Why the 2014-15 Calgary Flames are not the 2013-14 Colorado Avalanche

Ari Yanover
March 12 2015 11:00AM

The comparisons are fair. This year's Flames is a garbage possession team, with an extremely poor 44.3% CF to go off of: third worst in the league. Last year's Avalanche wasn't so hot, either: 46.9% CF, sixth worst. With both teams spitting in the faces of corsi and possession metrics as a whole, the 2013-14 Avalanche ended up winning their division, while the 2014-15 Flames remain in a playoff spot with 15 games to go. Neither team was expected to do so well.

The Avs ended up losing in game seven overtime; really, a coin flip, but a first round loss nevertheless. This season, they're outside the playoffs, trying to look in. They're probably going to fail. Their statistics have dropped, leaving them at 43.5% CF, worse than the Flames.

This year's Flames fate has yet to be determined. They're right on the bubble. Next year's Flames fate is yet to be seen.

Does Treliving believe in analytics? His trade deadline performance showed he knows his team isn't a contender yet. Does he make off-season moves to improve Calgary's possession stats? Do those moves improve the team? Or will they end up falling, like the Avs?

I'd be willing to bet on the former. The comparisons are fair, but the 2014-15 Calgary Flames are not the 2013-14 Colorado Avalanche.

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5 things: Quantifying hard work

Ryan Lambert
March 12 2015 09:01AM

1. What are we talking about?

People do not like when I refer to the Flames as a "bad team." They tell me to look at the standings, because in sports, all people really care about is results. If a team could get away with being outshot every single night all season long — and by a margin that, say, as wide as what the Flames face on any given night — and still win all 82, then that would have been a good team. The process of how those wins are arrived-at matters not.

We know that this isn't how things work, of course, and we know that outshooting your opponent more often than not is a pretty good way of likewise ensuring that you win more often than not. The numbers back all of this up, and even those who for some unfathomable reason remain skeptical of the efficacy of evaluating hockey teams using things as simple as their corsi percentage over the course of 20, 40, 60, even 82 games would have to agree that the best teams have the puck more than the worst ones. It's a sliding scale, sure, and things don't always match up 1-for-1, but it's obvious that a good corsi share is key to a good record in far more cases than those for which the bad leads to a good record. We can all agree on this.

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Post-Game: One Step Closer

Ryan Pike
March 11 2015 10:49PM

A couple weeks back, the Calgary Flames had a good start at home. Then they faded, their opponents surged, and they lost 6-3 at home to the Anaheim Ducks. It was the first time they blew a game after leading through 40 minutes.

Tonight, the Flames allowed two early goals. Bad memories flooded back.

Then they handled the Anaheim Ducks fairly easily the remainder of the way for a 6-3 victory, obtaining some revenge for their last home outing (and a big win against a divisional foe and potential playoff opponent).

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WWYDW: The Trials and Tribulations of JC

Taylor McKee
March 11 2015 02:00PM

What Would You Do Wednesday returns to talk about the Flames' tallest player. Yup, he is the tallest.

When Joe Colborne was acquired just prior to the start of last season, the move was universally praised as a great example of how the Flames could take advantage of other NHL teams' expensive and over-stocked rosters. It was also thought that he could become a reliable NHL centreman with a fair amount of offensive upside. Well, that hasn't worked out so well.

However, that is not to say that Colborne has been a total failure with the Flames, he just hasn't exactly come as advertised. Let's talk about what to do with the often-frustrating, always tall Joe Colborne

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FGD # 67: The Ducks Visit (Again) (7:30pm MT, SN West)

Ryan Pike
March 11 2015 01:00PM

Two weeks ago, the Calgary Flames were nestled (tenuously) in a playoff spot. They hosted the Anaheim Ducks, the division's best team. They played okay. They got absolutely rolled in the third period and lost 6-3.

Two weeks later, the Calgary Flames are still nestled (tenuously) in a playoff spot. They host the Anaheim Ducks, the division's best team. They hope to play better, particularly since they need a few wins here and there to cement their first post-season appearance since 2009. They're coming off a successful seven-game road trip, and ideally would like to avoid the traditional first-game-back let-down game.

The puck drops at 7:30 pm MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

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