One of the quirks of the Flames underlying numbers through 34 games so far is that they are an above average possession team at home (55% score tied) and the worst possession team in the NHL on the road (39% score tied). There is always a slight knock to away clubs owing to the home team having last change, but that’s a fairly wild swing. Especially with a coach like Sutter who doesn’t do anything drastically different with his match-ups across situations.
It would take a more systematic inquiry to determine what the source of the big difference is but my hypothesis is schedule effects – I assume the Flames have seen much softer competition at home than on the road so far. In addition, Calgary has enjoyed a lot of opponents on the second night of a B2B for some reason this year (DET is another one tonight) which can help the ol’ outshooting.
Over time, I assume the two ratios will converge somewhere in the middle. As for tonight, they’re going to need all the help they can get – DET is still one of the best in the biz and Calgary is missing more than a few regulars from the line-up at this point (Moss, Babchuk, Gio, Tanguay). Unless the Wings are absolutely spent after their clash with the Canucks last night, the Flames are going to have to put forward their very best effort to have any chance at all.