Game Takes: Flames 6 Ducks 3

April 12th, 2024 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

This Andrei Kuzmenko thing is becoming more and more of a story.

The player scores a hat trick tonight in the Flames 6-3 win over the Ducks in Anaheim, giving him 14 points in the last 7 games, and a 20+ goal season after a terrible start in Vancouver.

The player seems to be pretty happy, as demonstrated in his jacked interview after the game.

Quite the trade for the Flames with the Flames adding an impact scoring forward, Hunter Brzustewicz, and a 1st round pick in a couple of months (plus other pieces).

The Lineup

Back to back games so you knew there would be some tinkering.

AJ Greer comes out for Dryden Hunt, and Iilya Solovyov is out for Nikita Okhotiuk.

Forward lines have a tweak or two; Mikael Backlund back with Andrew Mangiapane and Yegor Sharangovich, Dryden Hunt back on a line with Connor Zary and Jonathan Huberdeau, a new fourth line of Kevin Rooney with Matt Coronato and Walker Duehr. And the only line that stays intact; Nazem Kadri with Martin Pospisil and Andrei Kuzmenko.

Only one defense pairing left as is; Mackenzie Weegar with Daniil “hut!” Miromanov. Two new pairings; Oliver Kylington back with Rasmus Andersson, and Nikita Okhotiuk with Brayden Pachal.

Who’s On a Heater?

Flames leaders in the last ten games … wll be updated game by game to get a top 5 in an updated rolling ten game segment.

Points / 60 in all situations?

  1. Kuzmenko 3.85
  2. Kadri 2.86
  3. Sharangovich 2.40
  4. Huberdeau 2.39
  5. Weegar 1.89

Then a big gap down.

Play driving (xGF%)

  1. Hanley 64.8% (5 games)
  2. Backlund 61.6%
  3. Huberdeau 59.5%
  4. Weegar 59.0%
  5. Coleman 58.7%

Goaltenders (Save Percentage)

  1. Wolf .892 4 starts
  2. Markstrom .877 6 starts

Wolf’s Start

On his way to what looked like a shutout turned into three third period goals against.

One trickles through his pads on a tipped puck.

One off Weegar and then the post.

One on a great pass by Trevor Zegras.

In the end it’s three against on 2.2 expected, but none of them his fault.

Kadri Has a Night

Guy knows his way to the stage.

Game number 900 in his career so he walks out a three point night including one of his take the line and do it myself goals that we’ve seen often in Calgary silks.

Up to 70 points on the season as well.

From what looked like a mail it in finish to last season, to a never say die season this year, what a turnaround.

Kuzmenko Keeps Rolling

Getting less and less like a streak and more and more like a player that’s finding it again.

By that I don’t mean he’s going to be a two points per game player going forward, but closer to that 25-30 goal 60 point player that was predictable after his huge season in Vancouver.

Eight goals in 43 games in Vancouver and now 13 goals in 26 games in a Flames uniform with three more tonight.

I think it’s a definition change for the player getting to 20 this year. Twenty after scoring 39 becomes a 20+ goal scorer and not a guy that once had a good season. Can’t hurt his trade value for next season.

Weegar’s Comments

Eric Francis collected some thoughts from Mackenzie Weegar while traveling through California.

We all know the sound bytes, the guy is a good human, but he made a pretty big statement about wanting to stay in Calgary and be a part of turning things around.

Said asking for a trade is easy.

Next captain I would think.

You Can’t Win Here

I was only at one of those dreaded string of losses, but it was enough to appreciate the Anaheim fans involvement in the streak.

Now the Flames have won nine in a row in Anaheim, to completely flip the script.

But give Anaheim credit, night and day in crowd comparison compared to what we saw a few days ago in San Jose.

Odds and Sods

I think one thing we should keep in mind as we digest the day to day roster tinkering; of the new guys or bubble guys Brayden Pachal seems to be the only one that’s a given in the lineup every night. That says something doesn’t it? Can’t pencil him in for next season with all the unknown twits and turns of a future roster, but he’s certainly looked upon favourably. … I can’t be the only old guy that notices Dryden Hunt doing his best Lanny McDonald impersonation by one handing the puck when his high hand gets tangled up. Guessing Hunt isn’t aware though. Lanny was a right whot and used it for wrap arounds, but it’s pretty much the same maneuver. … OK my high sticking thing again. Kadri gets two handed to the face but it hits his shield first and stuns him but doesn’t draw blood so it’s 2 minutes. What a stupid rule. Two for an accident, four for carelessness, and five and a game for intent. So easy. … Just love how Kuzmenko works in “very interesting” to every interview. Such an interesting guy.

Draft Position

No change.

The Flames win in Anaheim, but they get some help with the Coyotes winning in Edmonton. Ottawa and Montreal not playing tonight.

Still a chance to move up, but it’s looking more and more like 8th overall before the lottery.

Fancy Stats

The Flames clearly the better team tonight, both on the scoreboard and in all the play driving stats under the surface. Calgary has 54% of the shot attempts, 60% of the high danger chances and 55% of the expected goals five on five. In all situations it was Calgary with 61% of the shot attempts, 68% of the high danger chances and 66% of the expected goals.

Individually the Flames were led by Martin Pospisil with 83% in xGF%. His linemates (Nazem Kadri and Andrei Kuzmenko) were 2nd and 3rd and landed in the 70s. Four players under 30% on the night; Matt Coronato, Walker Duehr, Mikael Backlund and Kevin Rooney as the fourth line has a tough night.

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