Line matching didn’t matter much in Game 3

The Calgary Flames didn’t do a whole lot with their home ice advantage in two home playoff games. They did even less to make life difficult for the Avalanche in Colorado in Game 3.

Here’s a quick rundown of how the Flames and Avalanche lined up (by forward lines) in Game 3. Each center is listed by 5 on 5 ice time and with their Corsi For percentage against each of the other team’s centers. Matchups that they won possession-wise are bolded.

Game 3

MacKinnon Soderberg Calvert Jost
Monahan 4:19
58.3%
3:18
71.4%
1 GA
2:40
66.7%
1:52
0.0%
Backlund 4:16
61.5%
1 GA
1:49
42.9%
1:04
0.0%
1:16
40.0%
Jankowski 2:39
33.3%
4:00
50.0%
2:10
50.0%
2:52
25.0%
Ryan 4:01
20.0%
0:07
n/a
1:57
40.0%
2:31
0.0%

Two key things to note from Game 3:

First, the Flames’ top line fared pretty well against three of four Colorado lines. That’s a low-key good development, but bear in mind it doesn’t really matter much because of the context – the Avalanche were up early and led the entire game, so score effects should be considered.

Second, check out the lack of concentrated ice time in terms of Colorado really trying to get a particular match-up. The Avalanche were up early in this game and hit cruise control, and nowhere can that be seen more than the ice time breakdown: they simply did not care enough about how the Flames were playing to do anything but just roll their lines.

If the Avalanche wanted to shut down the Monahan line, the ice time for the MacKinnon line would’ve been heavily tilted towards that line – the same way Backlund’s ice time was stacked towards that line in the two Calgary games. But the Avalanche were far enough ahead (and thought so little of the Flames’ performances) that they didn’t actively seek out matches or seek to avoid any.

If the Flames want to have a shot at winning this series, they need to stay in games and make the Avalanche work hard to maintain specific matchups.

Original Source
Author: Ryan Pike