Game Takes: Kings 5 Flames 1

April 11th, 2024 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The Flames through this clearly-won’t-make-the-playoffs section of their season have been gamers every night.

They don’t throw in the towel.

They don’t give up.

Tonight they were playing an LA Kings team that was hurting from a loss, and looking to clinch a playoff spot, and with that the game was never really in doubt with the LA building a 3-0 lead and cruising to a 4-1 victory.

Jonathan Huberdeau gets a third period goal to break up the shut out, but overall it was just another night on the schedule.

The Lineup

More change since the last game against San Jose. Blake Coleman out with what is likely a concussion, and Oliver Kylington back.

So up front it’s Nazem Kadri with Martin Pospisil and Andrei Kuzmenko, Mikael Backlund with Yegor Sharangovich and Matt Coronato, Connor Zary with Jonathan Huberdeau and Mangiapane, and Kevin Rooney with AJ Greer and Walker Duehr.

On the blueline it’s Kylington in for Okhotiuk, so it’s Mackenzie Weegar with Daniil Miromanov, Illya Solovyov with Rasmus Andersson, and Kylington with Brayden Pachal.

Jacob Markstrom back in goal for the Flames.

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 3.81
  2. Kadri 2.84
  3. Sharangovich 2.83
  4. Weegar 2.12
  5. Huberdeau 2.02

Then a big gap down.

Play driving (xGF%)

  1. Hanley 63.8% (6 games)
  2. Backlund 62.4%
  3. Huberdeau 62.2%
  4. Weegar 60.5%
  5. Miromanov 59.4%

Goaltenders (Save Percentage)

  1. Wolf 90.3% 5 starts
  2. Markstrom 91.3% 5 starts

Markstrom’s Start

Guy showed up to work tonight.

The Flames were out played early, and took some penalties creating some havoc around his crease, especially on a two man advantage that last a full minute.

Three goals against vs an expected total of 3.22 suggesting he did his part.

Gutsy performance by Jacob Markstrom.

Zary and Huberdeau

We’ve seen chemistry lately with Nazem Kadri and Andrei Kuzmenko (Martin Pospisil), but could we be seeing the same with Connor Zary and Jonathan Huberdeau?

They’ve been together three games now, all with Zary at center, and they continue to put up great underlying numbers.

What’s more they look like they know where each other are going on the ice, and do a great job of give and go plays, keeping plays alive.

Could be 2/3 of another solid line.

Odds and Sods

What an odd thought process from Daniil Miromanov on that first period penalty. I mean he must know you can’t just grab the puck and throw it backwards between his legs. Complete brain fart. … Keep saying it, but Matt Coronato will be just fine. He’s making those smart, simple, little plays on every shift now. Do that and you contribute to play driving. Drive play and you move up the roster.He’ll be a 15 goal 40 point player next year. … Quite the succession for Oliver Kylington in the third. Loses the puck, creates a crazy empty net chance with Markstrom coming out, and then elbows the puck over the glass. The guy can skate like no one on the team, but he’s always had that blown tire excitement to him. … Glad Huberdeau scored in the third., He was having a solid game, and I hate it when the Flames get shut out! … Have to think this Connor Zary experiment at center is starting to get some attention from the Flames brass. Game three and another night with solid numbers and all kinds of zone time. They’ll break down his defensive zone play, with the Flames playing a positional system inside the blue there’s a lot of pressure on him, but if you have the puck up ice most of your shift it’s hard to draw criticism.

Draft Position

Interesting night again.

Flames lose of course, but the Habs pick up a point, and the Senators get two to make things a little tighter in the draft order race at the bottom of the standings.

Fancy Stats

The Flames have a spirited third period, catching up in the play driving categories but losing the battle overall in final numbers.

Five on five they had 53% of the shot attempts with a 73% third period. But they only had five high danger chances five on five all night and finished with 44% of the expected goals. In all situations the Flames had 45% of the shot attempts, 36% of the high danger chances and 31% of the expected goals.

The right team won.

Individually, not a great night as well as you’d expect. Daniil Miromanov leads the way with 65% in expected goal splits. He was joined in the 60s by his pairing mate Mackenzie Weegar. Four players under 20% on the night, Illay Solovyov, Mikael Backlund, Matt Coronato, and Yegor Sharangovich.


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