Game Takes: Canes 7 Flames 2

March 10th, 2024 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

I think we may be saying this a lot in the final quarter of the season … move on.

The Flames got jumped on with the opening face off and never really recovered in getting smoked 7-2 by the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon.

Period leads of 2-0 and 6-1 made this one over quickly, and the push back was pretty non existent.

Calgary was saved by the Lightning taking them for granted or it would have been a miserable southern road trip.


The Lineup

No change to any of the skaters for today’s game in Carolina, something we haven’t seen for a spell.

Yegor Sharangovich between Jonathan Huberdeau and Matt Coronato, Mikael Backlund between Andrew Mangiapane and Blake Coleman, Nazem Kadri between Jakob Pelletier and Andrei Kuzmenko, and Kevin Rooney between Dryden Hunt and Walker Duehr.

On the blueline Dennis Gilbert comes out for Miromanov, so it’s Mackenzie Weegar and Rasmus Andersson, a new pairing of Oliver Kylington and Miromanov, and a new third pairing of Joel Hanley and Brayden Pachal.

Dan Vladar gets the start in goal.

Line Metrics Coming In

Huberdeau – Sharangovich – Coronato 64.0%
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman 56.4%
Pelletier – Kadri – Kuzmenko 25.0%
Hunt – Rooney – Duehr 65.6%

Weegar – Andersson 48.2%
Kylington – Pachal 50.4%
Hanley – Miromanov 80%

Goals Saved + Avg
Markstrom +18.6
Vladar -5.7
Wolf -8.8

Trend Tracker

So as a starter … hands up if you had a Kylington – Pachal pairing as the 4th most frequent duo on the blueline this year?

Yeah clearly nobody.

They have 153 minutes together and will likely finish up the season in 4th spot for minutes (no change in catching Andersson – Weegar nor the departed Hanifin – Tanev duo).

Speaking of pairings, the Hanley – Miromanov duo had an 80% game to start off their time together in Calgary. It will be interesting to see who is in and or out when Nikita Okhotiuk arrives in town.

Up front we are seeing a different Matt Coronato and his insertion on the Huberdeau/Sharangovich line is popping early. Huberdeau and Sharangovich seem to be very particular in who they work with. Didn’t work with Lindholm. Did work with Kuzmenko. Didn’t work with Hunt. Does work with Coronato.

Here We Are

Tyler Toffoli out before the season starts, and the team is arguably just as good as they were last year.

Nikita Zadorov out in November and the team soldiers on.

Elias Lindholm out in late January and they seem to keep on ticking.

Really from November 1st until March 8th the Flames were playing playoff level hockey, relying on a patch work offence, and an elite goaltender keeping them in it. A slow start keeping them a handful of points out of a wild card spot.

But take out their top pairing and it’s over. This is a rebuild team now.

They have a constructed blueline that would likely rate as a 2, a 3, a 5, and three 7s. It means not as skilled defending. It means not as skilled on the transition. It means more time in their own zone. It means some crooked numbers on the scoreboard.

David Vladar’s Start

Hard to be too critical of Calgary goaltending with the thinned out defense in front of them.

But seven goals against on an expected 3.21 is a rough night at the office for Dan Vladar.

Jacob Markstrom is one of the best at it, but Vladar really seems to struggle finding pucks through traffic.

But he was not alone in this one. The team was completely outplayed.

Game Flow

One of the worst periods of the season for the Flames. Worse than October even! And honestly I think that’s who they are now. Carolina keeps them off the shot clock for the first 15 minutes and runs up a 2-0 lead on goals by Martinook and Aho and it could have been worse. Vladar was pretty good in the Calgary nets. Flames outclassed in Carolina.

Things don’t get better in the second. In fact a minute into the second frame and it was 4-0 Canes on goals by Chatfield and Svechnikov, making the game look like one that was seriously going to get away (4 goals in 21 minutes had that 10 goals in 60 feel to it). Calgary stabilizes and gets on the board when Kylington makes a great pass to Dryden Hunt to make it 4-1, but Carolina adds two more to make it a drubbing by the end of the second.

The third period was pretty much academic. Calgary scores their 2nd of the night when Andersen (“watch the footwork!”) coughs up the puck resulting in an empty net goal for Yegor Sharangovich, his 27th of the season. The Canes round it out with a late one to make it 7-2 and finish the rout. Not pretty!

Odds and Sods

Such an odd change to your Sunday afternoon to have the Bally Sports call and not Sportsnet due to travel issues for the Calgary broadcast team. Interesting view of the otherside, but less homey. What it reminds me of is being a 18-20 year old back when the Flames didn’t have every game televised. I’d go to the Peanut’s Pub near the Carriage House Inn and watch the satellite feed from other cities. Always felt special, you were seeing a game you weren’t supposed to see. Something anyone under 40 would never know. … That tripping call early in the game was brutal. I get that they don’t review those, but if they did they’d see that Kuzmenko didn’t touch the player, and when Weegar made contact it was stick to stick. The player toe picked. … Brayden Pachal with a rough one today. He gets suckered on the pump fake in the first period and then has the puck bounce wildly on him for the second goal. He won’t be happy. … Back to the telecast. Is that what Flames fans want? A complete homer love fest? I would think no. Pretty cringey from my couch. “Master class in passing.”, “Both Cane’s acquisitions should have won the Conn Smythe on their runs”, “Unselfish play to not stay on for the plus”, “Just look at this footwork!”. You can’t make this stuff up. … Nice to see Dryden Hunt continue to roll. He’s not a prospect at his age, but a good story. Has a great shot, which makes sense when you see his junior numbers. Goal number three this afternoon. His career best was 6 with the Rangers back in 21/22 but he played 76 games. He has the three in Calgary in 14.

Special Teams

No special team goals in the game, but the Flames come up empty on three chances, the Canes only one.

So give it to Carolina.

Calgary had some chances, generating 0.71 in expected goals up a man.

Standings and Record

I hope I don’t hurt any feelings as I shift this section to draft position and away from the playoff hunt.

The Flames are eight points out with even games played, and now have three teams to pass to get there. They can only lose three more for the rest of the season. It’s over.

So the happier place, draft position … the Flames now hold the 11th overall spot with Minnesota and Seattle picking up points. Jersey, Pittsburgh and Buffalo are all within reach.

Counting Stats

Shots: Flames 19 Hurricanes 42
Face Offs: Flames 47% / Hurricanes 53%
Powerplay: Flames 0-3 / Hurricanes 0-1

Fancy Stats

There is no window dressing on this one. The Flames were smoked on the scoreboard. The Flames were smoked in the spreadsheets. Completely outclassed. Five on five the Flames had 34% of the shot attempts with period splits of 14%/40% and 50% respectively. In terms of five on five expected goals, the Flames had 36%, and for high danger scoring chances the Flames had 31%, with a 5-11 split.

In all situations the Flames had 37% of the shot attempts, 41% of the expected goals, and 39% of the high danger splits. The all situations expected goal totals came out at 2.27 to 3.21.

Individually the Flames were led by Joel Hanley posting a xGF% of 70% five on five. It was like he was playing a completely different game then rest of his teammates. Kevin Rooney and Walker Dueher were in the 60s, Daniil Miromanov and Jakob Pelletier were in the 50s. Matt Coronato and Brayden Pachal with miserable afternoons with 11 and 16%.

All content is property of and cannot be used without expressed, written consent from this site.