Game Takes: Coyotes 4 Flames 3 (OT)

March 14th, 2023 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

What more can you say?

You have to win games like Anaheim on Friday night, and Arizona tonight if you want to dig out of a hole.

Sure they played well against Ottawa, but results are results and that’s a 1-1-1 record in a streak where they needed at least five points and certainly more than three.

The Jets lost in Carolina which helps, but a sloppy game in Tempe hurts them badly in the standing with now 14 games to play.

A complete lack of focus and patience for the Flames and they paid for it.

The Lineup


Line Metrics Coming In

Pelletier – Lindholm – Toffoli 64.2%
Huberdeau – Kadri – Dube 71.6%
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman 63.2%
Lucic – Lewis – Duehr 53.5%

Hanifin – Tanev 65.8%
Weegar – Andersson 70.0%
Zadorov – Stecher 46.7%

Goals Saved + Avg
Markstrom +3.9
Vladar -7.8

Trend Tracker:

Looking at opponents today (said in a Wayne from Letterkenny opening voice) …

On the season (82% played out) the Flames have a perfect record against four NHL clubs; The Sharks, tonight’s opponent the Coyotes, the Panthers and the Dallas Stars. The Stars somewhat surprising. When it comes to carrying the play the team they’ve most dominated this season is the Boston Bruins (two solid games, one where they ran them over). Number two on that list is the Edmonton Oilers despite going 1-2-0 against their provincial rivals.

On the flip side the Flames have two teams who have held them pointless; bubble teams the Red Wings and the Predators. Feels like lost points. Only one team has held the Flames below 30% in xGF%, the Carolina Hurricanes. The Predators and the Wild have them in the 30s. Only nine teams have edged them in expected goals on the season (to date).

First Period Thoughts

I’m not one that subscribes to the idea that Calgary doesn’t show up against weaker opponents.

In my mind they show up, but they’re patient or confident in their system enough to let the game come to them. So instead they force it creating early pseudo desperation when it’s not needed leading to turnovers and uphill battles.

Tonight in the first period they out shot the Coyotes, but didn’t out chance them as the Coyotes had a 3-2 edge in high danger chances in the first period.

Jacob Markstrom was very good or they’d be down a couple.

Settle in. Play your system. Let the talent rise.

Forcing it doesn’t work.

Goal Challenge

Man what a sequence of events.

Rasmus Andersson thinks his defensive partner has it, but then Boyd jumps on the ice and is closer to the puck than Weegar created an odd man chance.

Coyote goes to the net, spins off Andersson and runs into Jacob Markstrom.

No goal.

It was the right call, and coming almost half way through the game an excellent reset point for the Flames who were having a terrible second period.

Which They Did …

To some degree.

The Flames picked it up after the disallowed goal and were the better team for the rest of the stanza, but weren’t able to convert.

Same issue … shot volume, not enough high danger stuff.

Can’t win that way clearly.

Kadri Turnover

It’s a mistake.

It happens to everyone.

But with the turnover in the first period creating a breakaway and a save by Markstrom you’d hope that would be it for the guy.

He’s honestly dangerous on the powerplay on that half wall in the umbrella position with his turnover rate.

Getting sick of it.

Lack of Focus

The Flames just lost it tonight.

I thought they started well, owning the play for the first five minutes or so. Got the lead and seemed to be on their way.

But late in the first and into the second they just lost it.

A chunk of time in the third the same … just not on the same page.

The overtime a completely disjointed mess.

Markstrom Start

A tip goal, a shorthanded breakaway goal … hard to fault Jacob Markstrom honestly.

But with only seven high danger chances against and an expected goals against of 1.94 it’s not a good look.

Another argument game about expected goals and actual performance.

As I’ve said about 100 times though, same counts for every goalie and for every team.

Odds and Sods

Ever notice that Chris Tanev bends over and picks up the puck for the linesman on every single icing call? M0st guys have the flip skill and do it that way, but most that don’t just slide it towards the guy and that’s it. Tanev bent at the waist every single time. Classy dude. … Sort of funny to see Zach Kassian skating around for the Coyotes given the lip and attitude in previous seasons with the Oilers. …

Special Teams

Not a big special teams night.

The Flames go 0/2 with the man advantage and the Coyotes go 0/1.

Only two high danger chances were for Calgary, as the Coyotes got nothing done with the man advantage.

Edge to the Coyotes with two kills though.

Standings and Record

Tonight they hit the ice with the knowledge that the Winnipeg Jets lost in Carolina.

Win and you’re four back even games played.

So I guess you take the point, now five points back, but another major disappointment in a game they had to win.

Counting Stats

Shots: Flames 45 Coyotes 25
Face Offs: Flames 57% / Coyotes 43%
Powerplay: Flames 0-2 / Coyotes 0-1

Fancy Stats

The Flames tipped the scales in underlying numbers with a big push in the second half of the third period. Before that though they didn’t have a lot going on for the most part. Five on five the Flames had 60% of the shot attempts with period splits of 57%/53% and 71% respectively. In terms of five on five expected goals, the Flames had 54%, and for high danger scoring chances the Flames had 46%, with a 6-7 split.

In all situations the Flames had 61% of the shot attempts, 62% of the expected goals, and 53% of the high danger splits. The all situations expected goal totals came out at 3.21 to 1.94.

Individually the Flames were led by who else … Chris Tanev, posting an xGF% of 74% on the night five on five. He was joined in the 70s by Tyler Toffoli. Noah Hanifin and Jonathan Huberdeau were in the 60s. Trevor Lewis and Walker Duehr were under 30%, Troy Stecher, Dillon Dube and Nikita Zadorov were under 40%.

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