July 23 2015 11:00AM
As far back as I can remember, and I'm getting up there, we've collected and analyzed scoring chance data here at FlamesNation. Now that we've had time to dissect all the data we had for zone entries, we figured we might as well review what we had for scoring chances.
A note: our data has proven to be nearly identical to War On Ice's data and with the web tool we use to manually collect scoring chances being discontinued, we've decided to go with War On Ice's for this analysis. They differentiate a bit more between types of scoring chances and their data is a bit more detailed because it's not hand-collected. Lucky buggers.
July 22 2015 11:00AM
This past season, we here at FlamesNation have been tracking zone entries in addition to our previously-established practice of tracking scoring chances. This was the first season we did this, and as a bit of a disclaimer, it'll probably take a couple seasons and some tweaking for our data to be robust enough to really know much about what these numbers really mean.
That said, here's what we have after 82 regular season games looking just at the Calgary Flames. The numbers we present are for the regular season only, but are for even-strength and power-play situations for the most part. (There's not much tactics or strategy in dumping the puck deep when you're killing a penalty, after all.)
July 21 2015 11:00AM
In looking at the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues - four clubs who were able to rapidly improve their underlying numbers in the space of two seasons - we were able to determine some common factors that led to their big gain.
Coaching changes, elite draft picks, home run trades, internal development and decent UFA signings were common factors to one degree or another across each of these teams. In this final article, we'll look at how the Flames compare to these clubs in an effort to determine if Calgary can be the next "Big Gainer" over the next couple of seasons.
July 21 2015 01:30AM
Core, noun. "The central or most important part of something."
To go further: "The part of something that is central to its existence or character. An important or unchanging group of people forming the central part of a larger body." Thanks, Google!
It's that last sentence there that's most relevant to sports. In hockey, core players are particularly apparent: they're the guys teams lock up and never let go of. Superstars changing teams is a rarity in the modern day NHL, often dealt huge contracts to keep them in the same team. And it's usually the team they started with.
As a rebuilding team, the Flames' core is only just now starting to form. Identifying who they are is important: these are the guys you're going to be spending most of your money on, and the guys who will hopefully be leading you to the Cup.
July 20 2015 01:18PM
The Calgary Flames have a lot of forwards. This isn't a bad thing by any stretch, as options and competition are usually things you want to have. But with competition comes tough decisions, and the Flames are most certainly going to face a number of those between now and the end of training camp. Let's try and break down how those decisions might go. Let's also marvel at my creativity and ingenuity when it comes to the picture I've decided to use for this article.