The Morning After: Johnny Gaudreau is a space god
Gaudreau nearly single-handedly willed the Flames to victory.
Let's start with the obvious: The Sharks won last night. That is a good thing, particularly given the large Burrtec dumpster the Pacific is living in right now.
Second: The Calgary Flames are a bad hockey team by just about any measure you care to look at. Their goal differential is a sparkling -16, their 5-on-5, score adjusted corsi-for percentage is 26th in the league (46.9 percent) and their fenwick-for differential (5v5, score adjusted) is 24th at 46.9 percent. Oh, and entering Monday's game Calgary sat in dead last in power-play and penalty-kill percentage.
Third: Calgary outplayed San Jose last night. The Flames outshot the Sharks 35-18, beat 'em by 20 in score-adjusted corsi and by 13 in scoring chances. I know what you're thinking. "But Jake, you giant idiot, almost of the Flames were scored with an extra man! You said so yourself!"
Guilty on all fronts. Here's a look at how the Sharks played in evens.
Now that I've buried the lede deeper than the oil that allows Alberta to function, let's talk a little about how freaking excellent Johnny Gaudreau is at hockey and how much I hate watching the Sharks play against him.
Gaudreau didn't score last night, but picked up a pair of points on assists. He also was an absolute menace with the puck. In 23:28 minutes of play, Gaudreau had a corsi-for of 35 and a corsi-against of five. F I V E. 5. Cinco. Are you kidding me? A +30 in corsi in 23 minutes of play? That's an 87.5 corsi-for percentage, which might explain why Gaudreau will be skating through my nightmares soon.
Those 23 minutes gave him the third-highest ice time of any Flames player. At one point one of the Flames broadcasters commented on Gaudreau trying to do too much himself — while he certainly meant it as (very) light criticism, to me it sounded more like a threat. We know the Flames aren't good this year, so the prospect of Gaudreau deciding to do it all himself sounds a whole lot like Jason Vorhees deciding to clean up Camp Crystal Lake's morality problem himself.
Lest you think these numbers are inflated by ample power-play time, he posted a corsi-for percentage of 82.14 at 5v5 play, showing that he'll shred you know how many players your favorite team has on the ice. The numbers certainly tell part of the story, but the reality is that the good ole eye test will tell this story just fine.
When Gaudreau enters the zone my eyes immediately start to flick around the ice to see what defenders are out there. I don't know why I do this, because quite frankly there could be two Vlasics and three Pavelskis on the ice and I'd be concerned. Gaudreau seems to win every board battle he enters into and his vision on the ice makes him as much a threat to thread the needle for an assist as he is to snipe a corner.
In conclusion, I would very much like to never watch the Sharks play against Gaudreau ever again. Please go back to the hockey planet you come from and leave us all alone.