Game Takes: Flyers 3 Flames 2

January 6th, 2024 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

You can’t win a game getting dominated for 20 minutes.

You can’t win a game when you take six minor penalties.

Both contributed to the Flames getting run out of the building in the second period, with Jacob Markstrom heroically keeping his team in the game and giving them a chance in a 3-2 loss in Philadelphia.

The loss moves the Flames back to .500 on the season, and 2-1-0 on this four game road trip.

Next up the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow afternoon.

The Lineup

Only change for a team on a three game win streak is on the blueline due to the scary Dennis Gilbert injury, and in goal where the starter returns to the cage.

So look for Elias Lindholm with Jonathan Huberdeau and Yegor Sharangovich, Mikael Backlund with Andrew Mangiapane and Blake Coleman, Nazem Kadri between Connor Zary and Martin Pospisil, and Adam Ruzicka between AJ Greer and Dillon Dube.

The Flames go back to the stacked top four with Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev, Mackenzie Weegar with Rasmus Andersson and Nick DeSimone with Jordan Oesterle.

Jacob Markstrom with the start tonight in goal

Line Metrics Coming In

Huberdeau – Lindholm – Sharangovich 46.0%
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman 59.8%
Zary – Kadri – Pospisil 57.1%
Greer – Ruzicka – Dube 46.8%

Hanifin – Tanev 55.2%
Weegar – Andersson 48.8%
DeSimone – Oesterle NA

Goals Saved + Avg
Markstrom +8.4
Vladar -5.0
Wolf -5.2

Trend Tracker

In the last ten games the Flames only have five players with positive expected goal splits; that says a lot about Jacob Markstrom’s play.

Markstrom is now up to +8.4 in goals saved above expected (public data, Moneypuck). Good for 12th in the league. He’s 9th league wide if you look at each team’s last ten games.

The five players getting it done?

Nazem Kadri’s line with all of Kadri, Martin Pospisil and Connor Zary in positive territory. The other two are Jordan Oesterle in limited minutes and waiver pick up AJ Greer.

The rest of the team is under water.

Is Jacob Markstrom masking a sub average hockey team that has slowly crawled their way back into things?

Markstrom Start

Best player on the ice again.

Posts a .926 save percentage in a losing effort for the Flames.

The Flyers had 4.53 in expected goals but only scored three.

Markstrom gave them a chance to win, they blew it.

Game Flow

Sloppy start to the game as both teams had to settle in to an afternoon start. The Flames likely the better team in the first half of the period, the Flyers the better team in the second half. Both Jacob Markstrom and Carter Hart were very sharp to keep things scoreless through 20 minutes.

The Flames take the lead when Martin Pospisil bleeds the puck into center ice to a streaking Jonathan Huberdeau who makes a nice move and hits the top corner to continue his resurgence streak. The Flyers tie it up shortly after when Morgan Frost converts a rebound from the point. Calgary goes up again when Mackenzie Weegar finds the cage, but the Flyers tie it again. Score is 2-2 after two, but the Flames are under siege with Philly having three powerplayers, Jacob Markstrom the difference or this one is over.

The third period much more evenly played, but the Flyers find the game winner on a shorthanded goal by Konecny. The Flames were fine in the first and third, but the second period really cost them. Blown opportunity with their goaltender standing on his head.

Odds and Sods

Markstrom is sure in the zone right now. Absolute difference maker and the team’s best player in their recent run. … So Grier goes to the net in the second period, Flyer falls down, and then three straight Philly players cross check him in succession after the whistle. Shouldn’t we be calling stuff like that? Three of them and no call? … Seconds later Greer takes a penalty for boarding Sanheim and then three for Flyers all punch him in the head and Greer is the only one going off. … Absolutely need Noah Hanifin to grow his beard back; he just looks odd to me with a shave face. He’s probably got about 5 weeks in a Flames jersey (guessing), lets get some facial hair back for the home stretch. Hanifin shaved his face to deal with stitches from a high stick. … In the end just too many penalties against for the Flames in a rough and tough affair. You just can’t hand the opposition that much time with the man advantage.

Special Teams

Flyers win it on the only powerplay goal and a complete lack of discipline on the part of the Flames.

Calgary zero for three with a man advantage, the Flyers one for six.

Too much time short.

Standings and Record

The loss leave the Flames two points out of the wildcard spot with even games played with the Seattle Kraken.

But the three teams ahead of them but out of the second season all have games in hand.

Calgary still has four teams to overtake in order to get in.

Counting Stats

Shots: Flames 24 Flyers 42
Face Offs: Flames 50% / Flyers 50%
Powerplay: Flames 0-3 / Flyers 1-6

Fancy Stats

The Flyers took the game away in the second period, but honestly they were the best team overall all night long. Five on five the Flames had 47% of the shot attempts with period splits of 56%/40% and 48% respectively. In terms of five on five expected goals, the Flames had 36%, and for high danger scoring chances the Flames had 39%, with a 7-11 split.

In all situations the Flames had 42% of the shot attempts, 32% of the expected goals, and 36% of the high danger splits. The all situations expected goal totals came out at 2.15 to 4.53.

Individually the Flames were led by Martin Pospisil posting a xGF% of 68% five on five. Nick DeSimone and Nazem Kadri were the only other players above the break even mark. Seven players at the bottom in the 20s; Elias Lindholm, AJ Greer, Jonathan Huberdeau, Chris Tanev, Noah Hanifin and Yegor Sharangovich.

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