The Flames At The Dot



Even before the rebuild, one of the biggest holes for the Calgary Flames has been face-offs. This season, they’re 30th in the league. Last season they were 28th. They were even 30th during Brent Sutter’s last year as coach. Being bad at face-offs isn’t a new phenomenon, and seems to be immune to changes in management, coaches or players.

Here’s a brief situational look at how the Flames are doing at the face-off dot after 11 games.


Team-wide, the Flames win roughly 42% of face-offs at center ice. The breakdown among the regular centers is like this: Joe Colborne is at 47% (but has taken the least neutral zone draws), Mikael Backlund is 43%, Sean Monahan is 40% and Ben Street (now in Abbotsford) is at 31%. Matt Stajan’s at 57%, but has only taken 23 draws (as opposed to Backlund’s 65).


Overall, the Flames are again at 42% in the offensive zone. Player-by-player, that breaks down to 57% for Street, 43% for Backlund, 63% for Monahan and a miserable 31% for Colborne. Monahan has taken the most offensive zone draws of the regular centers, while Colborne has not-shockingly taken the fewest. Stajan’s at 58%, but has only taken a dozen draws in the offensive end.


Arguably the most important zone to win your draws in, the Flames have had some success in the defensive zone – although they’re still losing 52% of their draws and winning a mere 48%. Sean Monahan leads the regulars at 50%, followed by Backlund at 48%, Colborne at 47% and Street at 45%. Backlund’s taken 87 of the team’s 216 draws in their own end , which is a pretty big proportion (about 40%) and shows how he’s been deployed by Bob Hartley thus far. Stajan’s at 42% in his own zone through 19 draws.


When things are even-keel, the Flames fare at 44% overall. The team’s leaders are Stajan (50%), Street (46%), Monahan (45%), Backlund (43%) and Colborne (41%). Backlund takes the most of the team’s even-strength draws (92), followed by Monahan at 70.


Overall, the Flames win 45% of their power-play draws. Curtis Glencross actually takes a number of these and has fared pretty well for somebody who’s not a natural center. He’s won 47%. Of the regular centers, Monahan takes the most power-play draws and, to be blunt, has been getting killed. He’s won just 29% of his PP draws.


The PK is where the Flames have been getting killed (in terms of getting scored on a lot) and they’re not amazing in the face-off circle, winning just 44%. Matt Stajan has won 64% of his draws, followed by Backlund at 59% and Street at 23%. Backlund has taken the majority of Calgary’s short-handed draws, which combined with his percentages make him pretty damn useful as a defensive player.


On the whole, Calgary’s won about 44% of their face-offs, which places them dead-last in the NHL. Stajan’s got the best team-wide winning percentage (at 52%), but he’s also only played three games, so there’s no telling where his percentages will end up over a longer span. Backlund leads the regulars at 45%, followed by Monahan and Colborne, both around 42%. Considering that Monahan and Colborne are both fairly inexperienced, they’re likely to get better over time, but the team obviously has some work to do. They were excellent against Washington, so hopefully they can keep it up.

  • gotommygo

    The Oilers need a dman who can actually play in his own end. Badly.

    Poor Dubnyk is a perfectly adequate goalie, but playing behind that defense is going to hurt anyone’s stats.

    Then you have the Leafs who somehow managed to get two excellent goaltenders. I still think that trading for Bernier when they already had Reimer was odd, but it certainly means that they rarely have a weak game in net. Bizarre.

    The Leafs are a bad team, but legitimately elite goaltending basically throws all statistical analysis out the window. I doubt that both Reimer and Bernier are actually .930+ goalies… but man oh man do the Leafs have it good in net.

    • piscera.infada

      Watching that game, I’m not sure if ‘a’ legitimate defenseman is going to help. Even if that happens, they’re still going to need to play some semblance of team defense. Their forwards hardly backcheck, and it looks like they’re breaking out of their zone before they even have possession of the puck on the backend. Boy oh boy, what a mess it is up there – I almost feel bad for them.

  • Danger

    Oilers need a re-rebuild. Maybe they should hire Garth Snow and hit Lowe over the head with a shovel and bury him with his FIVE CUP RINGS!!!(TM)

    Pathetic bunch of losers.

  • mk

    I want to laugh at the Oilers ineptitude in their rebuild – but I try to bite my tongue when replying. We’re only a couple months into a rebuild and small sample sizes make for bad analysis.

    I’m definitely happy the Flames are not cellar-dwellers at the moment, but not ready to taunt the Oilers fans too hard. They REALLY can’t catch a break. But at the same time – suck it Edmonton. 🙂

    RE: Tyler Myers
    Is there any possibility the Oilers go after him? They seem to want to beef up and load up for some wins, and Buffalo is happy to be tank-a-saurus-rex. Myers to Oilers for prospect/young player + picks?

  • RedMan

    the thing about TO is they have Phenuef… hahahahaha

    oops not nice to laugh.

    I wondef if Craig Conroy will be bringing his wife to the game, being as Dion will be there… Bahahahaha rumors never die!

  • RedMan

    besides… we HAVE to post here about the TO game, because Flames-Nation doesn’t ever seem to be in a hurry to get the game day thread posted until about 10 minutes to game time!!!!!! O.o

  • RedMan

    is it just me, or could sven, Monahan, Porrier and Johny G be the next coming of some great players


    OK yes, I’m killing time waiting for this pivitol game of this season.

    If we win, we make the playoffs, if we lose, we are rebuilding.

  • RedMan

    did anyone else get a goood chuckle
    during the recent (flames or oilers?) game when the camera showed some kid sticking his tongue between the glass into the players bench, and the commentator noted he could be glad that it wasnt craig mctavish behind the bench.

    hahahaha stopit your killin me!!!! that was awezome!!!