February 20 2013 02:48PM
If you think the Calgary Flames start to the season is disappointing, imagine being an LA Kings fan. Fresh off their Cinderella (sort of) Stanely Cup win, you endure 3 1/2 of months of lock-out, only to see your club stumble out of the gates and land at 12th in the Conference through the first 14 games.
Of course, the Kings struggled though much of last season only to squeak in under the wire and then win the whole thing, so it's possible LA's issues aren't causing as much consternation amongst their faithful as the Flames are here. Nor should they, frankly, because the Kings still boast some of the league's best underlying numbers, including the top close-fenwick (corsi) ratio in the league (58.29). Meaning, Sutter's boys still control the flow of the game better than anyone else in the NHL, the puck just isn't going in for them enough for it to matter. Yet.
February 20 2013 09:49AM
Since getting into hockey analysis, I have found the issue of goaltending to be one of the most fascinating and most contentious. Advanced stats have made some headway in teasing apart the signal from the noise when it comes to evaluating skaters, but for puck stoppers we're still mostly just groping around in the dark.
Mostly we've discovered what NOT to do - generally, it's a bad idea to pick goalies in the first round of the draft. Wins and GAA can be worse than useless for evaluating talent. Don't expect unusually good or bad numbers on special teams (particularly the PK) to be sustained over time. Etc.
February 19 2013 11:45AM
We've run a few of these recently and there seemed to be some interest, so Draft Street has set up another Nations Freeroll contest for this week.
Here's a run-down of the rules for those who are unfamiliar:
February 19 2013 09:38AM
eason in the Kontinental Hockey League finished on Sunday and the annual Gagarin Cup playoffs – named for Hero of the Soviet Union (and first human being in space) Yuri Gagarin – begins later this week.
February 18 2013 11:07PM
The Flames looked to go into the desert, find the magical oasis and leave with two points to finally put them over the .500 mark. Instead they ended up running out of gas, lost, and will be on the plane tending to some really bad dog bites.
Experimenting with yet another goaltender, Calgary seems quite content to try and make hay out of whatever the opposition gives then on any given night.
Tonight, Mike Smith didn't give them a thing, and after clawing their way back against Dallas last night for the win, they simply had nothing left in their canteens once they got to the desert.