November 08 2011 07:07PM
Like the Flames, the Wild have been enduringly mediocre for a long time. Unlike Calgary, however, Minnesota management decided to shake some trees this past off-season, making a few big deals to acquire Setoguchi and Heatley, moving Havlat and Burns in the process. I don't think it necessarily made them a better team, but +1 for moxy.
As Steinberg mentions below the Wild have been getting by on top notch goaltending this year. Their underlying possession numbers are superficially decent, but only because they have spent a lot of time trailing. With the score tied they sport a putrid .437 corsi ratio. The only reason that hasn't sunk them is the bounces - a .957 SV% (!!) and 9.5 SH%. Both are above average and due for a drop at some point.
All that said, the Flames aren't in any position to cast aspersions on anyone, least of all the Wild who have given Calgary fits here and there over the last two seasons even the Wild have objectively sucked over that time period. Calgary hasn't played a really good game outside of the Detroit win a couple of weeks and although Minnesota has a thin blueline and so-so depth up front, there's just enough talent there to sink a club like Calgary if they sleep walk through a period or two.
November 08 2011 12:55PM
On January 31, 2010 Matt Stajan was the “centerpiece” of the deal that sent Dion Phaneuf and Keith Aulie to Toronto. Niklas Hagman, Ian White, Jamal Mayers, and Frederick Sjostrom were also tangentially involved. Since that time Dion has been named Captain of the Leafs and appears to have taken a real step forward in becoming a legit top-pairing defenseman in the NHL. How about Matt Stajan? I’m sure glad you asked.
Nation World HQ
November 08 2011 11:33AM
For the first time this season, the Calgary Flames entertain their Northwest Division rivals in the Minnesota Wild, as Calgary returns home for a game before heading back out on the road for another pair of games (7:30 pm, Sportsnet Flames and Sportsnet 960). Calgary plays nine of their 14 games this month on the road, as they try to get up above .500 for the first time this season.
November 07 2011 08:54PM
Welcome to the inaugural edition of the NHLNumbers podcast. As the Nations crack tech team gear up to relaunch our salary/stats site, Jonathan Willis and I decided to get together to talk "new" stats at length and to record some of those conversations. In a radio studio. With guests. Today we debut the first of perhaps many such conversations.
November 07 2011 04:34PM
Five weeks and 13 games into the season and the Flames are playing exactly .500 hockey, just like the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks. I didn't expect to ever put that sentence together.
Calgary's offense has been struggling, managing just 30 goals in 13 games, more than just Detroit, Los Angeles, Anaheim and the Islanders. Wow, another sentence I wasn't expecting to assemble.