A Flames Saving Grace: The Powerplay

Byron Bader
December 23 2014 09:00AM

The Flames currently find themselves in dire straits.  While starting the season off with a bang with 17 wins in their first 26 games, they’ve now come crashing back to earth and lost eight straight.  Was the hot string at the start of the season all luck?  Smokes and mirrors that have all evaporated into nothing?  Probably. But there is a consistent trend that has persisted for the majority of the season that might give a fan a little hope that they won't Oilers themselves off a cliff.  That being the powerplay.

Let me explain…

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Byron Bader
October 12 2014 12:31PM

The data collection for the NHL's new fancy stat motion has been impressive and is getting more detailed and helpful by the day.  There was always one thing missing for me ... advanced stats, or any stats at all, on line combinations.  Matt Pfeffer changed this through his website www.progressivehockey.com.  The site includes many of the pertinent stats of today (Corsi, Fenwick, WOWY, Usage, etc.) but it is also the first website that I've come across that has advanced stats on forward line combinations and d-pairings. 

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Byron Bader
September 10 2014 08:30AM

Zone entries, while in their infancy, are the next big wave of advanced hockey stats that are going to shape our understanding of possession-numbers.  Teams remain curious but cautious about corsi and fenwick stats, but I have yet to hear a team that doesn't see immense value in zone entry stats.  The only problem ... they're not readily available. Corey Sznajder, of Carolina Hurricanes blog 'Shutdown Line', has spent his summer ever so greatly manually tracking zone entries for the 2013-14 and was kind enough to provide FN a sample of the first half (49 games) of the 2013-14 Flames.  

You can follow Corey's great work at www.shutdownline.com or on twitter: @ShutdownLine. As well, if you'd like to help fund this wonderful project of his, here's the link:  www.gofundme.com/allthreezones

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Byron Bader
September 01 2014 08:30AM

Finally, Johnny Gaudreau is set to turn pro. The tiny winger (5’7’’ and 150 pounds) is the Flames’ smallest prospect, but also by far and away their most skilled. Everything Gaudreau has done so far suggests he’s an elite player in very elite company (see here and here). He’s proven everything he’s needed to at the junior and college level. His options are the NHL or the AHL. Where does he end up and what can we expect?

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Byron Bader
August 22 2014 08:30AM

Mark Giordano was one of the Flames very best players in the 2013-14 season, putting up a Norris caliber season despite getting little recognition for what he did this past season.  Gio is unlikely to replicate what he did last season but there's little doubt he will be one of the Flames' best players in the 2014-15 season.

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