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November wasn’t too kind to the Calgary Flames.
On the ice, they won just six of 14 games and looked very underwhelming for most of the month.
Off the ice…we all know about that. Some extremely concerning stories of Bill Peters surfaced and he is no longer part of the organization as a result – rightfully so.
We’re going to focus on the ice, highlighting the three best performers in November; as will be the case each month moving forward.
3rd star - Andrew Mangiapane
The Bread Man was finally given extended run on the 2nd line and he took full advantage of it.
At 5v5, Mangiapane led the Flames in points per 60 minutes played and drew penalties at a higher rate than anyone (yes, even Matthew Tkachuk).
His on-ice numbers were strong as well. Mangiapane finished with a rock solid 53.68 Corsi For% and a plus-3 goal differential at 5v5. Derek Ryan was the only other regular on the Flames to finish with a GF% above 50%.
I think Mangiapane’s speed, skill, and work ethic provided a needed spark on the 2nd line and I expect his success to continue moving forward. He’s earned that job.
2nd star - Matthew Tkachuk
Tkachuk ranked 1st on the Flames in goals, points, primary points, and Grade A chances in November. The bar was lower than normal but that’s still impressive.
He was still his usual super-pest self, drawing penalties left, right and center. Tkachuk finished with 11 minors drawn, bested only by New York Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux (12).
Be it individual production, or creating extra opportunities for the power play to go to work, Tkachuk did everything he could to jumpstart the offense.
1st star - Big Save Dave
Last month 24 goaltenders manned the crease for at least 500 minutes. David Rittich posted the 7th highest save percentage (.926) and saved 5.29 goals above average, which was good for 6th in the NHL. By all accounts he was one of the top netminders in the league despite carrying a larger workload than all but Mackenzie Blackwood and Martin Jones.
What’s most impressive about Rittich isn’t that he posted such strong numbers. It’s that he posted them under the worst possible playing conditions. Calgary can’t score – at all – so his margin for error was nonexistent. He had to be nearly perfect every night for the Flames to even have a chance at victory, and he was.
numbers via NaturalStatTrick.com
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