Game Takes: Jets 5 Flames 2

April 4th, 2024 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

With a young goaltender in net you want to protect him, and give him a chance to get his bearings in the world’s toughest league.

Or … you can throw him to the wolves (terrible pun) as the Flame did with their Wolf tonight, giving up 45+ shots and way too many high danger chances in a 5-2 loss to the Jets on Thursday night.

The loss officially eliminates the Flames from playoff contention with seven games to go on the schedule.

The Lineup

Lots of change for the Flames for tonight’s game in Winnipeg.

Andrew Mangiapane is still out. Connor Zary is a healthy scratch. And Joel Hanley is hurt.

So up front it’s Nazem Kadri with Martin Pospisil and Andrei Kuzmenko, Mikael Backlund with Blake Coleman and Matt Coronato, Yegor Sharangovich with Jonathan Huberdeau and Dryden Hunt, and finally Kevin Rooney with AJ Greer and Walker Duehr.

On the blueline they keep two pairings the same and adjust the other with Hanley hurt. Mackenzie Weegar with Daniil Miromanov, Oliver Kylington with Brayden Pachal and Nikita Okhotiuk with Rasmus Andersson.

Dustin Wolf gets the start in goal.

Line Metrics Coming In

Huberdeau – Sharangovich –  Hunt 35.1%
Coleman – Backlund – Coronato 55.6%
Kuzmenko – Kadri – Pospisil 34.0%
Greer – Rooney – Duehr NA

Okhotiuk – Andersson NA
Weegar – Miromanov 53.8%
Kylington – Pachal 47.5%

Goals Saved + Avg
Markstrom +13.3
Vladar -12.5
Wolf -9.4

Wolf’s Start

Busy first period for the goaltender with the Jets having a two man advantage and peppering the Flames net for the full 20 minutes.

Calgary gave him a breather for the first ten minutes of the second, but than reverted to the onslaught, putting way too much pressure on the rookie goaltender.

In the end he faces an expected goal total of a whopping 5.86 but only gives up 4, clearly doing his part to keep the game competitive.

Game Flow

The Flames were looking to make amends after a sketchy effort against the Ducks, by getting off to a good start. They did just that. Calgary gets an early powerplay and Mackenzie Weegar scores his 19th of the season to put the Flames up 1-0. Calgary continues and Pachal hits a goal post. Then they get in penalty trouble. Two men down they kill it off but Winnipeg strikes when its back to 5 on 4, Vilardi doing the honours. Soon after Winnipeg goes ahead on a Ehlers five on five goal. Winnipeg dominating with the powerplay momentum. Calgary settles in after the push, but trails 2-1 after one with Wolf facing a lot of first period shots.

Flames clearly collected themselves in the dressing room because they are full marks for taking the game to the Jets for the entirety of the first half of the second. Lots of chances, but no finish so they continue to trail. Flames are rewarded when Daniil Miromanov gets a point shot away that looked to be tipped by Pospisil in the high slot, but was later given back to Miromanov. Game all tied up. The Jets go back in front when Tyler Toffoli scores a powerplay goal on a bank shot to put the Jets up 3-2 after two.

Back and forth start to the third, but the Jets get the bounce midway through the period when Vilardi scores his second of the night and makes it 4-2 Winnipeg. Flames don’t give up and keep pushing to try and dig back into the game. Calgary pulls their goalie with a handful of minutes to play and they almost cut the lead in half with Kuzmenko creating chaos down low. But it’s the Jets, Monahan finding Vilardi for the hat trick goal and the Flames lose 5-2.

Odds and Sods

Great to see Matt Coronato get a shot on the Backlund line. Backlund has done a great job of developing young two way wingers, and Coronato can only learn from the intelligent veteran. … Another game with a Calgary powerplay goal, that’s six in the last four games now. Have to think Kuzmenko has a pretty big piece of that surge. … And speaking of Kuzmenko his first period assist gives him seven points in the last 4 games. Does Lindholm even have 7 points? … Glad to see Mackenzie Weegar get to 19. With Weegar a goal away from 20 and both Blake Coleman and Yegor Sharangovich one shy of 30 there’s some intrigue as the season winds down. … So how does the review thing work for a major? I know if they call it five they review it, but if they call it two they don’t right? So in this case the Jets complain and then they review? If that’s the rule then fine, but not sure I’ve seen it done in that order. Was it the right call though? I think so, a bit of a chicken wing for sure. Will be interesting to see if he’s suspended. … Is Monahan a good option for a short term contract signing this summer for the Flames? Or would his presence just create a non stop discussion about the first round pick they had to surrender to get rid of him?

Special Teams

The Jets win the special teams battle with two powerplay goals to the Flames one.

Calgary goes 1/2 on the powerplay, Winnipeg 2/4.

Standings and Record

The loss officially eliminates the Flames from a playoff contention.

They have seven games left and a maximum of 14 more points and trail by 16 to the second wild card team, the Kings.

That’s all she wrote!

By draft position, not a lot of change, as the Flames still hold down the 8th spot but see Ottawa and Montreal also losing tonight so they don’t gain any ground.

Counting Stats

Shots: Flames 33 Jets 45
Face Offs: Flames 41% / Jets 59%
Powerplay: Flames  1-2 / Jets 2-4

Fancy Stats

The Flames had another one of those high volume, low high danger nights as they put more pucks towards the Jets net but didn’t have the quality to generate the production needed to win. Five on five the Flames had 52% of the shot attempts with period splits of 37%/61% and 57% respectively. In terms of five on five expected goals, the Flames had 40%, and for high danger scoring chances the Flames had 45%, with a 9-11 split.

In all situations the Flames had 46% of the shot attempts, 28% of the expected goals, and 34% of the high danger splits. The all situations expected goal totals came out at 2.23 to 5.86.

Individually the Flames were led by Brayden Pachal posting a xGF% of 71% five on five. Nazem Kadri and Oliver Kylington were both in the 60s. Martin Pospisil, Kevin Rooney and Andrei Kuzmenko were above water, but the rest of the team was under the break even mark. Nikita Okhotiuk had a 12% night.

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