Calgary Flames

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   In recent years, there's been a lot of discussion about advanced stats. We talk about PDO, Fenwick and Corsi as ways of determining how teams and individuals are playing, who's driving play and basically trying to find h...
   In recent years, there's been a lot of discussion about advanced stats. We talk about PDO, Fenwick and Corsi as ways of determining how teams and individuals are playing, who's driving play and basically trying to find handy ways of evaluating hockey players – which, as we've discussed a lot here, can be hard.Since last season, though, I've begun to think that one stat has been overlooked – icing differential. WHAT IT TELLS YOUIcings often occur because a team has gotten themselves so hopelessly hemmed into their own zone that they have no other choice but get scored on or throw the puck donw the ice. The Flames iced the puck a lot last year. They also got killed possession-wise. These two things may be connected.ON A TEAM LEVELThrough three games this year, the common perception is that the Flames generally carried the play against their opposition. How did they stack up in terms of icings?Washington 4, Calgary 4: Most of Calgary's icings happened in the second period, while Washington iced the puck throughout the first and third.Columbus 5, Calgary 0: In a rare icing shutout, the Flames went the entire game without getting flustered enough to ice the puck. Columbus iced the puck fairly evenly throughout the evening.Vancouver 8, Calgary 2: Outside of a single shift where Calgary iced the puck twice in succession, the Flames generally dominated possession and icings.ON AN INDIVIDUAL LEVELThe team's leaders in icing plus/minus are probably the players you'd expect. Dennis Wideman, who's been strong to start off the year, is +7 – meaning he's produced seven more icings than he's been on for. Wideman's defense partner Kris Russell is among four tied at +6, along with T.J. Brodie, David Jones and Ben Street. Street's performance is the most impressive when you factor in that he's played significantly less (36:33) than the other three (between 54:42 and 74:13).Shane O'Brien is the only player in the red for icings (-2), although Matt Stajan (who only played one game) and Chris Butler, O'Brien's partner, are even for icings.The Flames, summarized: Wideman (+7), Street (+6), Jones (+6), Russell (+6), Brodie (+6), Glencross (+5), Giordano (+5), Galiardi (+3), Bouma (+2), Monahan (+2), Stempniak (+2), Backlund (+2), Hudler (+2), McGrattan (+1), Colborne (+1), Baertschi (+1), Stajan (E), Butler (E), O'Brien (-2).ConclusionSo what do you think? Are icings a decent metric? Does this measure need to be tweaked to account for ice-time or quality of competition? I like the metric because it's a counting stat that doesn't rely on scoring. Can it be improved?Fire away in the comments.
about 3 hours ago
 In the continued effort to move the Nation Network into fantasy gaming and continue raising money for charities at the same time our second game - the ol' reliable NationDraft player box game - begins today. For only $20 you should...
 In the continued effort to move the Nation Network into fantasy gaming and continue raising money for charities at the same time our second game - the ol' reliable NationDraft player box game - begins today. For only $20 you should totally sign up here! A FAMILIAR GAME FOR ALL We have been running this game for a long time and you may have seen it on the Nation Network before. You may have seen it elsewhere too. Perhaps you have even won a game like this somewhere or other.Well can you do it again? It's only 20 bucks why not win again rather than living in the past like a former High School Football player who still wears his faded letterman jacket at the age of 43.Basically you take a look at 4 palyers in a box and decide who is going to be the leading scorer. Who will outscore whom? Ovechkin or Crosby? Eberle vs someone who won't outscore Eberle?Think you know? You Sir/Madam are a genius. Totally sign up here! PRIZES FOR DAYS If we are asking you to sign up for something for $20 beans obviously you are gonna win some sweet stuff should you snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.In this instance we are playing for the following:1st - $1000 prepaid Visa card2nd - $500 prepaid Visa card3rd - $300 prepaid Visa card4th - $100 prepaid Visa card5th to 20th - One of The Pint, Oodle Noodle, or iTunes gift cards worth $3021st to 30th - A NationGear t-shirt in your choice of sizeThe season will end at the Olympic Break and then the swag will rain down on the winners. Totally sign up here! WHY BOTHER PLAYING? Because a portion of the proceeds of NationDrafts will go to our good friends at Earth Group."In 2011, Earth Group donations helped WFP provide nearly 200,000 meals to children in school. It is The Earth Group’s mandate to give 100% of our net profits from the sale of our water, coffee & tea products, to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support their global fight against hunger through school meal programmes.‘Earth Group’s support could not have come at a better time for children in Kenya. We are currently reaching 680,500 children with a daily school meal and all the support counts to make a difference in the lives of school children affected by the worst drought in 60 years. Thank you Earth Group for making a difference!’ Rose Ogola, Public Information Officer, WFP Kenya."We sell Earth Group water at Oodle Noodle and we try and make donations to this awesome cause as often as we can. So help us out and play NationDrafts, win some dope prizes, help charity and the good karma generated will lead to your favourite team surely winning the Cup this year.Unless you cheer for the Flames. Ain't no good karma in the universe gonna help you cats this year. Totally sign up here!
about 18 hours ago
CALGARYFLAMES.COM PROJECTED LINES: FLAMES VS. CANUCKS Curtis Glencross - Ben Street - David Jones TJ Galiardi - Mikael Backlund - Jiri Hudler Sven Baertschi - Sean Monahan - Lee Stempniak Lance Bouma - Joe Colborne - Brian McGratt...
CALGARYFLAMES.COM PROJECTED LINES: FLAMES VS. CANUCKS Curtis Glencross - Ben Street - David Jones TJ Galiardi - Mikael Backlund - Jiri Hudler Sven Baertschi - Sean Monahan - Lee Stempniak Lance Bouma - Joe Colborne - Brian McGrattan Mark...
about 21 hours ago
CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames are going back to Joey MacDonald between the pipes. Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley confirmed the 33-year-old veteran would make his third straight start when the club plays host to the Montreal...
CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames are going back to Joey MacDonald between the pipes. Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley confirmed the 33-year-old veteran would make his third straight start when the club plays host to the Montreal Canadiens...
about 22 hours ago
Johnny Gaudreau had about as fine a season as a hockey player could ask for in 2012-13. A sophomore forward at Boston College, Gaudreau led all NCAA hockey players with 1.46 points per game. His 51 points tied him for fourth among al...
Johnny Gaudreau had about as fine a season as a hockey player could ask for in 2012-13. A sophomore forward at Boston College, Gaudreau led all NCAA hockey players with 1.46 points per game. His 51 points tied him for fourth among all players,...
about 24 hours ago
CALGARY, AB -- A surprise over the shortened season, the Montreal Canadiens finished second in the Eastern Conference a year ago before being bounced in the first round of the playoffs. Starter Carey Price will look to shake off a disapp...
CALGARY, AB -- A surprise over the shortened season, the Montreal Canadiens finished second in the Eastern Conference a year ago before being bounced in the first round of the playoffs. Starter Carey Price will look to shake off a disappointing po...
1 day ago
   The new season is freshly born, and with it new sights and wonders. The Flames have burst out of the gate with a 1-0-2 start, which would be wholly disappointing if Calgary had not been roundly pick by pundits to finish ...
   The new season is freshly born, and with it new sights and wonders. The Flames have burst out of the gate with a 1-0-2 start, which would be wholly disappointing if Calgary had not been roundly pick by pundits to finish last in the league with a bullet. Each game was a one goal affair and the Flames have led for long stretches of all of them. With a bit more luck, a few less errors or a bit more NHL-level goaltending, the club could easily be 3-0-0.Here's some thoughts and observations after the first week... - What a difference a shift in perception makes. Had the Flames brass instead decided to stay the course again this year, a 1-0-2 start featuring not one but two blown leads in the third period, there would be an angry mob already forming at the steps of the Saddledome. Instead, the faithful is relatively pleased with the club's efforts.Given that reaction, it's kind of amazing the decision makers waited this long to shift gears. If you can't build a winner, it's a marketing coup to build a club that can meet or exceed very low expectations instead.- It also helps that all of the games have been wildly entertaining so far, a marked improvement from seemingly endless years of slow, plodding, "off-the-glass" style hockey. The Flames are a Chinese fire drill in their own zone, their special teams need quite a bit of work and no one knows if they will even have average goaltending this year, but at least they're flying around with some gumption.- That's the list of things the Flames have struggled with so far. On the good side of the ledger is a faster transition game out of their own end and through the neutral zone. One problem that plagued Calgary's top-six in particular the last few years was a slow, turn-over prone transition through the center ice, which frequently resulted in the puck going the wrong way and the team spending and starting way too many shifts in their own zone.One of the changes that seems to be promoting the quicker counter punch is the mobility and puck handling of the blueline. A top pairing of Giordano and Brodie means the clubs gets the puck out of their end in a hurry. Wideman and Russell are pretty good at this too. More ice time for players like Backlund and Stempniak has also meant a more complete 200' foot game, at least when it comes to puck pursuit and backchecking. - Speaking of Giordano and Brodie, they have been outstanding at even strength so far. They are mostly skating against other team's top lines and have the best possession rates on the team. Giordano co-leads the team in scoring, Brodie is averaging over 24 minutes in ice time. They aren't merely suviving the tough sledding, they're excelling. If some people are wondering why the Flames don't seem quite as terrible as expected, look no further than the top of the Flames blueline rotation as at least some of the explanation.- Wideman has also been pretty decent, although Hartley has him starting almost exclusively in the offensive zone at ES and he plays a ton on the PP, which helps. His frequent partner Russell is generally decent, but a true step back of the club's clear top-3 options. The former Blue Jacket is quick and good with the puck, but is prone to egregious errors from time-to-time and doesn't seem to be boast good decision making when things go awry. Already three times this season the opposition has scored goals while Russell has slid out of frame on his belly. Ideally he's probably a guy who should be a #5 or 6 in the rotation.- Sean Monahan has had a pretty strong start to the season given his counting stats (2 goals, 1 assist) and hasn't looked out of place the last two games. That siad, he's also operating with an ES on-ice SH% of 13.3, which is bound to come crashing back down to earth at some point. Hartley has also made sure to gift the kid a 60% zone start, which is about as easy as it's going to get and his underlying numbers aren't all that exemplary.In other words, t
1 day ago
CALGARY, AB -- There’s a slogan placed prominently in the office of coach Bob Hartley. ‘Mistakes are acceptable as long as you learn from them’. It’s Hartley’s job to ensure his Calgary Flames -- who have let two multi-goal leads ...
CALGARY, AB -- There’s a slogan placed prominently in the office of coach Bob Hartley. ‘Mistakes are acceptable as long as you learn from them’. It’s Hartley’s job to ensure his Calgary Flames -- who have let two multi-goal leads slip from ...
2 days ago
THE DAY AFTER A day after dropping an emotional 5-4 overtime home opener to the Vancouver Canucks -- a game which they held a 3-1 third period lead -- the Calgary Flames shrugged off the loss and went right back at it in practice. ...
THE DAY AFTER A day after dropping an emotional 5-4 overtime home opener to the Vancouver Canucks -- a game which they held a 3-1 third period lead -- the Calgary Flames shrugged off the loss and went right back at it in practice. “We turned...
2 days ago
CALGARY, AB -- Calgary Flames prospect Emile Poirier has named the QMJHL First Star of the Week (Sept. 30 - Oct. 6). Poirier, playing for the Gatineau Olympiques, scored 3 goals and added 3 assists for a total of 6 points, helping him...
CALGARY, AB -- Calgary Flames prospect Emile Poirier has named the QMJHL First Star of the Week (Sept. 30 - Oct. 6). Poirier, playing for the Gatineau Olympiques, scored 3 goals and added 3 assists for a total of 6 points, helping him grab the ...
2 days ago