March 14 2015 12:32AM
The Calgary Flames need wins. The Toronto Maple Leafs seem to be allergic to them, but their allergy is getting them closer to a great draft pick. Both teams got what they needed tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome, where Calgary played a strong first period and then put it in cruise control the rest of the way for a 6-3 victory over the visiting Maple Leafs.
The Flames are one step closer to their first playoff appearance since 2009.
March 13 2015 02:15PM
It's always special when the Toronto Maple Leafs come to town. They're English Canada's oldest hockey club. They were a dynasty. They were my dad's favourite team growing up, and because of the preponderance of coverage of the team across the country, we always know how they're doing.
And they're doing BAD this season.
As has been detailed by the deteriorating mental state of our Nations colleague Steve Dangle this season - aside: everyone should watch his LFR videos for sheer entertainment value - the Leafs have been a befuddlingly poor team this season. And they provide a really potent reminder of how unique and fortunate this Flames season has been. The Flames are winning games in every wacky, silly, goofy and unlikely way that they can. The Leafs? They're losing in every insane way they can, and I can see how it can break the minds of their fans.
We have 15 regular season games to go here in Cowtown. If Calgary wins 8 or 9 of them, we're probably seeing hockey after April 11. And that's pretty cool, no matter how you slice it. Remember that our pals in Toronto won't be so fortunate, and that things very easily could have gone worse for Calgary.
Special Leafs visit means special start time! It's a 6pm MT start, so cut out of work early and head down to the 'Dome, or catch it on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!
March 13 2015 01:30PM
It's been a news-filled day down at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Toronto Maple Leafs are in town, and Flames general manager Brad Treliving held a short availability to chat about Douglas Murray and other things.
What were the take-aways?
March 13 2015 01:00PM
It's about that time again! The Flames continue to defy gravity and the very real chance they make the playoffs for the first time since 2010 looms large on the horizon. Hazzuh! Calgary's improbable success continue to cause tension between fans and "advanced stats" analysts however, so I got a lot of questions related to that in this week's mailbag.
We also touch on Monahan comparables and some hypotheticals regarding the Flames blueline.
March 13 2015 12:00PM
Arii recently pointed out that the Flames shooting percentage has jumped from 9.2% (#12 in the league) last season to 10.6% (#2 in the league) this season. That may not sound like much, but if the Flames had shot 9.2% this season they'd have scored 26 fewer goals and would likely not be in the playoff race. If the Flames shooting percentage were identical to the league average this year, they would have scored 29 fewer goals. Team shooting percentage is considered, by many, to be the essence of luck in hockey, even more so than PDO. PDO lumps shooting percentage together with save percentage, which can clearly be influenced by good goal-tending. Is the Flames' luck destined to run out?