Game Takes: Ducks 3 Flames 1

March 10th, 2023 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

So yeah don’t get ahead of yourself.

The Flames completed a road trip sweep on a tough mini trip but that doesn’t escape the season from hell clearly.

Tonight back to the script where you outplay the opposition but just can’t create and finish enough to win the hockey game.

The Flames out shot the Ducks badly but just couldn’t get enough pucks past John Gibson and with that another missed opportunity to get back into the playoff hunt.

Next up the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night.

The Lineup

Sounds like no change for tonight’s lineup after back to back wins on the road.

Up front that means Elias Lindholm with Jakob Pelletier and Tyler Toffoli, Nazem Kadri with Nick Ritchie and Jonathan Huberdeau, Mikael Backlund with Andrew Mangiapane and Blake Coleman, and finally Dillon Dube between Milan Lucic and Trevor Lewis.

On the blueline look for Noah Hanifin with Chris Tanev, Mackenzie Weegar with Rasmus Andersson, and Nikita Zadorov with Troy Stetcher.

In goal it’s back to the hot hand in Jacob Markstrom for his 5th straight start.

Line Metrics 

Pelletier – Lindholm – Toffoli 48.3%
Ritchie – Kadri – Huberdeau 63.8%
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman 64.2%
Lucic – Dube – Lewis 23.6%

Hanifin – Tanev 62.7%
Weegar – Andersson 56.7%
Zadorov – Stetcher 44.8%

Goals Saved + Avg
Markstrom +3.8
Vladar -7.8

Trend Tracker:

Unbelievable how a few good starts can change the season when it comes to a goaltender’s numbers. Jacob Markstrom was in a free fall statistically, but with solid appearances in his last four outings he’s now ranked 18th in the league in GSAA according to Moneypuck at +3.8. He won’t get back into the top ten as that requires over a double digit number in that statistic, but for a guy hovering around zero for months it’s noticeable.

I get the speed at center argument for Dillon Dube on the fourth line; at least I’m trying to understand. But I’m not sure it’s working. The trio of Milan Lucic, Dillon Dube and Trevor Lewis are getting just filled in for their two games together to the tune of 23.6%. That’s brutal.

One switch up that is working however is on the blueline where Sutter flip flopped his top four defenders and seems to have created two effective pairings. Noah Hanifin and Rasmus Andersson were up and down all season, but Hanifin with Tanev and Andersson with Weegar look to be more complimentary.

Early Blender

Darryl Sutter’s taken some fire lately and for good reason in some cases. He’s had some head scratching decisions … or lack of decisions.

But I liked his early blender tonight.

The Flames need the points and they can’t stumble on a home game against a bottom five team. Early on they were a bit off so he switched up the forward lines in hopes of lighting a fire.

Would rather see that scoreless and early then down and late.

Scoreless in 4 Periods

Two game mini win streak yet scoreless in four periods.

Not everyday you see those two streaks going simultaneously.

The Flames are getting great goaltending from Jacob Markstrom, but they need to create more and finish more consistently if they want to claw back into the West playoff race.

Now granted they had a five goal outburst in Dallas before said streak, but the more games with three or more goals the better.

Markstrom Start

Can’t fault Jacob Markstrom in this one.

His team didn’t score enough goals, simple as that.

In all situations it’s a 2.13 goals against game and he gave up two.

The Flames just can’t score enough goals.

Results vs Play

I’ve always been entertained by how the results of a game can shadow how the game was actually played.

All season the Flames have actually carried the play for the most part, but found a way to lose. With that the narrative was a lost season.

Now the Flames have won two in a row and the media as a collective talk about how they’re finally figuring it out despite the fact they blew two two goal leads in Dallas, and gave up 40 shots in Minnesota.

Complete opposite.

Finish Finish Finish

Tonight was a return to typical Calgary Flames hockey this season.

Outplay the opposition, don’t generate enough despite carrying the play, don’t finish what you do generate.

The Ducks score two second period goals on fortituous bounces, Calgary can only score one on the night.

You just can’t win games in this league like that.

Odds and Sods

I’m sure I’m not alone in fearing a guy like John Gibson with a team that can’t finish. Clearly well played fear. … Will say it again, I love Mackenzie Weegar but he has zero offensive aptitude. He just can’t get pucks through when given the chance. Give me Nikita Zadorov, Noah Hanifin or Rasmus Andersson over Weegar at the blueline. … Such a blown chance for the Flames to be within two points of the Jets going into the weekend. Now the Jets have a chance to deliver a dagger tomorrow night in Florida. …

Special Teams

No penalties for the Flames! That never happens.

Calgary goes 1/2 on the powerplay to win the special teams battle that never was.

The Flames generating two high danger chances with the man advantage on the night.

Edge Calgary.

Standings and Record


The Jets idle tonight keep their four point lead, but now they have a game in hand.

Not a good loss for the Flames in their quest to dig back into the playoff picture.

Once again .. glad they didn’t give up assets at the deadline!

Counting Stats

Shots: Flames 35 Ducks 18
Face Offs: Flames 62% / Ducks 38%
Powerplay: Flames 1-2 / Ducks 0-0

Fancy Stats

The Flames were the better team on the night, of that there is little doubt. But did they do enough to seize the game and make sure they got the two points they needed? Clearly not by the result, and no they didn’t by their play. Five on five the Flames had 65% of the shot attempts with period splits of 62%/50% and 79% respectively. In terms of five on five expected goals, the Flames had 68%, and for high danger scoring chances the Flames had 74%, with a 14-5 split.

In all situations the Flames had 68% of the shot attempts, 64% of the expected goals, and 77% of the high danger splits. The all situations expected goal totals came out at 3.85 to 2.13.

Individually the Flames were led by Jakob Pelletier posting an xGF% of 83% on the night five on five. He was joined in the 80s by Nazem Kadri at 81%. Tyler Toffoli, Rasmus Andersson, Mackenzie Weegar, Jonathan Huberdeau, Nick Ritchie and Elias Lindholm were all in the 70s. Oddly enough another tough night for Mikael Backlund at 40%, but there were three below him in Trevor Lewis, Dillon Dube and Troy Stetcher.

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