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7 Mind Blowing Stats Behind the Calgary Flames 3-1-0 Road Trip



Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames head coach Ryan Huska has done a bit of shuffling to his lineup following rookie general manager Craig Conroy pulling off a blockbuster trade of Elias Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 31.

A leader in even strength and penalty kill ice time among the Flames, the departure of the longtime minute-munching Swede coincided a team-wide rejuvenation that extends from the top to the bottom of the roster.

So far? Those moves have paid off in spades to the tune of a 3-1-0 road trip. But what exactly has changed? Today, we’ll examine six mind blowing statistics behind four emerging trends on the Calgary Flames since returning from the All-Star break.


The First Line is Dominating


Slotted into the first unit against Boston for his Flames debut, Andrei Kuzmenko found immediate chemistry with perennial playmaker Jonathan Huberdeau. The two make up 2/3 of a formidable new combination alongside Yegor Sharangovich.  

How formidable are we talking? 

The leading publicly available statistical category among the advanced stats community is the expected goals column.

Huberdeau-Sharangovich-Kuzmenko puts all of the Flames forward units to shame at even strength with a sparkling 72.7% expected goals percentage per MoneyPuck’s data modeling. Again, at even strength, the SharBerMenko Line™ has posted a 2.4 expected goals per 60 minutes to a 0.9 goals expected goals against per 60.  

Jumping over from MoneyPuck to NaturalStatTrick, SharBerMenko™ has outchanced the opposition 7-1 in high danger chances at 5v5 for an 87.50 HDCF%.

The line has outpaced the opposition 19-8, or 70.37%, in terms of raw even strength scoring chances.  

As for actual production, life is good. Jonathan Huberdeau sits tied for third in the NHL in scoring since Feb. 6 with two goals and three assists in his last four games. Andrei Kuzmenko has scored a goal in half his four games as a Calgary Flame. 

Yegor Sharangovich, despite recording just a single assist in the past seven days, is doing much of the dirty work getting the puck through the neutral zone.  

That may not seem like a significant contribution, but removing Sharangovich from the equation has resulted in less-than-ideal results in a small sample size. In 4:03 of even strength time when Huberdeau and Kuzmenko are deployed without Sharangovich, the two have been outchanced 3-9 and outshot 1-4.


The Stat: 72.7xGF% when Huberdeau-Sharangovich-Kuzmenko are deployed at 5v5 through four games. 


Noah Hanifin is Running the Offence


While fans may clamor at Jonathan Huberdeau’s five points or Andrei Kuzmenko’s two goals in four games since that date, the emergence of Noah Hanifin as a number one defenceman has quietly flown under the radar.

The pending unrestricted free agent has led the Flames in ice time since Jan. 31, averaging 26:24 per night. Fellow defenceman Rasmus Andersson ranks second in that category with an average of 22:13. 

Prior to Hanifin being bumped to the number one defenceman role, Andersson led all flames in ice time per game at 24:14. Hanifin ranked second at 23:30.   

Also notable is the change in power play deployment. Noah Hanifin has taken over the first unit point position, and it’s working – big time. 

The 27-year-old leads all Flames players in powerplay time per game over the past four games with an average of 2:12 per outing. Calgary has potted three goals in ten opportunities over that time for a 30% conversion rate – a far cry from the 13.8% power play scoring rate the Flames had been running at prior to the shuffle. 


The Stat: Take your pick. Call it the Hanifin Showcase Combo.


1.) Hanifin leads all Flames in average ice time by over four minutes (26:24 to 22:13) since the All-Star break.

2.) Hanifin leads all Flames defencemen in power play ice time by over a minute (2:12 to 0:56) since the All-Star break.

3.) Calgary’s power play has converted at a rate of 30% since moving Hanifin into the number one defenceman slot.


A New Fourth Line


Recovering from respective shoulder surgeries are 22-year-old Jakob Pelletier and 30-year-old Kevin Rooney, who returned to the Flames lineup after the All-Star break.  

Not particularly well-known for his footspeed, Rooney appears to have made enough ground in that area to become a zone entry specialist. In 23:06 of even strength ice time over three games, the Pelletier-Rooney-Duehr line is currently outscoring the opposition 2-0 and out-attempting other teams 27-16 for a 62.8% Corsi. 23:06 in ice time together is a small sample size, but that 62.8% mark leads all Flames units that have played 20 or more minutes together.  

With a bit of luck, Jakob Pelletier won’t miss any time after finding himself the recipient of a thunderous Jacob Trouba body check. The Flames current fourth line is too fun to watch to be broken apart so soon.

The Stat: 62.8CF% for the line of Pelletier-Rooney-Duehr – or a simple 2-0 in scoring for Calgary’s fourth forward unit at even strength. 


Youth and Size Added to the Blue Line


Waiver claim Brayden Pachal has been a breath of fresh air since joining the Calgary Flames via waiver claim on Feb. 4. head coach Ryan Huska used those exact words when assessing his addition to the media on Monday night.  

Dennis Gilbert has done a fine job providing a physical element to the blue line. Affirmations aside, Pachal’s mix of deep offensive zone pinches, high-speed body checks, and swift puck support has taken the Calgary backend to another level.  

Already leading the Flames D-corp in hits per 60 with 11.65, Brayden’s physical game has meshed perfectly with Oliver Kylington’s similar ability to rush the puck. While it’s difficult to quantify a third pairing’s contribution to a 3-1-0 record, the eye test indicates that the Flames bottom defensive unit brings more energy to the lineup than their advanced statistics may show.

The Stat: Brayden Pachal leads all Flames defencemen with 11.65 hits per 60 minutes of even strength time since joining the Flames.  


Jacob Markstrom’s Offensive Skills

34-year-old goaltender Jacob Markstrom has had quite a bit on his plate since returning to play on Fab. 6. Insider Frank Seravalli believes that the 6-foot-6 goaltender agreed to waive the no-movement clause in his contract as a requisite step in the process of being traded to the New Jersey Devils.

That deal allegedly fell through – and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the Galve, Sweden product to let the outside noise affect his play.

(AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

It’s been quite the opposite. Markstrom started all four road games and led the league in save percentage over that time (among netminders starting two or more games) with a sparkling .955. His goals against average in those four appearances is an admirable 1.76, and his record is, of course, 3-1-0.

While those stats alone were enough to seal top honors regarding the NHL Star of the Week award on Monday, we’re looking for mind blowing.

Look no further than Markstrom’s offensive stats, which have him producing at half a point per game over the trip. A secondary assist against Boston last Tuesday and a primary against the Islanders on Saturday has Markstrom outproducing since Feb. 6 the likes of:

Steven Stamkos
Cale Makar
Mikko Rantanen
Kyle Connor
Tyler Toffoli
Mikka Zibanejad
Brad Marchand

To name just a few.

The Stat: Two assists for Jacob Markstrom in his last four games. No other goalie has more than two assists at around the 50-game mark of the 2023-2024 regular season.