– Image courtesy Hockey By Design
As you all may know, we continue to count scoring chances here at FN as we have the last couple of years. The handy application we used in the past is currently down, so instead we have taken to excel spreadsheets to get the work done. It makes for less detailed analysis because we can’t get differentials for individual players, but some information is better than nothing.
I started on game 2, so there is only three games of data so far.
First, game 2 versus the Ducks
Although it contained wild swings with each club dominating a period, it was actually a closely contested match overall. Both teams managed 16 chances at even strength by my count, so this one really could have gone either way.
Game 3 vs Vancouver
Justin Azevedo counted this game and it wasn’t drastically different than the previously match. Less chances overall, but again each team won a period and then settled in a tie by the end of the game. It’s appropriate that this one went to a shoot-out.
The first game this year the Flames convincingly outchanced their opponent was their first win as well. Calgary dominated the proceedings starting in the second period, especially if you consider that two of the Oilers three chances in the third came with the goalie pulled in the final 30 seconds of the game.
|For||Against||ES For||ES Against|
|game 2 ANA||18||17||16||16|
|game 3 VAN||14||14||11||11|
|game 4 EDM||18||13||14||10|
Some decent totals and differentials for the club through three games. Counting more than 10 chances in a night became an issue for the Flames last year – they frequently struggled to get into the double digits over long stretches of 2011-12. Kiprusoff’s Vezina caliber January-February masked those struggles to an extent, but the truth is the team spent a lot of time in its own end last year and would have been out of contention by the beginning of March without that Kipper hot stretch.
That hasn’t been the story under Hartley so far though. Calgary has been chasing in a few of these games and there have been terrible periods here and there, but overall they have managed to be a bit better than even in aggregate, which is an improvement.
Caveat emptor as usual: only three games in, new season, new coach, etc etc. This is only a hint of what the team may or may not be – we’ll need to wait at least 20 games ot really get a feel for the club and its capabilities.
Other Stuff – Promotions and Press Passes
– More than few folks are apparently interested in writing for the Jets. I got so many good applications that I decided to go with a month long audition period for all the hopefuls at JN, starting in February. Each guy will get a chance to submit articles through the 4 weeks and I’ll use that work to determine who we would like to add to the team.
It would help if FN readers could swing by JN from time-to-time to check out the offerings. Share your thoughts, appraisals, etc. in the comment section.
– The first Tilted Kilt FN game event is on for this Thursday, Jan 31st when the Flames face the Avalanche. TK has agreed to give out $10 gift certificates to the first 25 FN citizens who walk in the doors that night to watch the game. Simply go in and let the waitress/floor manager know you’re there because of FlamesNation and they’ll give you $10 in "Kilt Bucks" to use as you see fit.
In addition, they are running their puck prize promotion, where everyone who attends will get a numbered puck and if the corresponding player scores or fights…more prizes! Yay!
This is a first run for us at TK and I hope to improve and expand on FN-centric prizes and promotions going forward. A healthy contingent of FlamesNation readers this Thursday would help me convince them to do that, so if you’re free consider swinging by with a friend or 5 and having a bite to eat or a brew. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments or via email.
– Sven Baertschi was apparently hurt in practice yesterday. The Flames haven’t reported the severity of the problem, but he left the ice and didn’t return. Ryan Pike is at practice this morning and will let us know if he is back in action or not.
– In KW news, the Flames have finally relented and offered me a press pass for this season, which covers Flames games and practices. I have operated a long time without access so I’m not even quite sure how or to what degree this will change my work here or coverage of the team, but it’s nice to be "legit". Thanks to Sean Kelso and Peter Hanlon for considering me and giving a pantless, basement dwelling blogger a chance.
– Finally, make sure to check out that freeroll draft stuff if you haven’t already. Free team, free cash if you win, doesn’t last all year. Easy peasy.