About Last Night #4: Flames kick off road trip with shootout win over Stars

Statistical Breakdown

5v5 SVACF%SCF%HDCF%xGF%
45.246.249.749.5
54.853.850.350.5

Team Stats

5v5 Player Stats

Calgary Flames
  • Mark Jankowski led the Flames with 75.0% CF, but he only logged 5:13 in ice time at 5v5.
  • T.J. Brodie and Michael Stone, the new third pairing, were the two worst Corsi players at 20.8% and 27.3% respectively.
  • Sean Monahan led the team with six iCF, six iSCF, and three iHDCF in the game. He led both teams in the latter two.
Dallas Stars
  • Nick Caamano led the Stars at 76.5% CF.
  • Roope Hintz was a team low 41.4% CF.
  • All but four Stars skaters finished above 50% CF.
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick

Thoughts on the Game

The Flames came into this game having lost their previous six games against the Stars, and their last nine shootout games. Their last win against Dallas was on December 6th, 2016 and their last shootout win was on November 5th, 2017. Last night’s win broke both of those losing streaks.

Finally, for what could be the first game of the year so far, the Flames started out on the right foot. They actually looked like they were trying to play hockey in the first period, and went toe-to-toe with the Stars. Shots were tied at nine after one, and each team recorded 19 shot attempts at even strength. It was a tight game.

Things got a bit unraveled in the second with the Flames surrendering the first goal of the game, and it’s this goal is where we saw some more bad hockey from the usual suspects. This goal can mostly be blamed on (surprise, surprise) Sam Bennet and Milan Lucic.

I really haven’t been impressed with Bennett early this season. He’s been sloppy, made careless plays with the puck, turned it over, taken dumb penalties, and generally hasn’t helped the team on the majority of his shifts. He lasted just one period on the second line and from the way Mangiapane has been playing, it doesn’t look like Bennett is going to get another shot there any time soon.

It’s a little sad when a sixth rounder who is in his second “full” season in the NHL is lapping a fourth overall pick who has played over 300 games and the most frequent defense of him is that he doesn’t get a shot to play in the top-six. If Bennett is going to play there, he has to earn it, and what he’s done so far this season is exactly the opposite of that.

Lucic is what he is. He’s slow and generally not amazing at the game anymore, but he’s useful and provides a physical element to the team. Bad things are probably going to happen a bit more frequently when he’s on the ice but we all know that. I don’t blame him on this play, because he shouldn’t have even been in the situation in the first place. It’s on Bennett. Again.

Coming back after going down by two just nine seconds into the third is classic Flames hockey and it was awesome to watch them do their thing. Matthew Tkachuk is off to an incredible start, Gaudreau is electric almost every single shift, Giordano is ageless, and David Rittich is standing on his head every single night.

An unsung hero through the team’s first four games though is Noah Hanifin. His goal last night was his second of the season and the game tying marker that helped the Flames send it to overtime. He had a monster game finishing second on the team with 60.7% CF, 53.9% SCF, and 60.0% HDCF. I wrote about Hanifin last week and how this could be his breakout year; early results are looking good.

All in all, it was a solid game for the Flames. They didn’t own the shot share, but it was a very close game for the most part and they grinded out a victory. Gaudreau’s shootout goal was magical and Rittich stopping Radulov on both the penalty shot and in the shootout was just amazing. The Flames have a three game point streak going now and hopefully they can continue that through Vegas and San Jose.

The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful

Good: This could easily be in the beautiful category, but Rittich’s two saves on Radulov, especially the overtime penalty shot was superb. BSD for life.

Bad: The Flames had to overcome a deficit again and fight back from two down with less than a period to play. They need to learn how to score first.

Beautiful: Not only is this super rare, but it was also absolutely gorgeous. Gaudreau’s shootout winner will be on highlight reels for weeks. What an unbelievable move to seal it for the Flames.

Next Game

Opponent: Vegas Golden Knights
Record: 2-2-0
Standings: 4th in the Pacific
Season Series: 0-0-0


Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images

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