all skills must turn into goals on nights when the opposition capitalize on every chance they get. Overall, Calgary led the way in 5-on-5 shooting attempts, but when the Oilers’ pesky power play takes over, there’s not much anyone can do. The Flames have stayed the course for two games and I don’t see that changing going to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4.

Corsican Clown – Only one guy was on the light side of the negative shot attempt differential and that was Tyler Toffoli (47.75%). He scored the Flames’ power-play goal, but played well all night. The Flames’ problems didn’t really lie with their forwards, the goals that came late were down to mistakes by the defense. Keep it simple and make sure the puck is in front of you and taking down the Oilers is more than doable – pinching the odds because you missed the 2-0 and 3-1 leads won’t win you much games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Taken by chance – Flames player Dillon Dubé (50.23 SCF% // 100 HDCF%) was the only Calgary skater to get multiple high danger chances for and none against. Interesting little tidbit in tonight’s stat scenario – Noah Hanifin (29.84% // 100%) and Rasmus Andersson (22.09% // 100%) saw a lot more overall quality of odds against them, but none was not very dangerous. The Oilers didn’t really get that many chances that were wildly dangerous – but every single one of them went into the back of the net. The Flames could have benefited from a big save.

xGF% – The Flames front line was creating offense but struggled to get out of the zone at times. Matthew Tkachuk (66.03 x GF%), Elias Lindholm (64.24%) and Johnny Gaudreau (59.69%) had their looks – Johnny had a great chance at close range late – but couldn’t match the Oilers’ high-end production. The Oilers themselves need to be careful – they basically played the game with just 7 forwards and if they continue to tire their team like this, it could backfire. Calgary has always seemed consistent in its verification efforts on each shift – and also rolls its lines without giving preferential treatment to anyone too often. If they stick with it, they could easily find at least one division in Edmonton.

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Game flow –

You can clearly see on these charts when the power plays are in effect, the line stays at any level until the power play expires. If you take a look at the momentum in terms of the chances that Edmonton was able to win on the power play, it changes that to favor them. That’s how deadly their special teams are – and they played with more speed. Calgary still finds time for extended possessions, but they need to find their discipline before it’s too late.

Game score – The best Flame ended up being Brett Ritchie (1.70 games // 0.28 average). Johnny Gaudreau (1.63 // 1.86) followed him – he looked dangerous tonight. Evander Kane obviously went out of his way to punch Gaudreau a few times in this one – something he said he was going to do beforehand. It barely phased Johnny who was still attacking the Oilers D when he felt he had space. It didn’t work in this game, but I’d say there’s a good chance it will happen again.

Shooting heatmap –

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The volume in the slot was still to Calgary’s advantage, but it wasn’t at the level it was in Game 1. The Oilers kept their focus and made sure they got to the middle of the ice. Everyone thinks they have Markstrom’s number, but if the Flames defense is playing at its peak, Markstrom tends to be able to stretch. One helps the other – another reason Flames fans really miss Chris Tanev. He played last year with broken ribs, so whatever’s hurting him must be really bad if he’s not getting dressed.

In the fold – There’s a lot of public blame directed at the Flames goalie, but if a goaltender is left dry on consistent breakaways against an NHL talent, he’ll crack at some point. Andersson comes out muscled low on the power play in the Oilers slot and it leads to the goal 4-3. Zadorov is a little undecided on what he wants to do on a puck in the neutral zone and allows Draisaitl to get a head start on him. Power-play goals, 4-on-4 goals and the team itself don’t do a good job of helping their goalie. Consolidate the high danger stuff and limit the penalties, Markstrom should be able to bounce back. 1.52 goals against expected with high goal danger and medium goal danger.

Daily specials – How to stay off the beaten path? By staying off the beaten track. It’s more complicated on some nights – tonight the refs felt like pulling a guy out of the scrum instead of sending him to 4v4, but then they picked the Flames player multiple times in a row. You have to deal with the referee hand you dealt – complaining about it might do you good, but the score won’t change. Recognize that it was the Oilers who got through this game and if the umpires going forward limit penalties, that tips in favor of Calgary. Only time will tell.

Player Spotlight – Nikita Zadorov – Overall, his work has been good – he’s made big, glaring puck handling errors from time to time. Other teams seem to be targeting his team for zone entries as he struggles a bit with Edmonton’s speed. He still did more things than bad things, but if the odd big mistake could be ruled out instead for just a simple possessive game, that would be awesome. Of course, all of this is much easier said than done, especially when trying to slow McDavid down.

The 3 stars of Flashalytic –

1) Johnny Gaudreau

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2) André Mangiapane

3) Brett Ritchie

The series is tied 1-1. Game 3 is in Edmonton on Sunday night.

(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game score from Hockeystatcards.com)

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