July 08 2015 11:00AM
It's been a busy few weeks for the Pacific Division teams in regards to defensemen. Nearly every team has made significant moves to alter their groups, particularly from what they rolled with throughout much of last season.
Continuing on with our look at the Pacific Division Arms Race, we look at how blueline groups stack up across the seven-team grouping.
For a "performance" benchmark, I chose high-danger scoring chances as defined by War On Ice. Basically, it's chances from the low slot. In short: chances you don't want your defensive group to give up too often.
July 07 2015 02:12PM
Last year the Adirondack Flames’ season was nothing to write home about, but it did reveal the sheer amount of depth the Calgary Flames organization truly has.
Adirondack’s rookies made up approximately 45% of the team’s goals by the end of the season. Those are staggering numbers and by no means a regular occurrence in the American league.
Among those rookies are a handful of players who fans should start directing their attention, because as soon as next season, these prospects could be looking at breakout seasons.
July 07 2015 11:00AM
The Pacific Division has developed a reputation as one of the toughest in hockey. Between the three tough California teams, the three western Canadian clubs, and Arizona, there are plenty of tough games on the docket for all concerned.
It's been an off-season of change for Pacific Division goaltenders, as every team except Calgary has signed a goalie, traded a goalie or traded for a goalie. Here's a handy primer on how the teams have changed their goaltenders thus far, and how they stack up against each other.
(For reference's sake, ESV% = even-strength save percentage, and last season .920 or so was the league's mid-point for goalies who played a lot. The league's median team, Buffalo, had a .924 ESV%.)
July 06 2015 01:30PM
Martin St. Louis retired this week.
I began writing something about him over the weekend, which led my thoughts to drift towards his exit from the Calgary Flames. In so many ways, St. Louis' departure from Calgary came at the perfect time for him. He found an opportunity in Tampa Bay and was motivated to prove that the Flames made a dumb move in cutting him loose. The Flames obviously cut bait with St. Louis too early.
Thinking about him made me think about Jarome Iginla and his departure from the Flames. Some may think that the Flames held on too long with Iginla, but in retrospect, it may have been the absolute perfect time for it to happen. In so many ways, hockey is about taking advantage of chemistry and circumstances.
There are three specific things that come to mind when I think of Iginla's departure and the positive impact it created that probably contributed to the momentum the Flames presently enjoy.
July 06 2015 11:00AM
It's been quite a year in Calgary.
The Flames shocked the hockey world by making the playoffs on the backs of a cadre of young players, then they upped the ante by winning a round. Then the org's GM consummates possibly the biggest impact trade since Sutter swapped a 2nd for Kiprusoff and caps it all off by snagging the biggest forward UFA target on the team's list.
Which is to say, we have a lot to talk about. In fact there's so much that I have split the mailbag into two posts. In Part 1, we talk about the Flames various roster logjams and what we can expect out of Michael Frolik.