March 5, 2021, Calgary Flame It was announced that they would fire the then head coach Jeff Ward and replace it with a familiar old face of Darryl Sartre. Although it is clear that things are not going well under Ward’s leadership, many people are surprised that General Manager Brad Trellivan chose to go with Sartre, who has not entered the league since the 2016-17 season. Old school coach.
As we all know, hockey is an ever-evolving sport, and sometimes coaches, like players, cannot keep up with the times. Take Ken Hitchcock as an example.This 69-year-old is considered to be The greatest coach of all time, But when the Edmonton Oilers chose to hire him as a mid-season substitute for Todd McClellan in the 2018-19 season, most people thought his era was over. Fans and the media questioned that this decision was correct, because the Oilers ended the season with a poor record of 26-28-8 under the leadership of Hitchcock.
Some people questioned whether the same situation would happen to Sartre.This 63-year-old is called As a defensive coach And he likes his players to play a conservative style of game, which is not common in today’s NHL.
Sartre proved his coaching wisdom
Sartre failed to reverse the flames as expected in the 2020-21 season because they ended the season with a score of 15-15-0. Therefore, many people are still hesitant to Sartre, but some people’s optimistic view is that if he participates in the training camp with this team, he will be able to fully instill his information and systems and move them in the right direction. .
Those who held this view proved to be correct. In 20 games this season, the Flames scored 29 points with an impressive 12-3-5 record, leading the Pacific Division. The inconsistencies we saw from this group a season ago, and sometimes even lack of effort no longer exist, because they seem to be fully integrated into Sartre’s system.
One of the most obvious areas is their defensive performance. The goalkeeper duo of Jacob Makstrom and Dan Vladal received a lot of honors, and for good reason, because the two combined to cause an absurd seven lockouts this season. However, although they did a good job, Sartre deserves just as much praise, if not more.
Sartre has turned the Fire team into a strictly inspected team, and they have given up very few scoring opportunities. Not only are they the team with the fifth-lowest field goal percentage per game, with 29.4 shots, but a large part of these shots are low-risk scoring opportunities. Elite goalkeepers like Markstrom can give in without a problem. So far, they have only given up 104 high-risk scoring opportunities. Considering how solid this is, the Vegas Golden Cavaliers, considered by many to be contenders for the Stanley Cup this season, have given up 171.
Flame succeeds on the offensive end
In many cases, playing a very defensive style of play will result in a lack of offense for the team. This is not the case for the Flames this season. In fact, their offense has always been the best in the league because their 3.40 goals per game rank seventh among all 32 teams. Leading is Johnny Gaudello, who played the best hockey since the 2018-19 season, scoring 23 points in 20 games.
Gaudreau did not do the heavy work alone, such as Elias Lindholm, Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane All around the speed of each game. Manjapane performed particularly well because he has scored a ridiculous 15 goals this year and should ruin his career-high 18 goals set a season ago.
In the 2020-21 season, it will be difficult for this team to attack from their back end because only Mark Giordano Rasmus Anderson broke the 20-point barrier.This is not the case this season, because Oliver Kellington seems to have confidence in Sartre and No one imagined at first Scored 12 points in 19 games. Anderson also has a very solid start, with 11 assistants this year.
Competitor in the Pacific
At the beginning of the 2021-22 season, some people questioned whether the Flames were real or just getting started. Now that we have a quarter of it, it is clear that this is a team that has improved a lot from last season. Incredibly, there are not a lot of list changes. In fact, considering Giordano’s defeat, it can be said that they have gotten worse on paper. Their progress seemed to fall directly on Sartre’s shoulders, making him the first ever contender for the Jack Adams Award.
Colton Pankiw, a former Jr. hockey player, now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. For the past two years, he has been a very active and reliable source of The Hockey Writers. He is a qualified writer for the Calgary Flames, but has also done feature reports for other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: White Oil, NHLtradetalk.com, with Markerzone.com. Colton is also the co-host of both Oiler working overtime with Flame confrontation podcast.Any interview request or content information can be submitted through him Twitter. Take a look at his work here.