Game Takes: Canucks 4 Flames 2

March 23rd, 2024 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Post trade deadline Hockey Night in Canada game in a lost season.

All I’m really hoping for is a good effort and an entertaining game.

Pretty much what we saw tonight in Vancouver with Canucks skating away with a 4-2 win on Saturday night.

Calgary was full marks for their effort, heading to the third period with a 2-1 deficit and outplaying the Canucks in the final period.

A lack of finish did them in, as it has often this season.

Tomorrow night right back at it at the Dome against the Buffalo Sabres.

The Lineup

One change up front with Connor Zary in for Matt Coronato.

Yegor Sharangovich with Jonathan Huberdeau and Andrei Kuzmenko, Mikael Backlund between Andrew Mangiapane and Blake Coleman, Nazem Kadri with Connor Zary and Martin Pospisil, and finally Kevin Rooney with AJ Greer and Dryden Hunt.

On the blueline it’s the same six; Oliver Kylington with Rasmus Andersson, Mackenzie Weegar with Daniil Miromanov, and Joel Hanley with Brayden Pascal.

Jacob Markstrom back in the cage for the Flames.

Line Metrics Coming In

Huberdeau – Sharangovich – Kuzmenko 67.0%
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman 56.6%
Zary – Kadri – Pospisil 53.0%
Greer – Rooney – Hunt NA

Kylington – Andersson 48.0%
Weegar – Miromanov 59.1%
Hanley – Pachal 60.8%

Goals Saved + Avg
Markstrom +16.2
Vladar -12.5
Wolf -8.1

Markstrom’s Start

I thought Jacob Markstrom was pretty good with his first game back in over a week, especially early when the Canucks had the better of the play.

His expected goals against were at 2.52 and he gave up three so all in all a break even night.

Goaltender certainly wasn’t the Flames problem in this one.

Game Flow

Vancouver jumps all over Calgary early and Hoglander scores less than two minutes in setting the table for a tough night. Give Calgary credit though, they do find their legs soon after and get into more of a back and forth game for the rest of the period. End the period trialing by one but all in all a solid show up period for the Flames.

More of the same to start the second. Vancouver with the better chances, but the Flames continue to counter when they can. The Flames get caught napping (Kylington / Andersson) resulting in a two man breakaway and another Hoglander goal. Vancouver leads 2-0. Calgary finally breaks through when the fourth line hits the board, hitting Rasmus Andersson with a pass, one that DeSmith would like to have back.

Back and forth game continues in the third. The Flames get a powerplay chance early when Kadri steps on a stick and generates a few chances but can’t solve DeSmith. Vancouver sitting back while the Flames push and continue to out work their hosts. Flames end up short handed, but kill it off with a close call or two. Calgary pushes after the kill and almost ties it up, clanging the goal post. Vancouver gets a late powerplay on a Kylington penalty, and the Canucks quickly score to pretty much put it away. Final nail in the coffin an Elias Lindholm empty netter.

Odds and Sods

Have to give the Flames credit on the effort level in this one. They skated with the Canucks and were very much in the game against a team heading to the playoffs. Hate tanking so love to see the passion from a team that knows they’re not going anywhere. … The Flames aren’t a true bottom feeder. They have four defensemen and three solid lines, and for the time being an elite goaltender. Where they lack though is in finish. They just don’t have the goal scorers to balance chances with a better hockey team. … Thought Andrei Kuzmenko had a spirited game back in Vancouver; though he always brings some juice. Honestly didn’t notice Elias Lindholm all that often. … Think we’ve seen enough of Daniil Miromanov to know he’s an NHL player. Now is he a top four? Looking more and more like it as time ticks on however. …

Special Teams

Vancouver in the end with the special teams victory.

Calgary went most of the night without giving up a short handed chance, but then three in the third period including the game winner scored by Miller when Oliver Kylington was fingered.

Vancouver goes 1/3 and Calgary 0/2 with the man advantage.

Standings and Record

With the loss the Flames remain 10 points out from the final playoff spot with even games played with the Vegas Nights.

With 13 games to go, that seems more than a little unlikely.

By winning percentage the Flames have the 12th pick in the draft, but are within striking distance of four other teams.

Counting Stats

Shots: Flames 24 Canucks 26
Face Offs: Flames 41% / Canucks 59%
Powerplay: Flames 0-2 / Canucks 1-3

Fancy Stats

Calgary held their own five on five, swapping chances with the Canucks and actually generating the better overall expected offence. Five on five the Flames had 55% of the shot attempts with period splits of 50%/50% and 70% respectively. In terms of five on five expected goals, the Flames had 55%, and for high danger scoring chances the Flames had 45%, with a 9-11 split.

In all situations the Flames had 53% of the shot attempts, 51% of the expected goals, and 48% of the high danger splits. The all situations expected goal totals came out at 2.64 to 2.52.

Individually the Flames were led by Joel Hanley posting a xGF% of 90% five on five. He was joined in the 80s by Dryden Hunt; Kevin Rooney, AJ Greer, Mackenzie Weegar and Jonathan Huberdeau were all in the 70s. Four players finished the night under 40%; Connor Zary, Oliver Kylington, Martin Pospisil and Nazem Kadri.

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