November 09 2011 11:05PM
Shot quality is a hot-button issue among people who spend time trying to learn about the game of hockey through statistical analysis.
Intuitively, we all know that shot quality exists. A quick blast from center ice immediately prior to a line change is far less likely to score than a superstar taking a shot on a breakaway. The question, then, isn’t whether shot quality exists – we know it does – but whether teams can use it to help them win games.
November 09 2011 10:46AM
As Flames fans and management are left to wonder what to do with the team in the big leagues, there is some good news for the organization beyond the NHL. A number of Calgary's futures are having themselves a pretty good start to the season and given the way things are going for the Flames currently the kids may become important sooner rather than later. Here's a look at some of the stand-outs.
Nation World HQ
November 08 2011 10:49PM
The theme of Calgary's 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild was their powerplay, or in this case, the lack thereof. With a full five minute major sprinkled in there, the Flames went a completey inneffective 0-7 on the man advantage while allowing their opponent to score one of their own. A dominating first period saw Calgary down a goal, and the final 40 minutes was not very impressive en route to their seventh loss of the season.
November 08 2011 10:25PM
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.