Calgary Flames

Early playoff observations by the numbers for the Calgary Flames

As the Calgary Flames prepare for Game 2 versus the Dallas Stars, taking a look back at Game 1 provides a single game’s worth of numbers and data to explore. Of course, one game won’t reveal any form of usable analysis, but it still provides a bunch of statistical observations and oddities to dive into. Without further ado, let’s check some of the numbers out.

Chris Tanev’s ice time

With Rasmus Andersson and John Klingberg both being ejected from the game for their secondary fight at the end of the first period, Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin were tasked with eating up as many minutes as they could. The game concluded with Tanev logging 25:51 and Hanifin logging 25:21 in regulation.

Obviously with Andersson out of the game for two periods, the two workhorses in Tanev and Hanifin surpassing 25 minutes each is no surprise.

The last time a Flames defender logged more than 25 minutes in a regulation playoff game was Mark Giordano in the Flames’ Game 1 shutout win versus the Colorado Avalanche in 2019. He logged 26:02, while T.J. Brodie came second in that game with 23:27.

On the other side of the ice, Miro Heiskanen ended up logging a whopping 29:57 in regulation, and Ryan Suter followed with 25:46.

Jacob Markstrom’s shutout

Closing out Game 1 with a shutout, Jacob Markstrom reached his 10th shutout of 2021–22 with the regular season and playoffs combined.

The shutout came required only 16 saves, which is the lowest total thus far this postseason. In comparison, the other three shutouts so far required 37 saves for Ville Husso, 24 saves for Jack Campbell, and 30 saves for Mike Smith.

The last time a playoff shutout required 16 shots or fewer came during the 2020 bubble, where the Colorado Avalanche’s Philipp Grubauer shut out the Arizona Coyotes in Game 1 of the first round with 14 saves.

Calgary’s preventing shots against

On the same topic of shots, the Flames held the Stars to just 16 shots throughout the whole game. Throughout the 2021–22 regular season, the Flames held their opponents to 20 shots or fewer five times. Their lowest total was 15 shots against when they faced off against the Vancouver Canucks on January 29 in what was also a 1–0 shutout victory.

Interestingly, Calgary has yet to be held to as low a shot total this year. The fewest shots they put up in a game was 21 against the Nashville Predators on April 19. The Flames finished the regular season third in the league with 35.3 shots a game.

This season, the Stars were limited to 20 shots or fewer six times. Their lowest total came during their 4–3 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes on March 24, where they needed just 15 shots to win. They allowed 47 shots against in that same game. The Stars finished the regular season 19th with 30.3 shots per game.

Playoff hits galore

The Flames threw 34 hits in the game compared to the Stars’ 20. Blake Coleman led Game 1 with six hits, a total he reached four times this season. His highest hit count was against the Lightning on January 6, where he put up eight hits against his former team.

Dillon Dube followed suit with five hits of his own—coincidentally his highest total this season, and also a brand new career-high. In fact, he recorded four hits only once this year (also against Dallas) towards the end of the season. In all other games played, Dube had three hits or fewer. Throughout his career, he’s thrown four hits in a game just five times in the regular season and twice in the playoffs back in 2020.

League-wide, the Washington Capitals’ Anthony Mantha currently leads the playoffs with most hits in a game, where he threw 10 hits over 19:11 against the Florida Panthers.

Playing by the numbers

This is just the beginning for the Flames. They should hope to find themselves scoring a few more goals per game throughout this series instead of being in nail biters where one goal changes everything. They’ve been on the wrong side of that before and have corrections and improvements to make in their game. The playoffs are in full swing and the action continues tonight.

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

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