Along side Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar, Nazem Kadri is one of the important new guys on the Calgary Flames this season. Kadri has immediately gelled with Darryl Sutter’s system due to his work ethic and physical play. He has been on a line with Dillon Dube and Andrew Mangiapane to start the year, and that line has been the Flames’ best by far. Beside being on the best line, Kadri has been the Flames best player right now and probably the most critical to their early season success.
Let’s take a deeper look at Kadri’s performance and impact with the Flames to start the season.
Kadri’s performance with Calgary
Nazem Kadri currently leads the Flames in points, goals and is second in assists with nine points, four goals, and five assists. Kadri has also impressed with his hard working skills, such as frequently battling for the puck and his ability to steal the puck. His line of him, Dube, and Mangiapane has looked good at both ends of the ice and Kadri might be the key to elevating both of Dube and Mangiapane’s games.
Kadri’s impressive performance also shows on the analytical side of things too. At 5v5, he currently has a 53.85 CF%, 51.70 xG%, and a 51.22 SCF%. The line of Dube, Mangiapane, and Kadri have a 52.58 CF%, 48.96 xG%, 49.12 SCF% and 61.90 HDCF%, as per NaturalStatTrick.com. These numbers aren’t the greatest, but keep in mind it’s the start of the season and one bad game can change everything which is what happened here. Just a couple of games ago, their numbers were phenomenal, but are now middle of the pack.
Just how big of impact is Kadri making?
Leading the team in points shows that Kadri is definitely making a impact, but there’s other factors that can show it too, such as Calgary’s offensive and defensive 5v5 numbers with and without him, and his individual points percentage (IPP).
First let’s take a look at his IPP. Kadri has an IPP of 69.23. This means that Kadri has received a point on 69.23% of the goals that have occurred when he is on the ice. While not a crazy number, it still shows that Kadri is key part to the Flames offence when he is out there on the ice.
Now let’s take a look at Calgary’s 5v5 offence and defence with and without Kadri.
This map shows that Calgary generates a ton of offence with Kadri. The first thing that catches my eye is that the Flames xGF/60 is at 3.79(!) with Kadri out there. The most offence when he is on ice is generated in front of and around the net, and as well near the middle and middle right of the offensive zone.
The Flames still generate a solid amount of offence without Kadri, but isn’t as crazy as it is with him. Their xGF/60 takes a significant hit from 3.79 to 2.69. While there are areas of the offensive zone where the Flames produce offence well without him (some of them unsurprisingly where he does not), none of those areas are to the quality that of the areas where offence is produced with Kadri.
Unlike the offence, the Flames defence with Kadri is not the greatest. Their xGF/60 is at 3.16 which is not good this time around. With Kadri on the ice, there has been struggles defensively around the net and in the slot area. There are a few areas where the defence is strong, but it doesn’t make up for the negative.
Considering that with Kadri, the Flames struggle defensively, it’s no surprise that they are better without. The xGF/60 without him is 2.57, which is very good. The defence is great at stopping offence from being generated, especially in front of the net and at the top left of the zone.
All said, Kadri makes a big impact at both ends of the ice. The offensive zone is where he makes the impact we want to see and the impact in the defensive zone could use some work.
A very good start to the season for Kadri
Kadri has been a great fit with the Flames so far. At this moment, he leads the team in points and is a big piece to the offence. We can hope that his defensive game gets better, but other than that everything seems to positive and only trending up.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire