Game Takes: Flames 1 Wild 0 (shoot out)

March 7th, 2023 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Jacob Markstrom stole that one.

It just has to be stated that simply. There can be no debate.

It was a slow build with a good first, an even better second and then a heart stopping third period where the Flame’s goaltender stood on his head and carried his team to a shutout shootout win.

On the way he needed some help, as the Wild scored in overtime but had the goal overturned on an off side.

But at that point he had stolen a point, great story that the call went his way and he was able to finish the job.

The win is huge … it moves the Flames to within four points of the Jets as things tighten up.

Ladies and gentleman, the Flames have entered the chat.

The Lineup

No change from last night, after a lot of change leading into the 5-4 win in Dallas.

So on the blueline it’s Noah Hanifin with Chris Tanev, Mackenzie Weegar with Rasmus Andersson, and Nikita Zadorov with newcomer Troy Stetcher.

No change in goal as Jacob Markstrom makes his fourth straight start.

Up front it’s the same as well; Jakob Pelletier with Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli, Mikael Backlund centering Andrew Mangiapane and Blake Coleman, Nazem Kadri with Nick Ritchie and Jonathan Huberdeau, and finally Dillon Dube between Milan Lucic and Trevor Lewis.

Line Metrics 

Pelletier – Lindholm – Toffoli 71.3%
Ritchie – Kadri – Huberdeau 65.8%
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman 64.2%
Lucic – Dube – Lewis 7.7%

Hanifin – Tanev 63.6%
Weegar – Andersson 60.8%
Zadorov – Stetcher 56.2%

Goals Saved + Avg
Markstrom -0.3
Vladar -7.8

Trend Tracker:

Well Calgary had a positive goaltender for two days … Jacob Markstrom moving to +0.4 GSAA after the Wild game on Saturday night. Giving up four in Dallas he’s back to -0.3.

Fun fact … if you set the minimum ice time bar to the smallest possible setting at Moneypuck and sort the Flames forward lines all season Jakob Pelletier shows up in lines 1 and 2 (10.4 minutes with each), both besting the juggernaut Mikael Backlund line. Pelletier with Lewis and Duehr comes in first at 77.8% xGF%, Pelletier with Lindholm and Toffoli last night is 2nd at 71.4%. The Backlund line on their heels at 69.8% which in incredible with 350 minutes. Backlund appears on lines 3, 4, 5 and 6 if you can believe it.¬† Backlund’s line is still #1 league wide if you set the minimum to 200 minutes (not a big hurdle).

Quiet First

Not a whole lot happened in the first period; as least in comparison to what we saw last night and all night in Dallas.

Jacob Markstrom was the busier of the goaltenders, as the Wild had more zone time, more shots and more chances to score.

If I was to give the period to a team, I’d say the Wild were the better club for sure.

With a second night in a back to back you’d like to jump on the opposition early. Didn’t happen tonight.

Markstrom Strong

Jacob Markstrom playing in back to back games did pretty much everything he could for his club; sending the game scoreless to the third period.

The third period though? That was a master class in goaltending as the Wild poured it on and should have won the game.

In a season where we’ve seen a lot of “medium” stuff go in, Markstrom was air tight and all you could ask for. He stopped 18 high danger chances in all situations through 65 minutes.

The expected goals against in the game was 4.13. Zero seems better.

Wish that baby was delivered healthy about a month sooner!

Wouldn’t That Be a Story?

Flames sputter all season with goaltending comprising the key issue in their demise.

Jacob Markstrom the target of the ire from the fan base has a baby in early March, and then finds his game and carries the Flames back to an improbable playoff spot.

While I’m at it …

They upset the Knights in the first round, and then slay the best by beating Edmonton in four in the second round.

Ticky Tacky

Most penalties are what they are … penalties.

Some you have to call like Hartman’s slash and then punch to the face for a double minor or Troy Stetcher’s high stick on Sunqvist.

Others though you just shake your head. That 2nd penalty to Nick Ritchie tonight was a cross check by definition, but in a way that can be called every 15 seconds in every hockey game. The guy lost an edge. Wasn’t the Nazem Kadri crosscheck in the third period on Kaprizov a more blatant infraction?

Then the Mangiapane interference call at the end of the period. Did he interfere? For sure. But was he also holding the line to avoid going offside in the only way that he could? Also true.

I don’t like to whine about officiating but in a 0-0 game leave it alone.

What’s the Story with Andersson and Kaprizov?

Has to be something right?

Andersson jawing at him in the second period.

Shots by Andersson every time they get in a scrum including the one where Hartman lost it and took two minors.

Right back at it again in the third with Andersson going aggressively at Kaprizov after Markstrom made a save.

Would love to know the behind the scenes on that one.

Goal Review

Not sure I agree with that one.

I think Spurgeon had control.

Clearly his boots were across the line before the puck, but to me he had control and with that it should have stood.

I was shocked.

Evason Hot Head

Dean Evason seems like a good guy in interviews. Played in Calgary for the Flames 35 years ago or so.

But is there a call against his team that he agrees with?

Never a fan of the coach that bitches about every single call.

The Hartman double minor in particular was completely obvious with the replay.

Get over it dude.

Odds and Sods

Have to wonder if Nick Ritchie is long for the lineup with three minor penalties in three periods. Last night in Dallas a silly penalty. Tonight careless stick on the first minor and then maybe an iffy call on a push (cross check), but Sutter hates penalties and Ritchie is racking them up. … Speaking of penalties, that’s the first look at Jakob Pelletier in a scrum who took exception to being cross checked by Matt Zucarello and ended up off with a roughing call with Matt Dumba. … Good to hear a little clarity on the line changes for the Dallas game. Kirk Muller was on the pregame radio coverage and said Dillon Dube was on the fourth line to provide speed up the middle through the lineup. Makes a degree of sense, though less ice time for the fourth line does too! … Oh man that turnover by Jonathan Huberdeau in overtime. Yikes. I’m convinced everything he touches goes in next year. Book it. … Oddly enough that’s the second straight game where the Backlund line just got run over. Don’t see that often. … I’m not a player guy, it’s team and systems and rolling through the roster. I don’t have favourites and I generally don’t have players I don’t like. But I’m growing a slow burning Nazem Kadri annoyance. New for me.

Special Teams

Not going to come as a surprise that special teams were kind of moot in a scoreless hockey game, but there you go.

Neither team score, the Flames on three chances and the Wild on five.

The Wild generate two high danger chances, while the Flames generate two, but give up two shorthanded.

Edge on technicals go to the Wild.

Standings and Record

You know what? I’m going to stop summarizing chases that don’t matter.

Who cares where the Avalanche are in the standings, it’s all about the Jets and Flames in my mind.

The Jets not playing today, and the Flames winning that puts them back four points with Winnipeg having a game in hand. Last night heading in it was seven points even games, the Flames have almost cut it in half in 24 hours.

Counting Stats

Shots: Flames 26 Wild 40
Face Offs: Flames 53% / Wild 47%
Powerplay: Flames 0-3 / Wild 0-5

Fancy Stats

This one wasn’t close. It was a clear cut Jacob Markstrom stolen game, and the stats support it. Five on five the Flames had 48% of the shot attempts with period splits of 44%/61% and 44% respectively. In terms of five on five expected goals, the Flames had 36%, and for high danger scoring chances the Flames had 29%, with a 5-12 split.

In all situations the Flames had 46% of the shot attempts, 37% of the expected goals, and 32% of the high danger splits. The all situations expected goal totals came out at 2.43 to 4.13. Can’t believe it was a double shutout.

Individually the Flames were led by Nazem Kadri posting an xGF% of 60% on the night five on five. Nick Ritchie, Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev also had plus nights. The rest of the team was under water including four players under 20%; Troy Stetcher, Mikael Backlund, Andrew Mangiapane, and Milan Lucic.

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