POSTGAME: The Little SVENgine That Could

Vintage Flame
March 11 2012 09:45PM

 

After grounding the Jets in Calgary, the Flames landed in Minnesota without TJ Brodie but with the chance to move back into a playoff spot, if they could pull off a win against the Wild. The game went from a sheer snoozefest to a nail-biter, as fans have come to expect on a game by game basis. Once again Calgary opened a two goal lead only to let it slip away. The good news? They were able to regain it and then hold on to preserve the two points and leapfrog two teams into eighth place in the West.

THE RECAP

The first period left little to the imagination and was even less exciting. Everything the game had on Friday against Winnipeg was completely absent today. The crowd was literally so quiet that you could hear the players on the ice during the play. One of the keys to playing a successful road game is taking the home team's fans out of it; that was not going to be a problem today, and the Flames were able to dominate the play, keeping the puck in Minnesota's end for much of the period. The Flames out-chanced the Wild 7-3 and their persistence paid off and at the 9:31 mark; Jarome Iginla scored his 29th of the season. One more from the captain will mean scoring 30 or more goals for the 11th straight season. It was also the 513th of his career. The Wild went 0 for 1 on their one and only power-play of the game when Baertschi served a too many men call.

The second period had even less to report. Neither team scored or even took a penalty. Special teams would be of note for only reason in fact; Calgary was unable to draw a penalty the entire game, but they also only took the one. The only other PIM's came from a fight between Guillaume Desbiens and Matt Kassian. Scoring chances were also tied at two apiece.

With no expectations after a low event second, it didn't take too long for business to pick up in the third. 1:43 into the period, it was the moment that Flames fans were hoping for and couldn't wait to see. Sven Baertschi scored his first NHL goal in just his second game. It was an impressive goal as well. Tipping the point shot from Derek Smith, Beartschi had the presence of mind to square himself to the net and pick up the rebound from Hackett; he made no mistake putting the puck half way up on the short side.

The two goal lead didn't last long though, thanks to Erik Christensen. At 2:10 Erik got his first of the night with an unassisted wrist shot. Two minutes and twenty seconds later, he would get his second of the night. Nail-biter time!

Calgary would take the lead again at 10:17 with the help of Mr. Reliable. On a completely broken play and a fortunate bounce, Curtis Glencross was "Johnny on the Spot" for his 25th of the season. It also marks the 7th straight game for Glencross with a goal; he now has the longest streak in the NHL this season and is one game away from tying Gary Roberts and Kent Nilsson for the franchise record of 8 straight games. Glencross wasn't done there as at 14:42, he combines with David Moss in setting up Olli Jokinen for his 21st of the season. The OMG line looked good again tonight as they completely dominated the Wild pretty much everytime they were on the ice.

Calgary would be out-chanced 5-7 in the third by the Wild; not a huge margine given that Minnesota was chasing the entire game. A late goal at 18:56 from Devon Setoguchi made it close but in the end, Calgary took the win with a dominant effort.

THE STARS

1. David Moss

2. Erik Christensen

3. Sven Baertschi

THE FINAL

He may not have gotten a star, but Alex Tanguay was huge again tonight. He was all over the puck when it was near him and made just a beautiful play to set up Iggy on the first goal. It has been interesting to see Tanguay almost as an architect for the play when he's on the ice. There seems to be good chemistry again with him and Iginla and it's showing in both the goals Alex is scoring as well as being key in the production of the captain.

It was another good game from Matt Stajan as well. He has one play in the first where he almost made it 2-0, and the play was all Stajan. Good solid effort on the top line and you can see that his confidence has grown by leaps and bounds. His timing couldn't be better either with the Flames still being without Mike Cammalleri.

Sven didn't play a lot towards the end of the game and that shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone. Protecting a two goal lead doesn't usually include an offensive rookie in just his second game. When he was on the ice, he looked more comfortable than he did against the Jets... a little more in control of his excitement. Still had the flashes of offense and the best part was obviously the goal.

The score was really closer than the game was. Calgary controlled most of the play, but there were a couple of questionable goals by Minnesota. Desperate teams take them where they can get them though and even though Calgary falls into this category, there would be no excuse to lose to the Wild.

The same logic should apply to the Flames next game on Tuesday against the Sharks. San Jose is obviously the more talented team, but they are struggling and now find themselves behind the Flames in the standings. Calgary needs to take advantage of that since the Sharks also have 2 games in hand on the Flames.

Gametime is 7:30 MST (Fan 960 and TSN)

E42f2ca09dfb26046c3060ff46473aff
Vintage Flame is a Calgary based sports junkie that prefers to call hockey a "religion" rather than an addiction. He believes there are two types of hockey fans. Those who cheer for the Flames, and those who don't understand the sport yet. Follow Vintage_Flame on Twitter
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#1 Wanyes bastard child
March 11 2012, 08:53PM
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FIST!!!

PANIK!!!

I SMELL CABBAGE!!!

I think I covered all the bases?

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#3 Justin Azevedo
March 11 2012, 09:17PM
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the glencross goal was absolutely horrible haha

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#4 beloch
March 11 2012, 09:55PM
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I was really happy to see Sven score. He was red-hot before being called up and getting his first NHL goal will do wonders for his confidence moving forward. He's been playing a gritty game and going to the tough areas of the ice and that just makes it's that much sweeter to see him rewarded for it.

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#5 Doug
March 11 2012, 10:10PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

the glencross goal was absolutely horrible haha

I love how Iggy slipped, fell down, and fanned on the shot and the puck still got on GlenX's stick!

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#6 Bean-counting cowboy
March 11 2012, 10:13PM
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I've missed the past couple games. Has Stajan been playing good enough to stay on the top line once Cammi comes back? I can't see cammi going to the third line (gotta leave OMG together)

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#7 beloch
March 11 2012, 10:14PM
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@Doug

When I first saw that I thought that maybe Iginla had pulled a sweet fake-out move, but the replay was absolutely unambiguous. He tripped while trying to blast the puck and it was pure luck that landed it on Glencross' stick! Still, Iginla was in a spot where he's very dangerous and Glencross was in a great position for a pass or rebound. The play that happened may have looked like a fluke, but rushes like that are always dangerous.

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#9 Clay
March 11 2012, 10:32PM
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I don't want to get ahead of myself, but Sven is probably skilled enough to play on this team right now, injuries aside.

Hopefully the Flames management can make the right decisions for his development, but I anticipate Sven in the Flames lineup at the start of next season.

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#10 beloch
March 11 2012, 10:44PM
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@Bean-counting cowboy

He's gotten a goal and three assists in his last three games and been playing pretty well defensively to boot. He's looked absolutely at home on the top line, which is surprising since he really never did before even when the Flames first acquired him. He was a little quieter tonight than he was against Winnipeg, but still had at least one good scoring chance in addition to generating a turnover that ultimately got him an assist.

Stajan has been absolutely snake bitten for most of this season. Going into the game against Phoenix on Feb 23 he had just one goal in 37 shots. When you see a guy with a 2.7% shooting percentage you know he's due for a rebound. In the last 9 games he's had 3 goals in 19 shots and put up 0.78 ppg (vs 0.15 ppg over the rest of the season). Up until Feb 23 he was averaging 5.4 shots and 0.87 points per 60 minutes of ice-team, while over the last 9 games he's averaged 7.9 shots and 2.8 per 60 minutes. Since moving to the top line he's averaged 7.1 shots and 4.1 points per 60 minutes. So he's shooting the puck more now and more bounces are going his way even after going from the fourth line to the top line. The stats really just confirm what you can see on the ice. He looks confident and like he's actually happy to be out there; nothing like the self-proclaimed whipping boy from the start of the season. He appears to be done feeling sorry for himself and is showing up to play hockey!

In short, it's not going to be an easy decision to move him back to the third line once Cammalleri returns. If Stajan stays hot I wouldn't be at all surprised if Cammalleri goes back on the wing.

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#11 Mort
March 11 2012, 10:51PM
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These puns are really getting out of hand. The "Svensational" pun was also used on Flames.NHL.com, which is when you know you've gone too far.

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#12 First Name Unidentified
March 11 2012, 11:47PM
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I may get dumped on for saying this but I think the sh!ttiest player on the team right now is Iginla. The whole game he was just a floater except for the 2 efforts that resulted in goals. He just waits by the blue line to get spoon fed and even when he gets the puck, he does nothing and coughs it up. I was so frustrated to watch him in this game. OMG line looks unbelievable.

I just wish he still had the same drive he did in 2004.

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#13 Jeff Lebowski
March 12 2012, 12:25AM
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I only saw highlight of Sven's goal but what a play! Goes to front, makes a beauty tip, adjusts and finds puck then wherewithal to elevate puck. I'm not sure it's his forte but that was a goal scorer's goal.

He just seems to have that confidence and poise that comes with being accustomed to producing. He's playing his game and not intimidated. In fact he's done it from the get go. It's only one goal and two games but I think he's got the right attitude about how to do it consistently and the work required. He will be a player.

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#14 tomcat
March 12 2012, 02:00AM
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I think that Sven scored a goal that is a goal of a goal hunter. I definitely liked it. This goal was not a unique good move he had and the rest of the time he remained unseen. He had a good game (as a rook) and scored.

That the medias and the fans and everybody exaggerated on him as the savior of the flames pisses off many ... i do understand. Additionally, as a young guy, coming in with confidence and poise is a bit challenging, difficult to swallow, everyone would expect him to be shy and submissive. If this is amalgamed ... then it becomes difficult to accept that he is a player that would fit on the team right now !

Yet so far, with little ice time, he yielded nicely. It has to be recognized also that ... he scored 1 goal and the flames won by ... 1 goal !! He was definitely not only their to fill a gap but to play, and to score ! In other words ... so far, he not only was not a liability on the team but he really added value.

If i was the flame's management, although i would keep him on a short leash, i would still arrange to have 1 of my 2 injured guys to remain injured. Specially in these times were 1 point can make the difference between playoffs and not ! It is no time to make philosophy or to see the plans with a 3 year horizon. It is time to grab any point that can be grabbed.

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#15 PrairieStew
March 12 2012, 09:12AM
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Clay wrote:

I don't want to get ahead of myself, but Sven is probably skilled enough to play on this team right now, injuries aside.

Hopefully the Flames management can make the right decisions for his development, but I anticipate Sven in the Flames lineup at the start of next season.

If the Flames are fully healthy, the one guy I can see him getting a chance ahead of is Blake Comeau.

Cammaleri goes back on the first line, and either Backlund - Stempniak or Stajan Stempniak forms 2/3 of the third line.

Jones returns as the 4th line guy with Jackman and Kosto, so the only spot available is that third line winger, which might also be filled by the extra centre.

Until they are fully healthy though he has more chance to prove himself

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#16 everton fc
March 12 2012, 09:32AM
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I've been thinking... If Baertschi puts up some points in his stint here, particularly goals... What does the organization do?

A fourth line of Kosto/Jones/Jackman would be a strong one. What happens to Bouma & Horak in this scenario remains unclear.

You can't break up Glencross/Jokinen/Moss, can you? I sometimes think Moss is a bigger part of the OMG line's success than one can see on paper. I might be wrong, of course...

I say Cammy slots in at centre, Stajan centres the third, until Backlund returns. Why not? Third line might end up being Comeau/Stajan/Stempniak.

Or, OMG becomes OMC, w/Cammy manning RW w/Glencross and Jokinen. Moss moves to the wing w/Stajan and either Comeau or Stempniak (challenge there is both Moss and Stempniak play RW)...

Some coaching decisions for sure, when some of these players return...

Desbiens/Kolanos/Nemisz head back to Abby. (By the way, how have these three looked up here? I haven't seen any games - only radio the past little while for me)

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#18 kittensandcookies
March 12 2012, 10:35AM
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I've been impressed with Baershi. He seems like the real deal. Good shot, good positioning, awesome speed, can pass. Has great vision of where everybody is.

He's a keeper. I don't even think it's worth it for him to go Abbotsford.

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#19 everton fc
March 12 2012, 11:12AM
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Vintage Flame wrote:
I've been thinking... If Baertschi puts up some points in his stint here, particularly goals... What does the organization do?

He could put up 8 points in 4 games and they are still sending him back to Portland. They don't have the choice. Since he in an emergency call-up, as soon as 2 forwards come of IR, Sven has to be returned to the WHL.

I say Cammy slots in at centre, Stajan centres the third, until Backlund returns. Why not? Third line might end up being Comeau/Stajan/Stempniak.

That's the way I see it playing out. The play of Stajan has been good with all the injuries, he deserves his credit for that. Personally I wouldn't mind seeing that as a third line.. Could help a lot in the stretch.

Desbiens/Kolanos/Nemisz head back to Abby. (By the way, how have these three looked up here? I haven't seen any games - only radio the past little while for me)

Desbiens has a good game against the Wild and looked alright against the Jets.
Kolanos had some chances yesterday in the game, but for the most part he and Nemisz look to be exactly what they are.. roster fillers until the real guys show up. [IMO]

So where does Bouma fit in? And if Stajan keeps playing the way he is... And Cammy slots in as first line centre... What to do w/Backlund and Horak??

I think they may re-sign Desbiens. He seems like he could do what Bouma can do for us, given similar circumstances... He'd be an easy call-up.

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#21 Kent Wilson
March 12 2012, 11:48AM
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@Justin Azevedo

He's the luckiest dude in the league right now.

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#22 Kevin R
March 12 2012, 11:57AM
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I wouldnt be opposed to signing Desbiens to a two way contract. Dont see us resigning TKO. So Jackman/Debiens/Bouma make really good 4 th line energy guys & some spot time to plunk in front of the net to kickstart a power play from time to time.

Maybe resign Moss to a similar $$ contract & keep that OMG line together(assuming Jokinen will be resigned)

This is where it gets interesting. Who to keep this off season & what moves to make at the draft. Assuming Iggy, Kipper, Tanguay & Cammi are not going anywhere, that leaves the third line open for the likes of Jones, Backlund, Comeau, Stempniak, Stajan, & then we "have to" make openings for Barschte? Byron, Horak. So I dont see Stempniak getting resigned & I'm hearing Columbus may trade the 1st over all. Can we swing a deal like Byron, Backlund, Comeau(RFA), Leiland or Ramos for that #1 pick. Is it enough? Is it too much? If I were Feaster, I would go after it & try to score Yapukov. I think with Johnson & Wiz, Columbus D looks pretty set, they would want goaltending & forwards.

Anyone else amazed we would even sniff 8th place with all these friggin injuries. We need 20 of the remaining 26 points. Not much room for error.

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#23 everton fc
March 12 2012, 11:59AM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

Bouma was playing good hockey before he got hurt, but if everyone comes back, I see him probably going down. Any of the returning guys suffers a set back or someone else gets injured, then I see Lance coming up over Desbiens. I just think he adds more to the equation than Gaulliume.

Horak goes down as well. If everyone comes back from injury then we are faced with the contract situation right? The guys that have 2-way deals are going to be the first to go.

Calgary's remaining two non-emergency call ups are most likely for recalling Irving on the back-to-backs.

Agreed on Bouma. Agree he'd be the call-up over Desbiens.

Agreed on all fronts. Perhaps they call up Irving one time near the end of the season... And send Karlsson down, hoping he clears... Would that not give them one more emergency call up?

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#25 suba steve
March 12 2012, 02:09PM
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Kevin R wrote:

I wouldnt be opposed to signing Desbiens to a two way contract. Dont see us resigning TKO. So Jackman/Debiens/Bouma make really good 4 th line energy guys & some spot time to plunk in front of the net to kickstart a power play from time to time.

Maybe resign Moss to a similar $$ contract & keep that OMG line together(assuming Jokinen will be resigned)

This is where it gets interesting. Who to keep this off season & what moves to make at the draft. Assuming Iggy, Kipper, Tanguay & Cammi are not going anywhere, that leaves the third line open for the likes of Jones, Backlund, Comeau, Stempniak, Stajan, & then we "have to" make openings for Barschte? Byron, Horak. So I dont see Stempniak getting resigned & I'm hearing Columbus may trade the 1st over all. Can we swing a deal like Byron, Backlund, Comeau(RFA), Leiland or Ramos for that #1 pick. Is it enough? Is it too much? If I were Feaster, I would go after it & try to score Yapukov. I think with Johnson & Wiz, Columbus D looks pretty set, they would want goaltending & forwards.

Anyone else amazed we would even sniff 8th place with all these friggin injuries. We need 20 of the remaining 26 points. Not much room for error.

I can't see that being enough. Did you also mean to include our first? Byron may or may not end up being a full time NHLer, Comeau's RFA situation (who would qualify him at his rate?) leaves him without much value as he will end up as a UFA anyway when not qualified. I'm also not sure we can afford to give up on either of these young goalies (remember Roloson/Giguere) if there is any chance Kipper ends up trade bait at the draft. Would Kipper plus our 1st work for Columbus' 1st and 2nd? How about packaging Iggy? Have heard a lot of opinions that if you trade Iggy, you need to get back a slam dunk guaranteed star (and I agree). I think Yak qualifies.

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#26 everton fc
March 12 2012, 03:10PM
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Abby fans - does Danny Taylor have any chance at all of playing as a 2nd tender in the NHL? I see he's got a 92% Save Percentage in 35 games this season. I assume he's seeing a lot of rubber. Can anyone comment - is he as good as Karlsson, or potential better? Potentially....

Karlsson will be 29 next season... Taylor 26...

Just curious...

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#27 Kevin R
March 12 2012, 03:19PM
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suba steve wrote:

I can't see that being enough. Did you also mean to include our first? Byron may or may not end up being a full time NHLer, Comeau's RFA situation (who would qualify him at his rate?) leaves him without much value as he will end up as a UFA anyway when not qualified. I'm also not sure we can afford to give up on either of these young goalies (remember Roloson/Giguere) if there is any chance Kipper ends up trade bait at the draft. Would Kipper plus our 1st work for Columbus' 1st and 2nd? How about packaging Iggy? Have heard a lot of opinions that if you trade Iggy, you need to get back a slam dunk guaranteed star (and I agree). I think Yak qualifies.

I agree & would love to fly with Leiland & throw him in the deep end next year. Kippers value is at a peak, so much so, its a scary prospect trading him. Therefore I can only conclude King wont let Feaster trade Kipper or Iggy regardless of return. So if we keep Kipper to the end, you have to ride with Leiland or Ramos to back up & eventually transition into more games. Problem is, I think that is terrible strategy. Which is why it will probably happen. I think Leiland has more value than Ramos. So Leiland, a 1st rounder NHL ready, Backlund a 1st rounder already NHL proven & throw in Comeau & Byron for the hell of it, thats a pretty good package for the 1st overall. I would really hope we can keep our 1st rounder. I would rather trade Iggy or Kipper but Iggy would never go to Columbus & I would feel awful if we sent Kipper there. In fact, I would walk away happy but thinking I paid a premium for an unproven but potential future franchise player.

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#28 Stephanie
March 12 2012, 03:20PM
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"Sven didn't play a lot towards the end of the game and that shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone. Protecting a two goal lead doesn't usually include an offensive rookie in just his second game. When he was on the ice, he looked more comfortable than he did against the Jets... a little more in control of his excitement. Still had the flashes of offense and the best part was obviously the goal."

Ok I know Sven was only playing in his second Nhl game but he is not just an "offensive rookie" He is strong on both ends of the ice. I agree 100% with him not playing much in the end as it was only his second game. Yes he is a rookie and yes he is very offensive but thats not all there is to Sven's game. I watch him play all the time in Portland and he is wonderful when it comes to the offensive but he can defend to.

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#30 stephanie
March 12 2012, 03:57PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:
Ok I know Sven was only playing in his second Nhl game but he is not just an "offensive rookie" He is strong on both ends of the ice. I agree 100% with him not playing much in the end as it was only his second game. Yes he is a rookie and yes he is very offensive but thats not all there is to Sven's game. I watch him play all the time in Portland and he is wonderful when it comes to the offensive but he can defend to.

I didn't mean to imply that Sven had no defensive side to his game. Apologies.

Merely I was insinuating that given that he was a rookie playing in just his 2nd pro game, that he would not be the Flames first option for a defensive stand at the end of the game. It's not a slight on Baertschi's ability but lets be honest here; he might struggle a bit, skipping the AHL and straight to the NHL, with the pace of the game.

With the Wild pressing like they were in the third, like all teams that trail will do, I'm sure Sutter felt more comfortable going with the guys that are more accustomed to the pace of the game.

I agree he shouldn't be out there in that situation right now. He might struggle a little but knowing Sven and watching him play I don't think he will much at all.

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#31 suba steve
March 12 2012, 04:10PM
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@Kevin R

I still see the Byron/Comeau/Backs/Irving type of deal as similar to our trade of Dion for a bunch of spare parts (or Gilmour for a similar but younger bunch of parts- Alex Godyniuk--that didn't pan out). It would be great for us, disaster for CBJ's. Occasionally a GM gets fleeced like this, but don't hold your breath waiting for us to come out on the winning end of a deal like this.

I think the more likely scenario is if Kipper and/or Iggy get traded to contenders, you ideally get varied high end picks and young-ish skilled talent (I'm still thinking Washington and their 2 firsts in 2012). Then use some of that to try to pry Columbus first rounder or Carolina may be a target. If you have the 4-8 pick from Carolina, much easier to grab that #1 overall from CBJ. Or you make your varied picks and try to win in quantity and fairly high end quality.

However, you are probably correct. The MOST likely scenario is that they do nothing or next to it.

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#32 Dr Philosophy
March 12 2012, 04:10PM
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@Kent Wilson

Why does does an outrageously high shooting percentage have to be chalked up to luck? There's a hell of a lot more to circumstantial success than luck.

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#34 Stephanie
March 12 2012, 05:11PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

I also don't think the coaches want to overwhelm Sven too much. He is here by necessity yes, but I'm sure they wanted to see a taste of what he could offer.

There is really no need to put him in these limited number of games like it is training camp. He'll have his time next year to show all the aspects of his game. For now, let the kid have some fun and do what it is he does best.

It's not like this kid is going to have to fight for a roster spot right? ;)

Sven fighting for a roster spot? LOL funny joke........ I would want to see what he could offer to. Portland(me) is sure going to miss him next year when he is gone for good. I think its safe to say Sven is having fun right now. How could you not? He goes from 6 goals in 2 games here, Whl player of the week, etc. to scoring in the Nhl.

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#35 SmellOfVictory
March 12 2012, 06:10PM
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Dr Philosophy wrote:

Why does does an outrageously high shooting percentage have to be chalked up to luck? There's a hell of a lot more to circumstantial success than luck.

You have to remember that luck in real life generally isn't as obvious as the rolling of a die, or the weird bounce of a puck off a stantion (I'm looking at you, Bieksa). It's simply the fluctuating variables outside a player's direct control - and there are a lot of them.

Unless Glencross has found a way to guarantee that one in four of his shots is going to go into the net long term (as far as I'm aware literally no player in history has had a long-term shooting percentage that high), then we attribute his success, in part, to luck (factors beyond his control).

@VF: The one thing I will say is that they should give Sven some PP time. Maybe just second unit, but let them play where he's got some space.

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#37 Justin Azevedo
March 13 2012, 06:57AM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

You have to remember that luck in real life generally isn't as obvious as the rolling of a die, or the weird bounce of a puck off a stantion (I'm looking at you, Bieksa). It's simply the fluctuating variables outside a player's direct control - and there are a lot of them.

Unless Glencross has found a way to guarantee that one in four of his shots is going to go into the net long term (as far as I'm aware literally no player in history has had a long-term shooting percentage that high), then we attribute his success, in part, to luck (factors beyond his control).

@VF: The one thing I will say is that they should give Sven some PP time. Maybe just second unit, but let them play where he's got some space.

you are correct, although our friend charlie simmer got painfully close.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&year_min=&year_max=&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=0&age_max=99&birth_country=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=S&handed=&c1stat=shot_pct&c1comp=gt&c1val=20&c2stat=shots&c2comp=gt&c2val=100&c3stat=games_played&c3comp=gt&c3val=150&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=shot_pct

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