How're Those Flames Doin' Anyway?

RexLibris
January 27 2015 09:00AM

Previously I had updated my estimates for the Flames season originally posted back when the season began. Feel free to look back and compare, the original is broken into forwards, defense, goaltending and rookies and the first update here, but I will be including the previous estimates in the Big Wall of Numbers below.

To begin the year I had guessed the Flames would finish somewhere between 25th and 21st overall in the standings, that the team would score approximately 206 goals for, would have strong underlying possession numbers relative to their underwhelming roster, and with solid goaltending from Hiller would probably win a few more of the one-goal games they had lost the previous season.

The first update, posted one-third of the way into the 2014-2015 season, showed that those estimates were conservative in some areas (scoring) and incorrect in others (possession strength).The Flames have been the beneficiaries of some extraordinary luck so far this season and I honestly believe that Bob Hartley's aggressive system, simple to execute and suited to a team with speed, has found fertile ground with the Flames' roster. All that aside, the Flames are an outlier on the scale right now. They may carry this through to the post-season, they may not. We aren't talking Black Swan stuff here. Hartley and the Flames haven't disproved the entire body of hockey analytics, but neither has their extraordinary season regressed on the timetable that some had believed. Sustainable? No. Due to crash like a Eurozone debt default? No again.

Analytics is best used as a diagnostic tool. Let's let this season close and we'll look back to discuss then. In the meantime, man enjoy the ride!

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Flames Expectations First Update

RexLibris
December 08 2014 08:30AM

At the beginning of the season I took a look at the Flames and ran some numbers like sh%, ppg pace, historical games played and the like. Using that information I estimated the number of games played, estimated sh%, sv%, and so on for the Flames players.

Most times we stop at the quarter-points of the season to assess a team. I’m choosing to stop at the one-third marker in order to provide a larger sample size and to try to bridge some of the borders that exists within a season, to blur the edges so to speak, so that the data may have a bit more applicability to the larger season rather than being a snapshot of the here and now.

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A Century On, Have We Learned Anything?

RexLibris
November 11 2014 08:35AM

worldwar-summ_2995320b

Editor's Note: Today is Remembrance Day in Canada and Veterans Day in the United States. So we're taking a brief intermission from outright hockey talk and engaging in a look back with our pal Rex.

This past summer marked the centennial anniversary of the beginning of the Great War, what would later come to be called World War I. Coverage of the various observances and speeches to mark that date dominated much of the news cycle of August, when it wasn’t focusing on outbreaks of Ebola in West Africa; conflict, annexation and military brinkmanship in the Ukraine; and the rise of an ideological pseudo-state in central Iraq and Eastern Syria.

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Numerology

RexLibris
September 29 2014 10:25AM

Recall my earlier article back in August about the changing world of sports journalism and something I had remarked on in regards to the misconception amongst some in the media about the intention of advanced analytics. Here is what I wrote: Nobody, at least not a single person I can find, is suggesting that advanced analytics should be used as a sole source for all hockey decisions. Instead, they are being suggested as a complement to aid in separating the signal from the noise, when it comes to reviewing games or making player asset decisions.

Well, in the spirit of the season (training camp and roster projections, that is) I decided to try and do just that. I’m going to draw up a roster made up entirely of some of the strongest players in various advanced stats categories, and keep it all under the current salary cap, and see what sort of team we end up with.The purpose of this is to illustrate what a numerically-chosen roster might look like and offer up some real names that we can then discuss. 

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Prospects Code Blue

RexLibris
September 20 2014 09:00AM

TJ-Brodie

That's TJ Brodie when he was drafted by the Flames. He represents the last drafted-and-developed Flames blueliner. Prior to him you have Tim Erixon and Dion Phaneuf, neither really counts because Erixon never played for the Flames per se and Phaneuf, by dint of the lost lockout season and his own talent level, arrived more or less plug-and-play at the NHL level.

Looking back at the Young Stars tournament I felt there was a noticeable gap between the quality of forward prospects that the Flames have acquired versus the defense. This spurred me to take a closer look at the Flames’ defensive prospects and try to determine the overall strength of this area of organizational prospect depth.

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