Game Takes: Jets 3 Flames 2

January 3rd, 2023 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Talk about rolling out a text book road game.

The Calgary Flames did pretty much everything right in Winnipeg but gave up three leads on the night, and were only able to close the gap two times in dropping a tight contest 3-2 to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.

The Flames out shot and out corsi’d the Jets all night, but gave up more of the ten bell chances five on five and in the end Connor Hellebuyck was able to out duel Jacob Markstrom for the win.

Earlier in the day Darryl Sutter spoke about the teams analytics, and how they show their own numbers to the team when they don’t get the results. This one might be another example for the dressing room.

Keep rolling out this type of game and you win two of three all the way home.

The Lineup

Just the one change for the Flames, as they continue to roll the same top nine forwards and top six defensemen, but had to make a change on the fourth line with the injury to Brett Ritchie.

Up front its Elias Lindholm with Dillon Dube and Tyler Toffoli, Nazem Kadri with Jonathan Huberdeau and Milan Lucic, Mikael Backlund with Andrew Mangiapane and Blake Coleman, and then a new fourth line with Radim Zahorna with Adam Ruzicka and Trevor Lewis.

On the blueline no change at all; Noah Hanifin with Rasmus Andersson, Mackenzie Weegar with Chris Tanev, and Nikita Zadorov with Michael Stone.

Jacob Markstrom back in the nets after a solid outing against his former team the Canucks.

Line Metrics 

Dube – Lindholm – Toffoli 56.9%
Huberdeau – Kadri – Lucic 51.5%
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman 73.3%
Ruzicka – Zahorna- Ritchie NA

Hanifin – Andersson 52.9%
Weegar – Tanev 55.5%
Zadorov – Stone 54.4%

Goals Saved + Avg
Markstrom +4.1
Vladar -1.5

Trend Tracker:

Will be interesting to see how that new look fourth line looks with Brett Richie out of the lineup. Ritchie and Trevor Lewis are pretty straight away players, is this a chance for Adam Ruzicka to cycle the puck with Zahorna and create? … Not a lot of change to the rest of the roster as they put in another chance tipping effort against Vancouver. A bit of a downgrade for the Kadri line, slight uptick for the Backlund line and very little change on the back end. … Similar in goal with the game slightly reducing Markstrom’s goals saved above average.

Solid First 

Great first period by the Calgary Flames, text book.

Managed the home team push by keeping them to the outside and weathering the storm. Pulled a no-no with the early penalty, but killed it off effectively and had a few chances of their own.

Then slowly took over the rest of the period and were somewhat unlucky to not score the go ahead goal.

Great road period.

Jets Unis

Just don’t get it.

Actually I do. For years the Flames were sitting on some of the best silks in the league but had them mothballed completely or brought out for third jersey purposes for years.

It was head shaking.

The Jets living through it as well in my opinion.

Their old uniforms, and two or three of their out door options developed in the last five years are beautiful, but still they continue to walk out these boring two tone blue rags.

Just use what you have!

Lucic Dangle

Hilarious move by Milan Lucic towards the end of the first period.

Caught a Winnipeg defenseman flat footed and then just walked him for a great scoring chance before shooting wide.

Really speaks to confidence, as I don’t think we see that earlier in the season with the way the big lub was playing.

Markstrom Start

Two ways to look at the play of Jacob Markstrom tonight.

Bottom line he got outdueled by the guy at the other end.

Yet he was pretty unlikely giving up two goals on shots that were going wide but deflected and another on a puck that bounced straight to a Jets player in the slot out of nowhere.

The expected goal split said 3-2 Flames and they lost 3-2 so he gets part of that blame; the team is a goal short and Markstrom a goal long.

6th D vs Top Six Forward

The talk all season has been about finding a top nine winger, preferably a top six.

Honestly with the pop from Dillon Dube, and NHL establishing season from Adam Ruzicka I believe the focus is more on Oliver Kylington’s spot, and finding a 6th defenseman.

Michael Stone just looks over his head.

He has to take penalties because he can’t get position. He turns the puck over with little pressure. It’s clear that Nikita Zadorov is looking for options A and B before passing the puck to his defense partner.

Would make a huge difference to plug up that hole and push him down to D7.

And I like Michael Stone, he’s a good story, he has a great shot, but he’s over his head.

Special Teams

Another game with the opposition getting more whacks at the powerplay than the Flames.

Such is life when you’re the dirtiest team in hockey I guess …

Neither team managed to score, so the Flames get the edge with the penalty kill standing up.

Digging deeper, the Jets had zero high danger chances in their 8:16 of powerplay time, while the Flames had two high danger chances in four minutes of extra advantage.

Flames win the special teams battle.

Standings and Record

The Kings win … that sucks. The Oilers and Canucks lost … that’s fun.

So yeah not the end of the world that the Flames come up pointless in Winnipeg.

With Seattle beating Edmonton, they leap frog the Flames and into third in the Pacific. The Flames drop to the first wild card spot.

Colorado still like a great white shark circling the Alberta teams.

Counting Stats

Shots: Flames 35 Jets 25
Face Offs: Flames 54% / Jets 46%
Powerplay: Flames 0-2 / Jets 0-4

Fancy Stats

Man talk about the prototypical Calgary Flames game. Out shot attempt them. Out shoot them. Out scoring chance them but come up short in high danger chances and lack the finish to get it done. Clock work!. Five on five the Flames had 52% of the shot attempts with period splits of 50%/58% and 50% respectively. In terms of five on five expected goals, the Flames had 53%, and for high danger scoring chances the Flames had 36%, with a  4-7 split. A very low event game.

In all situations the Flames had 54% of the shot attempts, 56% of the expected goals, and 50% of the high danger splits. The all situations expected goal totals came out at 2.73 to 2.10.

Individually the Flames were led by Trevor Lewis posting an xGF% of 87% on the night five on five. His line mate Adam Ruzicka was next up at 78%, followed by Nikita Zadorov and Radim Zahorna with games in the 70s. Rasmus Andersson and Blake Coleman were in the 60s. At the bottom Mackenzie Weegar, Jonathan Huberdeau, Tyler Toffoli and Chris Tanev.

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