Game Takes: Panthers 5 Flames 1

March 9th, 2024 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The Flames actually played quite well this afternoon in Florida, but you wouldn’t know it from the final score.

Calgary turns the puck over too often, and were stoned by Florida backup Anthony Stolarz in limping to a 5-1 defeat in Miami.

The Flames move on to Carolina for another afternoon game tomorrow before returning to the Saddledome for a four game homestand starting Tuesday against Colorado.

The Lineup

More change.

New defenseman Daniil Miromanov makes his Flames debut tonight and goes straight to the second pairing with this thin Flames group.

The forwards don’t change from the Tampa win; 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.

Jacob Markstrom expected to get the call and past the deadline we no longer have to wonder it it’s his last start as a Flame.

Line Metrics Coming In

Huberdeau – Sharangovich – Coronato 55.6%
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman 56.4%
Pelletier – Kadri – Kuzmenko 42.6%
Hunt – Rooney – Duehr 46.7%

Weegar – Andersson 47.5%
Kylington – Miromanov NA
Hanley – Pachal NA

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

Trend Tracker

With all the transactions behind us, thought it interesting to look at some of the key special team holes that have emerged with some key personnel heading out the door.

First off the powerplay …

Calgary’s minute / game leaders on the powerplay:

  1. Elias Lindholm – traded
  2. Nazem Kadri
  3. Jonathan Huberdeau
  4. Rasmus Andersson
  5. Yegor Sharangovich

Lindholm’s place taken by Andrei Kuzemenko.

Noah Hanifin was the third most utilized defenseman on the powerplay.

Penalty Killing …

Calgary’s minute / game leaders on the penalty kill:

  1. Chris Tanev – traded
  2. Elias Lindholm – traded
  3. Mikael Backlund
  4. Noah Hanifin – traded

Three out of the four most utilized penalty killers are now wearing other jerseys.

Kevin Rooney has taken Lindholm’s spot. Mackenzie Weegar and Rasmus Andersson are elevated to unit one, and it looks like Joel Hanley will be on the second unit, potentially with Brayden Pachal.

Jacob Markstrom’s Start

No point in sugar coating a five goals against night for a goaltender.

But there were circumstances with Calgary turning over the puck and tipping pucks past their goaltender.

At the end though the tale of the tape was 3.64 expected against, and he gave up five.

Not his best night.

Ryan Huska

Have to give some credit to Ryan Huska for the way the Flames have hung in through the shedding of assets in the last nine months, and now after the shedding is complete.

The team has lots half their blueline and two thirds of last year’s top line but they continue on with the next man up philosophy.

Head coaches rarely survive rebuilds, but it looks like the players are buying in and he’ll be well positioned to help the young blueline as it rolls over.

Return vs Exiting Player

Kind of fun to have two player vs player races to watch after Calgary transactions this year.

The Yegor Sharangovich vs Tyler Toffoli battle has been a thing all season, with the younger and team controlled Sharangovich catching the veteran, and that’s in a season where Toffoli has been quite good.

Sharangovich now has 26 goals and 46 points in 63 games, Toffoli 26 goals and 44 points in 61 games.

But now the other battle is going Calgary’s way as well as Elias Lindholm continues to struggle in Vancouver, while Andrei Kuzmenko finds his stride after recovering from illness in Calgary.

Kuzmenko had an assist today and now has 8 points in 12 games since becoming a Flame. Elias Lindholm has 7 points in 16 games in Vancouver. That’s an interesting gap when you consider Kuzmenko has another season, and the Flames got an additional four pieces in the trade.

New Guy

Not easy to come up with a full scouting report in one game, and on television, but I thought Daniil Miromanov looked like an NHL player.

He joined the rush a couple of times and set up a good chance with a shot and rebound.

Later he hurt Rodrigues with a slapper, showing the heavy shot we have heard about.

Didn’t see him out of place or running around in is own zone.

If I had a critique it’s his puck distribution. He doesn’t sling the puck like an NHLer, he looks like me moving the puck in a beer league game … telegraphed and too intentional, and not hard enough!

A solid 70+% expected goal night, and a great start in a Flames uniform.

Game Flow

The Flames pretty much started the game in Florida how the game ended in Tampa by pushing the issue, and acting the opposite of a team looking to tear things down. Calgary gets the game’s first two or three chances, but Stolarz stands tall. The Flames give up a few ten bell chances themselves including Barkov in front by himself, but Markstrom makes the save. No score through 20 minutes.

Not a great start to the second with Jonathan Huberdeau turning the puck over to Tarasenko in the first minute who beats Markstrom for a 1-0 Florida lead. The Flames regain their composure and generate a few chances and then a powerplay. Calgary scores quickly up a man with Yegor Sharangovich finishing a Kadri rebound. Game all tied up, but not for long. Mackenzie Weegar tries to make a cross pass to Rasmus Andersson but it’s out of his reach, the Panthers come back in, and Barkov scores on a one timer. From there things kind of cave in for the Flames as they give up a tip goal to Bennett, and then another to Tarasenko to pretty much put it out of reach; 4-1 Panthers after two.

Any chance the Flames had to mount a comeback was quickly dashed when the Flames gave up a short handed goal to make the game a laugher; Mackenzie Weegar just throws the puck straight to a Panther creating a two on one and the final nail in the coffin. Florida adds to the misery with a 6th goal but it’s waived after a review showing they were offside moments before the goal. Calgary loses 5-1 in Florida to even their road trip at 1-1-0.

Odds and Sods

Despite the media suggesting a pairing of Miromanov and Kylinton, Huska went with Miromanov with Hanley and Kylington and Pachal to start the game. … Man Aaron Ekblad just can’t catch a break in his career when it comes to injuries. Not sure how serious it is, but he left the first period after a collision with a linemate. Looked like maybe a knee. … I’ve always had an irrational hate for the Panthers for using the Flames colour scheme. They really don’t look similar with the blue helmets, pants and gloves, since the Flames went away from the black trim.. … Not the best of returns for Jonathan Huberdeau and Mackenzie Weegar with both -2 in the second period and -3 overall together. Weegar adds another to be -4 on the night, Huberdeau turning the puck over for one, Weegar turning the puck over for two others. … Matthew Coronato seems to have another step. Getting in the forecheck, winning board battles, and distributing the puck well setting up chances. Scored a goal that didn’t count with an early whiste. Different player. He may be here for good now.

Special Teams

I guess it was a saw off.

Calgary scores the only powerplay goal and goes 1-4 on the night, but the Panthers score shorthanded while getting blanked on their only chance.

Tied up in goals, but the edge to Florida as they had less opportunity.

Standings and Record

Nashville wins again this afternoon, moving four points up on Vegas.

That pretty much puts Vegas as the only team that Calgary can catch, as they sit six points back with even games played.

Not the best spot to be in with Vegas adding Hanifin, Mantha and Hertl in the last few days.

The Flames would draft 12th if the season ended today, but they are within striking distance of 8th overall with a bunch of teams around .500.

Counting Stats

Shots: Flames 35 Panthers 31
Face Offs: Flames 37% / Panthers 63%
Powerplay: Flames 1-4 / Panthers 0-1

Fancy Stats

The Flames actually carried things five on five for the most part, but were goalied (or don’t have any finish) by the Panther backup, Stolarz. Calgary with less shot attempts but a wide edge in quality. Five on five the Flames had 48% of the shot attempts with period splits of 53%/40% and 59% respectively. In terms of five on five expected goals, the Flames had 59%, and for high danger scoring chances the Flames had 64%, with a 16-9 split.

In all situations the Flames had 47% of the shot attempts, 59% of the expected goals, and 61% of the high danger splits. The all situations expected goal totals came out at 5.33 to 3.64.

Individually the Flames were led by Dryden Hunt and Walker Duehr both posting a xGF% of 76% five on five. Their center, Kevin Rooney was just a hair back at 75%. Daniil Miromanov and Oliver Kylington were also in the 70s. Brayden Pachal, Matt Coronato and Joel Hanley were in the 60s. Jakob Pelletier with a rough game at 24%.

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