2014: A Review

2014

As quietly as 2014 began, it ended. Now it’s 2015. The Calgary Flames had a very interesting year, filled with ups, downs, and a ginormous line brawl in Vancouver.

The team played 81 games and amassed a 42-35-4 record.

The year began with Brian Burke as interim general manager and Bob Hartley as a tenuous coach with an expiring contract. It ended with Brad Treliving as general manager and Bob Hartley with a contract extension.

What else happened?

GOALS

The Flames scored 212 goals in 2014 (about 2.6 goals per game), while allowing 214 (also about 2.6 goals per game). The team’s leading goal-scorers in 2014 were as follows:

  1. Sean Monahan (22)
  2. Mark Giordano & Jiri Hudler (tied with 19)
  3. Mike Cammalleri, Curtis Glencross & Mikael Backlund (tied with 14)
  4. Johnny Gaudreau (13)
  5. Dennis Wideman (12)
  6. Joe Colborne & Paul Byron (tied with 10)

POINTS

When you factor in assists, the team’s scoring leaders were as follows:

  1. Mark Giordano (65)
  2. Jiri Hudler (58)
  3. T.J. Brodie (44)
  4. Sean Monahan (42)
  5. Curtis Glencross (38)

Sean Monahan and Mark Giordano played all 81 of Calgary’s games. T.J. Brodie played in 80 games. Lance Bouma played in 78, Jiri Hudler played in 73 and Paul Byron played in 71.

In a weird quirk: Mike Cammalleri had 25 points in 31 games (0.80 PPG) and Johnny Gaudreau had 31 points in 39 games (0.79 PPG). Yes, Gaudreau effectively replaced Cammalleri’s production as a rookie.

POSSESSION

The Flames had a 46.4 CorsiFor percentage in 2014. That’s fifth-last in the NHL, ahead of Buffalo, Toronto, Colorado and Edmonton. The Flames also get habitually out-shot in every game but, in 2014, managed to use special teams to balance things out a bit.

Individually, the team had a handful of players with their heads above water Corsi-wise:

  1. Mikael Backlund (52.8%)
  2. Mike Cammalleri (52.8%)
  3. Mark Giordano (52.1%)
  4. T.J. Brodie (51.6%)
  5. T.J. Galiardi (50.4%)

Bill Arnold and Shane O’Brien were also 50% or higher, but neither player a lot of games, and both were sheltered to all heck.

The worse regular players were:

  1. Brandon Bollig (36.9%)
  2. Raphael Diaz (39.6%)
  3. Brian McGrattan (40.0%)
  4. Tyler Wotherspoon (40.5%)
  5. Kevin Westgarth (41.0%)

Don’t look so shocked. Fourth line/third pairing players are usually the worst players possession-wise, because otherwise they wouldn’t be relegated to that role.

FACEOFFS

Face-off “leaders”, regular centers only.

  1. Joe Colborne (51.4%), 262 draws
  2. Matt Stajan (48.9%), 735 draws
  3. Sean Monahan (48.8%), 1430 draws
  4. Mikael Backlund (48.5%), 977 draws
  5. Josh Jooris (47.1%), 360 draws
  6. Markus Granlund (38.3%), 432 draws

Woof. (But hey, Monahan took a lot of face-offs for a guy who’s just turned 20.)

GOALIES

And finally, Calgary’s 2014 goalies!

  • Karri Ramo: 38 games, .911 save percentage, .917 even-strength save percentage
  • Jonas Hiller: 26 games, .917 save percentage, .932 even-strength save percentage
  • Reto Berra: 11 games, .885 save percentage, .894 even-strength save percentage
  • Joni Ortio: 9 games, .906 save percentage, .881 even-strength save percentage
  • Joey MacDonald: 4 games, .903 save percentage, .932 even-strength save percentage

2014 wins, by goalie:

  1. Karri Ramo (19)
  2. Jonas Hiller (13)
  3. Reto Berra & Joni Ortio (tied with 4)
  4. Joey MacDonald (2)

A third round pick would’ve been an over-payment for Reto Berra.

  • KiLLKiND

    The most unusual stat is Ortio’s save percentage compared to his even strength save percentage. I wonder if he will be called up if neither Ramo or Hiller gets injured this year.

    • everton fc

      Ortio will be here for sure if one of the tandem above come up lame. But the even-strength save percentage…. Look at MacDonald’s!

      Our cap space helps us (perhaps) secure Gaudreau, Gio, and others who need to be secured long term.

      We are still weak in the face-off circle. Improving, but not where we need to be.

  • KiLLKiND

    If Johnny Gaudreau produces in 2015 the way he did in 2014, i.e., truly replacing Cammy’s production, he is a $6M a year player. At least. Fortunately, by the time that happens, a certain D signed away from Pittsburgh will likely be off the payroll.

    Looks like the Flames now have league average or better than league average goaltending. That is a huge first step.

  • KiLLKiND

    Also an idea for faceoffs as they are slightly important would having Colborne taking them and then plying wing position say him and Jooris switch after the faceoff would that be effective or would they get caught in transition to often for this to be viable?

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    While the premise of the article is a very good idea it is sorely lacking in content. Please put more thought and effort into your posts in 2015 Mr. Pike!

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Some more good news: even though the talent of McEichel can’t be ignored, neither is going to help the Oilers win anything in the next 3 years plus. They can’t even dominate undrafted 18 year olds from countries that don’t play hockey much……nevermind the NHL.

    Also: good to see the Oilers ended up picking Draisaitl……..it appears he is one of the weakest top 10 picks this past draft.
    So glad they did not get Domi or either Sam….

    WW

    • Frank Miron

      I am starting to enjoy your posts more and more! Lately you have reaffirmed your ‘hatred’ of the Oilers which is very consistent with my views.

      Although the Oilers have demonstrated incompetence in building a winning team around young stars what pisses me off is the system (recent changes or not) that will see the Oilers be rewarded with 4 first overalls in the past 6 years for finishing in the sewer. This practice continues and Bettman must put an end to this BS!!

    • supra steve

      Domi was actually drafted in 2013, the year CGY took Monahan and the Oil took Nurse. He does look like a good one.

      I know you like to judge draft picks ASAFP but, as for the Draisaitl pick, only time will tell.

  • RedMan

    This is when I enjoy reading these stats. Interesting to see how this 2nd half goes & changes these numbers when we are going to be much higher in the standings at the end of the year versus last year. Then compare numbers for the same personnel for the 82 games from Oct-April. Thx Ryan, enjoyed the read.

  • RKD

    I think 2014 was a pretty good year. Hartley had the Flames pretty strong in the second half of the season last season. We drafted Sam Bennett.
    This season, the Flames have carried their strong play from last season to this season. Rookie Johnny Gaudreau has given us some elite skill at the forward rank and is the race for the Calder. When was the last time this organization could say/boast that? Sean Monahan is developing into a solid center, he seems to be getting better and better with every passing game. Brodie continues to improve and excel at his position. Giordano took his play to a whole another level. The plethora of injuries really gave us a look at our depth. For the first time in a long time seeing guys like Jooris step up and take the bull by the horns was pretty great. Granlund, Ferland, etc. all made contributions in their own way. The above average goaltending, goal-scoring, and comeback victories were great too see. Obviously, these things can’t happen for a whole season. However, for the first time in a long time there is a lot of reason to be optimistic the Flames are heading in the right direction. There’s still a lot of work to do to strengthen other facets of our game but I believe in due time we will have all the pieces to build a contender for many years.

  • Frank Miron

    Unrelated news. Cap Geek has ceased operation.

    This would be an ideal time for the Nation network to step up their game on their NHL Numbers side of things. Cap Geek set a high standard see if you can reach for that and your sit hits would go through the roof.

  • SydScout

    Flames are on 45 points after 40 games.

    Sports club stats have them currently needing 94 points at season close to have a better than two thirds chance of making the playoffs.

    So an additional 49 points in 42 games. Or 1.167 points per game.

    In 2014, we accumulated 88 points in 81 games or 1.086 points per game.

    This season alone we’re at 1.125 points per game. Just shy of what we need.

    Having a great season but this sure kept things in perspective. We’d need around two additional wins to be on pace to have a high degree of making the playoffs (using 2014 pace).

  • RKD

    The second half of the season will be critical to the Flames future success. No the Flames aren’t winning the Stanley Cup and I doubt they make the playoffs but what they do in the next few months is key to their future success. Keep developing the youngsters; continue to add Addy players throughout the year for 10 game stints; take advantage of a market that seems willing to overpay for veterans (Glencross, Stajan, Jones, Smid); add youth and or draft picks for the next two years. Focus should be on 2017 and the Flames are well on their way.