FGD #13: Beat Carey Price (5pm MT; City TV)

October is in the books and now, it’s time to begin the second month of the regular season. And to close out a season series, because that’s how we roll.

The Calgary Flames (6-4-2) close out their season series with the Montreal Canadiens (8-2-1) tonight, in the teams’ second meeting in a week. I mean, Montreal played Calgary on Tuesday, flew to play Vancouver on Thursday (they lost 3-2 in overtime) and then flew home. Calgary played on Friday and then flew to Montreal. Both teams are rested, but Montreal is really well-rested.

Anyhoo, Calgary’s seeking sweet revenge for losing to Montreal 2-1 in a shootout on Tuesday in a fantastic game. Now Calgary gets a rematch, albeit without a lot of their key roster plays.

The puck drops at 5pm MT on City TV as part of Hometown Hockey – if you’re in Central Alberta, everything’s happening in Red Deer today. Check it out!

THE FLAMES

The Flames traveled yesterday and didn’t practice, so we’re left with guesswork and presumptions until the game day skate at Bell Centre. (Spoiler: Daily Faceoff will have updated news later today, but I’m writing this late on Saturday night).

For now, lines from last game, and we’re presuming that Michael Ferland is good to go.

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I would presume, based on the third period of last game, that:


  1. Jonas Hiller starts again.

  2. The Gaudreau – Granlund – Hudler combo stays together.

  3. Based on #2, Ferland (if he plays) slots in with Byron and Setoguchi. And Jooris would probably do the same if Ferland is not good to go.

UPDATE – Sven Baertschi has been recalled because of Ferland’s injury. He will join Byron and Setoguchi on the third line while Jooris comes in for McGrattan (according to the Flames official twitter account). Also, Rapaheal Diaz is in for Deryk Engelland on the third pairing. New lines:

Glencross – Monahan – Jones

Gaudreau – Granlund – Hudler

Baertchi – Byron – Setoguchi

Bollig – Bouma – Jooris

    THE CANADIENS

    Fresh off a road trip and some days off, the Habs are back at it!

    Lines via Daily Faceoff!

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    No real changes from the team that Calgary faced on Tuesday. They’re good. They’re fast. Calgary almost beat them by playing probably their best game of the season. And then they didn’t.

    Presumably Carey Price starts. Man, I hate that guy. I mean, I hate how good he is at goaltending.

    It’ll be a tall order for the Flames. Then again, most of them have been this season.

    SUM IT UP

    Two games against Montreal in a week makes for a pretty fun week. I hope this game is even close to as entertaining as Tuesday night’s was. And two points would be nice, because at this point, the Flames are far, far, far away from McDavid territory.

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    Call me crazy, but I don’t think Buffalo or Carolina are catching Calgary. They might not get 6 wins all year.

    • SavardianSpinorama

      So, what about that “regression” there Rex? I think the Habs were one of the luckiest teams in the league, and said as much before the game started.

      • RexLibris

        See my earlier post.

        Or read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regression_toward_the_mean

        The Flames outshot the Canadiens and dominated them by basic possession metrics.

        Looking at that I would predict a win for the Flames.

        The Flames won.

        If the Flames continue to outshoot their opponents and drive possession they ought to win more games than lose.

        If the Flames continue to be outshot by their opponents then they ought to lose more than win.

        There are outliers, as evidenced in previous seasons by the Leafs and Avalanche, but these outliers typically return to the norm the following season.

        • SavardianSpinorama

          I don’t care about the following season!

          I care about this one!

          The Flames aren’t world beaters.

          But I am jazzed that they make a stats geek like Lambert look like the idiot he is.

          The Flames aren’t likely to do much of anything this year, but I still think they’d be competitive in the east.

          Hell, they are competitive in the west!

          When’s the last time an Oilers’ fan could say as much?

    • mk

      What’s with the hate for Rex? [Ignore for a second that he’s an Oilers fan.]

      His arguments based on shot-counting stats are well reasoned and backed up by historical results. As is commonly said about Corsi/Fenwick – they predict long-term results and don’t do well predicting game-by-game results (which are highly susceptible to noise). In short, he will be right more over the long term.

      That being said – he is an Oilers fan…so of course he’s wrong. 😛

        • RexLibris

          When you initiate debate, we can talk.

          Right now you are baiting and trolling.

          Want me to say the Flames suck, Oilers rule and blahblahFiveCupsblahblah?

          That isn’t going to happen.

          You can disagree with Lambert, that is your prerogative, and certainly feel free to disagree with me.

          Don’t like the shot metrics? Tell me why.

          Think the Corsi% is too simplistic? I’m all ears, because I think so as well, but we don’t have enough data yet to switch to FenClose or really delve into PDO, sh%, sv% and the like.

          Calling one of us an idiot because you don’t like the criticism, though?

          Raise the level of conversation. Its what makes this forum worthwhile.

          • SavardianSpinorama

            Trolling?

            Explain that to me, please.

            Do I think Corsi is too simplistic?

            Yes, I think it’s a bunch of hooey that can be explained (for the most part) in shots for and against.

            I didn’t call you an idiot.

            I called a paid troll an idiot.

            • SavardianSpinorama

              I am more than willing to go to battle with you on Corsi stats vs shots for and against, Kent.

              It’s not like I don’t appreciate Corsi stats, but I also think for the most part they can be broken down (on a game by game basis) in the shot column.

              Player-by player I will give Corsi the benefit of the doubt.

              Team-by-team . . . no way!

            • playastation

              Quick corsi question.

              Does looking at a metric for shots for / shots against take into account how good your goalie is? Or is assuming all goalies are equal?

              Like if 2 teams played and one team had the SLIGHT advantage in corsi, but the other team has Patrick Roy, then its not abnormal to see Patrick Roy win?

              CC: @RexLibris

          • SavardianSpinorama

            Rex,
            Good points, and appreciate the fair comments.

            So, how about those Flames. I think what I’m seeing is a combination of youngsters flying high in their early call-ups, and the prospects actually being better than the vets they are replacing, which raises the level of the whole team. It will be iterating to see if they can keep this up.

            Also, the whole message from the team (accountability) and the positive, supportive coaching goes a long, long way to building confidence enhancing the development of many of the players. There is a reason why Hartley has WON championships at 4 different levels, and we’re seeing right before our eyes how that is translating into player and team development on a week by week basis.

            Exciting stuff!

      • RexLibris

        Cheering for a team, even a bad one, can be tremendously rewarding.

        Think of Cubs fans. There’s almost a zen-like fatalism there that could be kind of comforting, in a nihilistic sort of way.

        If I paid any attention to baseball I think that’s the way I’d go.

      • Teamsupreme

        He played 10:49 m tonight, the only player who played less was Brandon Bollig by about a minute. Hartley didn’t use him on any special teams which was quite a bit of the game, so that resulted in quite a bit of time on the bench, but when he was on the ice he played fine. He had a couple good shifts of forechecking and aggressive d, but not a whole lot in terms of offensive chances.

      • icedawg_42

        My take on Sven tonight – he was fine…he looked like someone who was trying very hard to play a responsible game. Very little risk to it, but he was fine. Not dangerous though – hopefully that will come when the nerves settle.

    • SavardianSpinorama

      Not doing the stats tonight, but as far as Flames vs Habs it’s like 78 to 38 shots for/against over two games and this game drastically improved the shots against thing on average for the Flames for the season.

      The Flames may not be great.

      But they are certainly not that bad.

    • SavardianSpinorama

      If I need to explain what a “paid troll” is, and I am sure you are intelligent enough to come up with your own general conclusions:

      It is someone who says just enough to piss people off while at the same time generating debate.

      I don’t get paid for what I do.

      Ryan does.

      But I don’t slam the Flames.

      Ryan does.

      He generates comments as a result.

      If I generate comments from being an unpaid goof, so be it.

      But Ryan generates comments for being a goof.

      And his English skills and NHL analytic ability are really no better than mine (nor many others who frequent the site and make contributions).

      Not that I begrudge him or anyone else.

      If you can talk hockey and get paid for it, great.

      If I can talk hockey and generate a response, also great.

      But, just because you guys get paid and know all you know about this and that doesn’t automatically mean you are never wrong.

    • Kevin R

      What a heck of a game. Not only do our top pairing D playing awesome, I think the East is getting 1st hand look at why Flames are sitting in the top 8 right now of our conference. I think Johnny is getting him some Calder votes & if he continues on this eastern road trip like this, he is definitely going to be getting the thumbs high. We still have 2 young players most of us are champing at the bit in Porrier & Bennett. God I like what direction this is going, even Russell seems to have the 2nd pairing down. Jooris, what the @*%#. Where did he come from. This kid is now in the NHL. I see no reason to have him back in Addy. Sorry, Im just pretty stoked right now. How long can they do this? I don’t see regression, I see improvement.

    • SavardianSpinorama

      Huzzah!

      Anyone can get behind a win like this!

      RE: Baertschi. Relatively quiet night, had a good, solid game. As always, he’s at his best when he slips through the seams and finds a soft spot in coverage. Had a great scoring chance in the first when Paul Byron found him in the slot. Price saw the shot, though. He also set up a chance for Setoguchi (I think?) in the third, but it came to nothing.

      Anyone else think Setoguchi had a pretty good game?

      Maybe the Flames should play Montreal every day, because Jones had another pretty good night. It’s too bad he didn’t get rewarded in either of those two games, though.

      Monahan. Damn, has this guy ever come along.

    • SavardianSpinorama

      Just because I am a troll I have one question:

      Do Corsi stats statisticaly tell us the difference between shots for and against?

      I am saying if teams give up more shots than they produce they are Corsi losers.

      If teams produce more shots than they give up, they are Corsi winners.

      I will also say I am right 90 percent of the time.

    • SavardianSpinorama

      Attention: Bob Hartley

      This contract offer is hereby a 2 year extension effective at the end of this current season. If you enable the Flames organization to achieve a playoff position within this contract extension term then you will be offered an automatic option to renew at 3 years.

      Please sign below….

      __________________

    • SavardianSpinorama

      I think if you look at most good Corsi teams last year, they produced more shots than they allowed. It really doesn’t get any easier than that.

    • SavardianSpinorama

      Anyway, everyone is like, boy are we ever smart with all these possession stats.

      I’m like, jeez, I’m a dumb ass for looking at the shots for and against column.

      But then I look at Corsi and add up shots for and against and I’m really not as much a dumb ass as I thought.

    • SavardianSpinorama

      Personally, I figure a site that spends so much money paying people to look at difficult stuff like Corsi stats ought to pay up big time for someone who looks at a shots for and against differential and does the math.

      Alas, I am but a worthless troll with a spreadsheet who knows how to input shots in cell A1 and shots against in cell B1, and in cell C1 input “B1 – A1.”

      Hard work, I admit.

      But someone had to do it.

        • SavardianSpinorama

          I swear, I’m sober. I just get baffled by people who want to spend hours of their own time adding up all the individual ice time of players and then collating it all into “team time” when shots for and against are equally reliable.

          I like when stats show certain players are terrible or great.

          I don’t like when adding up good players and bad players is the same as shots for and against. It’s complicating things for the sake of complicating things.

          Good teams generally get more shots on net than bad teams and it can be explained in possession, more often than not.

    • Willi P

      What’s the point of coming to a flames fan site aimed towards those interested in advanced stats, to troll it and it’s contributors?

      I’m not saying you’re trying to win fans or make friends, but you just come off as a jerk.

      That said, good to see the Flames win another one and I hope this season continues to be as exciting to follow as the first 13 games.

    • SavardianSpinorama

      Corsi discussion: lots of BS here and I am not talking Blocked Shots! Fancy stats are a regurgitation of the past….

      By the way, Flames were second in the league last year and are second in the league this year on Blocked Shots led by Captain Gio! Good Team Play!

      Don’t need no Corsi to tell me how good Gio played last year – he was a plus player on a team of minuses! And you can see just by watching as Yogi Berra used to say!

      Also, if there are any trollers from the North, the Oilers have ONE injury to a key forward – will they go into the tank, deeper than they are now? Time to go in the tank for the number 1 pick AGAIN! They are closer to the bottom than they are willing to admit!

      How do the Flames compare with Oilers Corsi stats? Oilers are better I assume because their journalist had been wasting tons of newsprint last year on saying how good their Corsi stats were and/or improving and they still were bad team (but with a lot of skilled players so they say – who don’t always skate in the same direction!) 🙂

      Justin Schultz isn’t half the player that T J Brodie is and will be, but the Oilers will sign him for more than Brodie’s contract just to show us they have more skill because they get paid more! 🙂