Meaningless Game Take: Flames 6 Canucks 2

May 19th, 2021 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

That’s a wrap!

Not the season the team expected. Not the season the fans expected. But here we are.

As the season has wound down the Flames have seemingly found their offensive gear, as perhaps the gripping of the sticks has been alleviated with the games meaning next to nothing.

Today six more goals in routing the Vancouver Canucks by a 6-2 score to conclude their season one game under .500 with 55 points in 56 games.

Who Played

The gruff task master seemed to relent on what the market wanted, inserting Matthew Phillips for Josh Leivo, and Juuso Valimaki for Nikita Nesterov.

The moves are interesting given Sutter’s almost lack of knowledge of Phillips all week, and his beating down of Valimaki and Dillon Dube in today’s pre game media.

Jacob Markstrom gets the start after Louis Domingue started yesterday, playing out the string for his hockey club.

More on Valimaki and Dube below ….

Matthew Phillips Living the Dream

Pretty cool story when you get to hit the ice for the NHL team in your home city.

From the Calgary Minor Hockey system and the Buffaloes program to the bigs with stops in Victoria and Stockton before getting that solo lap and a start on home ice (yeah I know he played all year for Stockton on Calgary ice).

Overall I liked his game. Thought he looked more effective than Adam Ruzicka in the big center’s first two games. He was set up by Mikael Backlund in the third period for what looked like an empty netter, but bobbled it and didn’t get a point.,

He did look small, and didn’t win a lot of puck battles in corners, but when he had the puck in open ice you could see the skill.

Mangiapane Watch

With three goals in his last two games, Andrew Mangiapane was on quite a charge in an attempt to secure his first 20 goal season despite the shortened schedule.

Of his 18 goals, 15 have been even strength putting him at the top of the Calgary list ahead of both Elias Lindholm and Johnny Gaudreau who both had 11. When you dig into even strength goals per 60, Mangiapane was bested by the legendary Byron Froese who had one goal in 40 minutes of ice time. But seriously Mangiapane at 1.24 even strength goals per 60 eclipsed Josh Leivo at 0.94, Lindholm at 0.89 and Gaudreau at 0.88.

Get this man some ice time next year!

Since Dube and Valimaki Have Become a Thing

Seems only right to have a gander at the play of the two “targets” of Darryl Sutter’s wrath earlier this afternoon. It was over the top, and potentially misguided, but it wasn’t without purpose, as it appears he’s trying to get two of the young potentially impact players to another level.

First the quote …

“I think (Dube) and Valimaki are the identical players in terms of where they’re at – their minutes don’t go up unless they become better players. If they become better players this team becomes better. There’s a little bit of entitlement that went on here and that impacts your team in a negative way for sure. You don’t play guys more to help them get better. They have to help themselves get better based on their training, based on their preparation, based on their compete level, not just the skills that they were drafted on.”

And boy did Valimaki have a rough night making you wonder if maybe the stick should be put away for the carrot?

He coughed the puck up two or three times, fell down once, took a penalty and could have had two. A pretty miserable night for the Fin defenseman.

Dube was better, scoring a nice goal before getting what looked to be a Travis Hamonic forearm to the head in the second. He didn’t return, so here’s hoping he can still go to the Worlds.

Draft Implications

The Flames finish with the 12th worst record, passing both the Coyotes and the Blackhawks. They will draft 13th by odds, with the lottery coming up to settle the actual order.

The Flames have a 4.2% chance of winning one of the two lottery spots.

Fancy Stats

This one wasn’t close once again. The Flames had 56% of the five on five shot attempts with period splits of 50%/55% and 60%. In terms of high danger chances it was even further apart as the Flames ran up a 19-6 edge for 76%. The expected goal split went to Calgary as you’d expect with 66%.

In all situations the Flames had 55% of the shot attempts, 75% of the high danger chances and 65% of the expected goal split.

Individually the Flames were led by Dillon Dube at 86%. Chris Tanev was second at 82%. Conner Mackey and Mark Giordano finished in the 70s. Rasmus Andersson, Juuso Valimaki and Mikael Backlund were all under 40%.

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