Game Takes: Flames 3 Yotes 2

December 5th, 2022 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

That wasn’t pretty.

A terrible start followed by the Flames completely taking over the game only to fall asleep and let their visitors back in it. Luckily the Flames find the net on a late powerplay goal to eke out a 3-2 win and move their homestand to 3-1-0 with a single game left against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.

The Flames have Dan Vladar to thank for a great start and great finish on a night where he only faced 20 shots on goal.

The Flames got three points from Nazem Kadri and two from Jonathan Huberdeau as the Flames top six seems to have come to life, resulting in wins.

The Lineup

Not a single change from the Flame’s victory over the Capitals on Saturday night.

Up front it’s Elias Lindholm with Jonathan Huberdeau and Tyler Toffoli, a line that drives play nightly but doesn’t hit pay dirt very often. Nazem Kardi with Andrew Mangiapane and Dillon Dube, a line that creates both ways sadly! A third line that is emerging with Mikael Backlund with the emerging Adam Ruzicka and Dillon Dube, and finally a fourth line of Kevin Rooney between Milan Lucic and Trevor Lewis.

On the blueline Noah Hanifin with Rasmus Andersson, Mackenzie Weegar with Chris Tanev, and Nikita Zadorov with Michael Stone.

In goal Dan Vladar gets his 5th start in the last seven games.

Line Metrics 

Huberdeau – Lindholm – Toffoli 57.9%
Dube – Kadri – Mangiapane 46.1%
Ruzicka – Backlund – Coleman 60.0%
Lucic – Rooney – Lewis 65.5%

Hanifin – Andersson 48.9%
Weegar – Tanev 59.1%
Zadorov – Stone 52.3%

Goals Saved + Avg
Markstrom -0.1
Vladar +0.6

Trend Tracker:

Interesting to see now three games for the new third line; the first game a face plant, and then two more where they dominated, including the Capitals game where they hit the scoresheet three times. … The aforementioned third line boost helps mask that continued second line issue, as they slipped a little further in expected splits (Mangipane scored one of his goals off the line technically). … Step forward for the maligned pairing one, as they were in the black on Saturday night. … Surprising numbers in just 25 minutes for the fourth line, as that combination of options have a 65% mark (guessing that doesn’t last another ten minutes)

Vladar Start

The Flames needed him.

After a decent first shift the Flames moved into nap mode taking back to back penalties and putting all kinds of pressure on their backup goaltender.

Dan Vladar wasn’t the least bit phased however, turning aside the game’s first seven shots and keeping his team in the game.

Calgary recovers and scores a five on five goal (Dube) and then a powerplay goal (Lindholm) to completely change the complexion of the first period.

Great start by Vladar as mentioned, but then the poor guy goes almost 17 minutes of game play without a shot on goal.

Likely would have liked to have the Chychrun tying goal back, but is money with the Flames back up a goal and Fischer set up in the slot.

Solid goaltending.

Dube Finding Another Gear

If there’s a big hole in the make up of the Calgary Flames this year, it appears to be a lack of one on one skill sets that can beat an NHL hockey player and create an odd man chance.

So it was fitting that Dillon Dube scored a first period goal tonight, because he did it three times; beating someone one on one that is, on the same shift.

Twisting and turning away from traffic to keep a cycle going and get the puck to his teammates, and then a Chris Tanev shot from the point is tipped by Dube himself to put the Flames up 1-0.

New Guys Hit the Sheet

Nazem Kadri went seven games without a point after a red hot start in Calgary colours.

Then two points against Washington and tonight a goal; the game winner, and two assists.

Meanwhile two powerplay assists from Jonathan Huberdeau as the Flames get a huge boost from their acquired high end talent.

Quite the difference with Huberdeau, Kadri, Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane and Dillon Dube all going.

The Flow

Very odd game of swings.

The Coyotes control the first 10 or so minutes of the first period but fail to score.

The Flames take over the rest of the first period, score twice and then hold the Yotes shot-less midway through the second period.

Then things begin to slide for Calgary as the visitors regain the momentum and tie the game up on a late second period, and early third period goal.

Then … switch up again, as the Flames win it on a late powerplay goal.

Two points, regulation win, but a pretty sketchy effort compared to the Montreal loss on the homestand.

Special Teams

The Flames won this game with special teams!

How many times have we said that in the last ten? Once?

The Flames score twice on 2 1/4 powerplay chances, including the Nazem Kadri’s game winner, while killing both of the Arizona chances early in the game.

Flames win the special teams battle going away.

Standings and Record

The win moves the Flames into a tie for the final wild card spot with the Avalanche (that says something, doesn’t it?) though the Avs have two less games played.

The Flames have 27 points in 25 games and trail the Oilers by a point, but have a game in hand; the Oilers giving up 50 shots and losing to the Washington Capitals tonight.

By points % the Flames are 9th in the West, just back of the LA Kings and just ahead of the Oilers.

Counting Stats

Shots: Flames 27 Yotes 20
Face Offs: Flames 53% / Yotes 47%
Powerplay: Flames 2-3 / Yotes 0-2

Fancy Stats

As said above, a lot of swings in this one, but the Flames the better of the two teams in most underlying stats on the night. Based on the first half of the game it looked like it was setting up to be a laugher, but give credit to the Arizona side for pushing back and making it tense. Five on five the Flames had 58% of the shot attempts with period splits of 65%/60% and 44% respectively. In terms of five on five expected goals, the Flames had 54%, and for high danger scoring chances the Flames had  55%, with a 6-5 split.

In all situations the Flames had 57% of the shot attempts, 53% of the expected goals, and 47% of the high danger splits. The all situations expected goal totals came out at 2.59 to 2.34 for the Flames.

Individually the Flames were led by Adam Ruzicka, posting a xGF% of  81% on the night five on five. Trevor Lewis and Mikael Backlund were in the 70s, Nikita Zadorov and Blake Coleman in the 60s. About as rough a night as it comes for Kevin Rooney as he posts a 0% on the night, granted he was only hit with a .03 xGA (so nothing happened). Tyler Toffoli with 23% was down the list as well.

The Other Side …

The Yotes were lead by Nick Bjugstad and Dylan Guenther, both in the 70s. Travis Boyd, Nick Schmaltz and Jusso Valimaki had rough night under 30%.


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