WOWY December Update

It’s an off-day today for the Calgary Flames, so let’s take a gander at some stats! Shall we?

Here’s a look at With or Without You (WOWY) differentials, as of the first 28 games. It’s not entirely current, but close enough to be interesting. The differentials indicate how much better (positive) or worse (negative) a teammate is in CorsiFor percentage terms when playing with a player compared to without.

As such, a player with a lot of positive differentials makes their teammates better, while somebody with a lot of negative numbers drags ’em down. My cut-off here was 100 even-strength minutes played as a pairing.

Players are listed in terms of their overall CorsiFor percentage, so we’ll be going from best players to worst players, and their teammates are listed in order of who plays together the most often.


PAUL BYRON [48.5%]

  • Wideman [+8.1%],
    Russell [+9.7%], Brodie [+4.4%], Giordano [+3.9%]
  • Byron’s been excellent this year. He makes his teammates better. He’s also been thrown around everywhere in the line-up, to the point where his most common teammates are all defensemen.

T.J. BRODIE [47.8%]

  • Giordano [+6.6%], Glencross [+5.2%], Monahan [+3.0%],
    Hudler [-2.5%], Byron [+4.1%], Jones [+5.4%], Gaudreau [11.7%]
  • Another player whose results are in no way shocking. Brodie makes just about everyone better, and in the case of Gaudreau a lot better. Hudler’s the only outlier here, and oddly, Brodie is the only negative regular differential for Hudler’s teammates, too. (See two spots down.)


  • Brodie [+2.5%], Glencross [+6.5%], Monahan [+3.8%],
    Hudler [+2.6%], Byron [+2.9%], Jones [+0.4%], Gaudreau [+7.5%]
  • I could copy Brodie’s description and put it here, except that Hudler’s numbers are positive with Giordano and negative with Brodie. Weird. A few larger differentials with Brodie than with Giordano, and it’s notable that seemingly Brodie helps Giordano more than Giordano helps Brodie.


  • Gaudreau [+4.1%],
    Wideman [+4.7%], Russell [+2.5%], Brodie [-3.4%], Giordano [+1.5%],
    Granlund [+1.8%], Monahan [+3.2%]
  • Hudler continues to be Mr. Reliable. Everyone is better with him except for Brodie. No insane differentials here, though.


  • Glencross [+0.1%],
    Brodie [even], Giordano [+1.4%], Jones [+6.3%], Russell [-3.9%],
    Wideman [-0.2%], Hudler [+2.5%]
  • Monahan was a guy who relied on line-mates last year (lots of negatives when we ran these figures), but he’s a difference-maker more often than not here. He’s come a long way since last season.


  • Monahan [-0.4%],
    Brodie [+1.3%], Giordano [+3.1%], Jones [+5.1%], Russell [-0.1%],
    Wideman [-0.4%]
  • Glencross is bouncing back fairly well. He gets tough assignments, but everyone is either basically even, or slightly improved by his presence.


  • Hudler [+0.4%],
    Wideman [+1.1%], Russell [+3.4%], Granlund [+8.3%], Brodie [+7.1%],
    Giordano [+3.8%]
  • A 21-year-old rookie who’d need to grow a bit to be considered tiny makes all of his regular line-mates better. This may be Gaudreau’s most impressive stat line.


  • Wideman [+4.9%]
  • Jooris bounces around a bit and originally didn’t get much ice time, and when he did he was sheltered. One data point is positive but doesn’t amount to much yet.


  • Glencross [-2.8%],
    Monahan [-2.4%], Brodie [-2.1%], Giordano [-5.0%]
  • Jones has struggled to stay healthy. He’s also gotten some tough assignments, as you can see based upon the four names above. Can’t help but wonder how those fellas would do with a different person on the right side in tough minutes situations.


  • Wideman [+3.0%], Hudler [-3.3%], Byron [+3.2%],
    Gaudreau [+1.2%], Monahan [-8.4%], Glencross [-3.9%]
  • Some good, some bad for Russell, which seems appropriate. Tough minutes players have larger negative differentials here with him.


  • Russell [+1.2%], Hudler [-1.1%], Gaudreau [-2.4%],
    Byron [+0.7%], Monahan [-5.1%], Glencross [-5.0%], Jooris [+4.3%],
    Granlund [-2.5%]
  • Mixed bag for Wideman. My guess is this is largely contingent on circumstances: Monahan and Glencross get the toughest minutes, Jooris the easiest.


  • Engelland [+2.2%]

  • Smid’s not great, but he improves Engelland by a pretty decent amoumt.


  • Hudler [-6.4%],
    Gaudreau [+1.5%], Wideman [-3.1%]
  • Granlund’s 21 and not a great possession player yet. He does improve Gaudreau’s numbers a bit, which is nice but ultimately he needs work.


  • Bollig [-2.3%]
  • Bouma doesn’t get a lot of even-strength time and his only regular line-mate is not great.


  • Smid [-4.6%]

  • Engelland drags Smid down.


  • Bouma [-9.9%]
  • Bollig the boat anchor. He hurts Bouma more than Bouma hurts him, to a frighteningly big degree.

      SUM IT UP

      Consistently improving their teammates’ Corsi numbers are Brodie, Giordano, Gaudreau, Monahan, Hudler, and Glencross. Smid and Jooris are also improvers but with limited comparison cases.

      Dragging their teammates down are Jones and Granlund. Bouma, Bollig and Engelland are also tough sledding, though with limited comparison cases.

      Russell and Wideman are a mixed bag and the good and bad basically cancel each other out.

      • BurningSensation

        I’m so fed up with Engelland,I would rather see Corey Potter from ADK called up to take his place. Maybe he’s actually functional.

        I still expect the Flames to make a trade after this “Christmas Freeze” Looking forward to see where Glencross waives his NTC. Hoping for a good return. Maybe an NHL bottom-pairing Dman.

        • The Last Big Bear

          Granlund is pretty much the opposite, he has the finish but has poor possession numbers!

          I think I value the finish more than the increased shot attempts.

      • Jeff Lebowski

        I don’t get this fanbase sometimes. Almost everyone thought CGY had no chance, you had bufoons calling for total tank and yet the players, playing with pride, playing for each other – ignoring these outside voices – proved themselves right.

        I kept reading on forums how people ‘love this team’ etc.

        It was all good.

        Now a few bumps in the road and you all turn negative. Why?

        Negativity is useless. It does no good. Nothing of value comes from negativity. It boils my blood how quick people are to go south, to be cynical.

        I think I get it. It’s selfishness on the fanbase. ‘Entertain me’.

        They are playing their guts out every single night! It’s so gobsmackingly obvious, and yet you can’t get past your own …egos!

        I’ve had it with the negativity.

        This is a young team. Even the vets are young – how old is the oldest, 32?!!?

        They’re learning. The season is long and these lessons will only help them down the road. Every team has to go through this. What did you think 82-0?!! Get real!!!

        There are some fans who will always be behind the team. No matter what. Positive vibes (can’t beat it).

        I used to check out this site and other fan forums but the negativity makes me want to puke.

        Stick it!!!

        They’re working hard, the breaks will come. Luck? Luck is preparation meeting opportunity.


        • Burnward

          I think most fans are fed up that players like Engelland, Bolig are regular starters and bringing the team down, as a whole. Which is also hurting our development in some of our young players(ex: ice time), which ultimately effects the rebuild.

          • BurningSensation

            The thing with Bollig and Engelland is that;

            – they don’t actually play all that many minutes

            – they are willing ‘dance partners’ who know their role

            – they are veterans ‘good in the room’

            – their contracts are necessary to keep us above the cap floor

            You could play rooks in their place, but you take them away from a situation in the AHL where they get more ice-time, play top 6 rather than bottom 6 roles, and you’d need to add money somewhere to make us cap floor compliant.

            • redhot1

              Those aren’t really good reasons to keep them around. They are bad hockey players who could probably be replaced by not as bad hockey players.

              And it’s not like it’s hard to pick up salary in the NHL

            • The Last Big Bear

              Totally agree with your post.

              Bolig and England are easy targets for the fans. They were brought in for size and tougness! The fact that the Flames are on a losing skid can be blamed on average goaltending and lack of scoring form the ‘goal scorers’.

              IMO these guys get singled out unfairly at times….yes they I get it they are not standouts but they fill a role for the time being.

              • Jeff Lebowski

                Nice points Burning BUT re: your first point is the one that caught my attention …. these guys bring other players down by playing SO FEW minutes! Yikes … that is really not good. Coach minimizes dat by playing them sparingly.

                Potter has a real shot here at showing that his +9 is no fluke …. I will echo many by saying he surely is better than …..

                BTW: enjoyed watching snippets of the Islander – Chicago game last night. Halak, Boychuk and Leddy … kudos to Snow to pulling in those players! Sure BT can do something similar especially with the bottom D pairing.

                Merry Christmas season everyone!

          • Jeff Lebowski

            You’re probably right. I get carried away because I have a low threshold for negativity (working on it). It’s not just here though, it seems the rocks are being thrown at CGY from everywhere.

            I see them trying and I don’t understand how picking on guys helps the situation.

            I’m inclined to think that the players who make mistakes that lead to goals are the ones who feel the worst about it.

            Not every d-man has the abilities of Gio but they bring some other element.

            I remember the 04. I can vividly remember watching Warrener in his end locked up with some guy in a race for a puck in the corner. It looked like he was going to lose the race and a prime scoring chance against would come out of it. But at the last second Warrener would somehow throw his leg out, get position, and bump the puck out to his centre who skated it out.

            It went from potential 10 bell chance against to clean exit.

            That’s what wins games.

            That’s what the third pairing guys do – things that are under appreciated – things that maybe don’t get realized in corsi – but things that make the difference.

            But again you’re right. I get caught up, people have different ways to show their fandom.

            I still think negativity does no good. I’ll cheer how I want, you cheer how you want.

            Sorry for the rants.

      • The Last Big Bear

        I don’t think Engelland and Smid are that bad, but they are terrible together.

        I also don’t think they were meant to play together, as they are both steady veteran shut-down guys that are ideal for depth and baby-sitting young injury-replacement call ups. But the Flames defence has been freakishly healthy, meaning they’ve been stuck together.

        It’s hard to say what Bollig’s positive influence has been. I won’t say its not there, but I certainly can’t see it from my seats (ie the couch).