April 18 2016 11:00AM
At the beginning of the season I decided to take a look at the Flames’ chances for the year in contrast to their two Pacific division rivals, the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks.
Today we begin the final analysis, or to be more precise for these teams, the end-of-season autopsy.
We’re beginning with the Canucks, who's disastrous season is likely to usher in some significant changes this summer. Or at the very least set the stage for major changes to come should they falter again next season.
This season I tracked not only the individual progress of each player but also tracked the team save percentage, possession metrics, goal differential, and individual goalie performances based on save percentages.
April 18 2016 08:00AM
In order to make the Calder Cup playoffs, the Stockton Heat needed some help from other teams, as well as to win out. They actually got that help in the form of the Charlotte Checkers losing out, but unfortunately for them, couldn't fulfil their end of the bargain.
The Heat were eliminated when the Bakersfield Condors - eliminated earlier - broke a 3-3 tie 14:17 into the third period of Stockton's third last game. A shorthanded goal with just 1:11 remaining, followed by an empty netter, resulted in a 6-3 loss and Stockton officially out of the playoffs, albeit with two regular season games still to go.
It could have been a battle between the Heat and San Jose Barracuda for the final playoff spot; instead, the Heat were left to try to play spoiler as the Barracuda needed just one point to clinch a playoff spot.
The Heat's season closed out with a 6-0 loss to San Jose.
April 17 2016 12:00PM
The NHL Draft lottery is just two weeks away. The Calgary Flames finished the season 26th overall this year, ahead only of the Toronto Maple Leafs (30th), Edmonton Oilers (29th), Vancouver Canucks (28th) and Columbus Blue Jackets (27th).
That gives Calgary an 8.5% chance at the first overall pick under the new draft lottery rules. The team with the best chance is the Leafs, at 20%. Those aren't good odds for either team, frankly, which means there is a very wide spread of potential outcomes, probabilistically speaking.
Enter the Draft Lottery Simulator! In advance of the real thing, the FN team decide to each take a spin with the simulator and run a mini mock draft to see how things may turn out. Here's how things turned out for each of us:
April 16 2016 11:00PM
While the hockey world was enthralled by the battle between the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks tonight, a couple tweets from Sportsnet analyst Elliotte Friedman likely perked up Calgary Flames fans waiting patiently for any kind of good news.
No comment from CAL, but word is Flames will sign Czech F Daniel Pribyl after that league's playoffs.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 17, 2016
Pribyl was a 2011 MON draft pick, but did not sign. He had 45 PTS in 45 GP during season, 11 PTS in 9 playoff games before injury.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 17, 2016
April 16 2016 08:00AM
When the Flames acquired Dougie Hamilton, they were almost immediately thought to have one of the top defences in the NHL. Adding a 22-year-old top four defenceman to a team that already had Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie on the top pairing? That was nuts.
And while things got off to a rocky start, eventually, all three players rounded into form. (Well, Brodie didn't need any time to round into form; his only failing was not being healthy.) Their team didn't do so well - but when you compare the Flames' top three to the rest throughout the NHL, well.
Turns out they're actually a pretty formidable group.