Why the 2014-15 Calgary Flames are not the 2013-14 Colorado Avalanche

The comparisons are fair. This year’s Flames is a garbage possession team, with an extremely poor 44.3% CF to go off of: third worst in the league. Last year’s Avalanche wasn’t so hot, either: 46.9% CF, sixth worst. With both teams spitting in the faces of corsi and possession metrics as a whole, the 2013-14 Avalanche ended up winning their division, while the 2014-15 Flames remain in a playoff spot with 15 games to go. Neither team was expected to do so well.

The Avs ended up losing in game seven overtime; really, a coin flip, but a first round loss nevertheless. This season, they’re outside the playoffs, trying to look in. They’re probably going to fail. Their statistics have dropped, leaving them at 43.5% CF, worse than the Flames.

This year’s Flames fate has yet to be determined. They’re right on the bubble. Next year’s Flames fate is yet to be seen.

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Does Treliving believe in analytics? His trade deadline performance showed he knows his team isn’t a contender yet. Does he make off-season moves to improve Calgary’s possession stats? Do those moves improve the team? Or will they end up falling, like the Avs?

I’d be willing to bet on the former. The comparisons are fair, but the 2014-15 Calgary Flames are not the 2013-14 Colorado Avalanche.

The deception of all-world goaltending

That’s what made the Avs last season. 

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Semyon Varlamov – who should be remembered first and foremost for his domestic abuse arrest, so please don’t forget it – was a pretty okay goalie with some decent numbers as occasional starter in Washington. 

His first season as official starter came when he was traded to the Avs. Varlamov put up a .913 save percentage over 53 games with Colorado, perfectly reasonable numbers. The Avs finished the season 11th in the Western Conference, seven points back from the playoffs. He fell to .903 over 35 starts in the lockout year, as the Avs were the second worst team in the league, and gifted one Nathan MacKinnon. 

Then, 2013-14 struck. Varlamov went nuts. He played the most games he’d ever had (63), saw the most shots he’d ever faced (2,013), and posted the best save percentage he’d ever recorded (.927), carrying the Avalanche to a Central Division title. 

The problem? While Varlamov was playing great, the rest of the Avalanche seemed content to let him carry them. They gave up 32.7 shots against per game, sixth worst in the league. They have been more than content to let that trend continue, as this season, they surrender 33.1 shots against per game: second worst in the NHL. And Varlamov’s .921 save percentage – good, not great – can’t keep up with it. Hence, the Avs’ drop in the standings.

The Flames do not have all-world goaltending this season. 

They’ve improved by leaps and bounds since last season, but that’s only to be expected when you replace Reto Berra with Jonas Hiller, not to mention Karri Ramo with a more experienced Karri Ramo. Last season, the Flames had a team save percentage of .899, disgustingly bad and yet somehow only third worst in the league. This season, they’ve improved to .911, entirely respectable and tied for 11th with Detroit.

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It’s not elite. Hiller and Ramo have each had nights where they’ve looked all-world, and then nights when they need the hook more than anything else. But for the most part, they’ve been steady in net, capable of stealing a game for the Flames, but not necessarily being relied on to do so.

The Flames also give up 29.1 shots against per game, again tied for 11th in the NHL, this time with Anaheim.

Calgary is seeing consistent, realistic numbers when it comes to shot suppression and save percentage. It’s nothing like the Avalanche’s terrible shot suppression but elite goaltending. If the Flames’ goaltending caves in – and with Hiller posting pretty much his career average, there’s no reason to expect it – they won’t be in nearly as much trouble as the Avs were.

So then what’s the Flames’ problem?

They don’t generate shots.

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This year’s Flames average 27.4 shots per game, third worst in the league. They don’t give up a lot of shots, but they create fewer, hence, their frequent negative possession statistics. Despite lack of defensive depth, they’re honestly not too bad defensively. It’s offence that’s the problem.

Last season’s Flames gave up 28.6 shots per game: eighth in the NHL, and better than this season’s. Last season’s Flames also only generated 26.8 shots per game: third worst in the league, and also worse than this season.

So over the course from year one of the rebuild to year two, the Flames have marginally improved offensively, and marginally declined defensively. The biggest reasons for their increase in the standings this season has been the addition of competent goaltending, and the sudden jump of team shooting percentage from 9.2% (12th in the league) to 10.5% (second). 

Bob Hartley is in his third season as Flames head coach, and with his extension signed earlier in the season, will probably still be here a few years yet. All three of his Flames teams have been at the bottom of the league for shot generation. If the Flames are going to improve and become contenders, that’s going to have to change.

League shooting average is typically around 9.0%. If the Flames fall next season, it’s likely going to be because they stop scoring at their current rate. After all, the Flames currently have 197 goals; if they were shooting at 9.0%, they’d have 165 goals. The +22 goal differential they’re currently sporting – best in the Pacific – would drop to -10. Teams with negative goal differentials typically aren’t playoff teams.

If anything does the Flames in next season, it’ll be a lack of offence thanks to regression.

What about the future?

I think the Flames project better than the Avs. They may not perform well next season, but they shouldn’t fall as hard as the Avs did. There’s hope in sight.

Goaltending is a singular position. Colorado’s hopes rested on one player, and when that one player failed to produce, everything came tumbling down. The Flames’ problems, however, don’t stem from one player: they stem from an entire team outside of him. 

Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau are only going to get better. TJ Brodie is having a career year offensively, and will likely have more. Sam Bennett will probably be joining the team, and adding some offence at that. And this isn’t counting any potential adds to the team via surprise signings, trades, or prospects.

The Flames’ key on-ice personnel are all still growing, and as they grow, their offence should with them. As their offence grows, the team’s grows; all the while Hartley has proven he can help the team limit shots against, especially with the help of arguably the NHL’s best defence pairing, as well as competent goaltending.

That part is taken care of. The part that isn’t is on the way. No careers years are required, just steady progression. It’s entirely realistic to expect that in the near future. The Flames may not have to fall at all.

They just need to shoot more.


  • Parallex

    Agree with the general premise, but I disagree with a few things:

    1) The Flames need to “shoot more”. Not necessarily. They’re an incredible passing team that scores high percentage opportunities rather than relying on volume “snipers”.

    2) The Flames “could be shooting league average and THUS scoring less”. Again this goes back to shot selection. They COULD fall back down to league average probably only IF they shot worse shots. It’s a chicken-and-egg scenario.

    3) The Avs :only: regressed because Varlamov is not all-world this year. That ignores the fact that they let Statsny walk in the offseason. When you ask your 18 year old winger to take over the center position for a two-way 28 year old veteran who scored 25 goals, 35 assists last year in 71 games.

  • Varlamov should be remembered as a domestic abuser? Problem with that was no charges were brought against him because a lack of any evidence, and his accuser (his girlfriend who he kicked out of their apartment and cut off of his credit cards 2 days before the “incident”) couldn’t keep her story to the police straight. They stated multiple times how her story kept changing. And to top it off when the denver post and sports illustrated contacted her for interviews she refused unless they paid her for them (might have something to do with her not having his credit cards anymore). There was also a report in a Russian news paper, not sure if I believe it though since its Russia, where her friend said this was not the first athlete she did this too and that she believed varlamov over her. I don’t know if he did it or not but her story changing multiple times, his kicking her out of the apartment and cutting her off his money and then the incident 2 days later and then her asking for money from media outles all sounds suspicious. I agree with the poster above, just just label someone a domestic abuser just cause you heard it a couple of times and when you didn’t do any research on the topic.

  • SickFloBro

    As always, arii, beautiful article. Except for…

    “Semyon Varlamov – who should be remembered first and foremost as a domestic abuser, so please don’t forget it – was a pretty okay goalie with some decent numbers as occasional starter in Washington.”

    I have a problem with this. First of all, this is a forum about hockey, so let’s stay on topic-ish. Secondly, don’t tell me how to perceive someone. **I’m not saying he’s innocent**, but it’s not for us to judge.

    It’s easy to trash on someone who’s made a mistake and hurt someone, but a lot of people do a lot of stupid, selfish, destructive things. Having an attitude of unrelenting animosity or hatred towards them for it doesn’t do anything to make the situation any better for the individual committing the crime, for the victims of it, or for the innocent bystanders. It accomplishes nothing of value.

    He should be remembered first and foremost as a human being. Please don’t forget it.

    Trash away.

    • Ari Yanover

      And I have a problem with Varlamov playing in the NHL. I have a problem with him playing the very next game upon his initial release. I have a problem with commentators referring to Slava Voynov’s “incident” rather than outright calling it what it is: domestic abuse. I have a problem with the garbage way women are treated throughout the landscape of professional sports and hockey as a whole.

      You talk about making a mistake. Repeatedly hitting a woman on multiple occasions to the point of physical injury and hospitalization is not a mistake. It is abuse and assault and should not be swept under the rug because the person doing it is halfway decent at putting his body in front of a piece of vulcanized rubber. So I will not let it continue to be swept under the rug, and if I have to mention him, I’m damn well going to mention this, too, because it’s far more important than hockey ever will be.

      Letting it go is what accomplishes nothing of value. The nice thing about my little statement there is it will have literally zero impact on him and his career. He’s immune. He’s a rich white man. He’s totally immune in ways I will never be.

      He is a human being with an insane amount of privilege who does not need the defence of anybody but his own legal counsel. He is a human being who repeatedly hurt someone else who does not have access to his resources. He is a human being who is an oppressor. That is what I will not forget.

      • SickFloBro

        I’m with you 100% on every point.

        My comment about “making a mistake and hurting someone” wasn’t meant to sweep the problem under the rug or to excuse what happened…it was meant to be a broader statement about injustices that take place.

        And I’m not saying anyone should “let it go”. Absolutely not. I’ve seen first hand how these disgusting crimes impact the victims and their children.

        However, what I do think is that if our focus is solely set upon how awful the crime is and not on how to fix the problem at its core or repair the damage done, we’re not doing anything to really help. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not convinced that making that comment is “raising awareness”.

        That’s why I don’t think a little comment about him being a domestic abuser is accomplishing anything. **EDIT: And that’s also exactly why I think it’s more destructive than anything else – it encourages people to focus on the problem and not on a solution.**

        But hey, there’s always a chance that someone reading this feels convicted about something in their past and it leads them down a path of recovery.

        • RedMan

          Being a white man, especially one with money, is an abomination these days… there’s hardly anything worse as all of societies woes are linked to white man. OJ was lucky he was a rich black man cause that’s OK.

          /sarcasm

  • I have begun deleting comments and banning users based on misogynistic mocking and imitating of a talented and valued Nation Network contributor.

    I’m reluctant to censor anybody’s thoughts or contributions at this site, but this sort of garbage – taking a writers name in the comment section, describing their voice as awful, and offering nothing constructive in the process beyond ‘stick to hockey’ – will not be tolerated.

    If you have a problem with that, you can e-mail me directly at [email protected]. If this issue persists I will shut down the comments on this article.

  • Good interesting article Arii. Flames had a record of 1 goal losses last year so it makes sense that league average goal tending/save % was going to add wins. Still, when Cammi didn’t resign, there was a lot of questions where the offence was going to come from. Keep in mind how many rookies & 2nd year forwards we have in our lineup during the year to date. Our blue line top 4 have been together a few years. The progression this team has made this year in Year2 of rebuild is fascinating & even if we have similar results next year, it should be considered progress. My prediction will be Flames are going to have better stats but have similar points to this year.

  • Burnward

    Doesn’t someone need to be convicted before labeling them a this or that?

    I do not know if Mr. Semyon Varlamov committed the horrible acts of which he was accused.

    Neither does the “writer” of this article.

    Have your opinions, sure. He may very well be guilty and be a lowly example of human life.

    But, please, stop acting and “writing” like you know one way or the other.

    I realize this site is bored with me and my ranting, but this site and its shoddy “journalism”, reliance on ego-inflating “advanced” stats and just plain glumness is boring the hell out of me.

    I think I will enjoy the playoff run and the future years of the Flames out of sight and mind.

    But I shall enjoy both merely from the beauty of the game.

    The cacophony of depression and nonsense emanating from this site is becoming deafening.

  • Because the Flames’ shooting percentage is so high while their shots are so low, I wonder if they are a team that generates better chances, rather than more. Quality over quantity, right? Does war-on-ice have a full season metric for the areas form which the Flames are scoring their goals? I’d be very interested to see that.

    Also a bonus to this good season is that free agents may be more likely to want to come to Calgary now that they’ve seen we have the potential for success, which could definitely help increase our defensive depth and maybe add some better possession players.

  • SmellOfVictory

    Semyon Varlamov – who should be remembered first and foremost as a domestic abuser, so please don’t forget it

    Really?! I’d love to see what facts you have that prove him guilty. Especially since the case was dismissed due to a severe lack of evidence.

    Speaking in such absolutes when you can’t prove something is pretty terrible journalism. This editorial of yours ruins an otherwise interesting piece.

  • scoopz

    People want to discuss SH% and luck all the time. To ignore the fact that luck exists is ignorant, but to believe that a high SH% is fairly dependent on luck is equally asinine.

    Stats are valuable, but they must be verified by an on-ice viewing of events.

    We love to throw out the term “unsustainable” and “regression” as they relate to “luck.” Well… what exactly does “luck” look like on the ice?

    In terms of SH% I would say “luck” looks like a soft goal. a puck that shouldn’t go in the net, yet somehow squeaks through the goalie is a lucky goal. How often have we seen those from the Flames?

    Is it luck if, because a goalie stops an initially difficult shot, Monahan pots home a rebound? I see that as good positioning due to”hard work,” and a high percentage shot. It is luck if the puck doesn’t go in at that point.

    I think a stat that would truly indicate how the Flames are doing what they are doing would be a rebound chances generated per 60 or a pucks tipped stat. How many times per 60 minutes are the Flames able to cause a goalie to cough up a puck in the slot? How many times are they able to redirect a shot from the point?

    Dirty teams get dirty goals. SH% is a bogus stat unless we’re talking about a shooter tutor. Goalies are dynamic; they have to move to make saves, and when they do, it creates opportunity.

    Opportunity is not luck. Opportunity is the result of HARD WORK! If you want to quantify hard work, start recording rebound attempts generated and shots tipped. Seriously, it’s that simple.

  • @Guest @ckim719

    Hey Guest your “severe lack of evidence” characterization is misinformed based on what the D.A. said at the time they withdrew the case: http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/10173198/semyon-varlamov-colorado-avalanche-charges-dropped

    As for you @ckim719, you’re verging into pretty hard victim blaming with your comment there. That won’t be tolerated and if you continue on in this way, we will ban you.

    • prendrefeu

      Hi Thomas,

      Not that I want to discuss Varlamov, but what in the linked article are you pointing at which indicates otherwise?
      From the article:

      Lynn Kimbrough, a spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney’s Office, declined to offer specifics on the new information that led prosecutors to drop the case. She said it surfaced from additional interviews with witnesses.

      “This is not an indication that we didn’t believe our victim,” Kimbrough said. “It is … simply not having the ability to prove it.”

      I agree that the above quote does not indicate a “severe lack of evidence” and victim blaming is an absolutely terrible thing, however the D.A. in this case did not have the evidence to move forward with the case, and further interviews with witnesses – for all we know – did not add evidence. For all we know, which only the DA does, the witness testimonies may have partially countered the claims from the victim – again, we don’t know either way.

      While I agree that any domestic abuser should not be employed – especially not in professional sports/entertainment – it should also be pointed out that having false accusations (again, we don’t know) is not out of the ordinary and there is, by default in society, to take the side of the accuser through bias tinted by race or a falsified ‘image’ of the accused.

      We see this in issues where a person of color is accused (often falsely) of attacking a white woman, or a person from another country – particularly one at political odds with the local country – is accused of enacting the same things that the media often portrays them as doing. IE, Middle Eastern man is “always scheming to blow up something” or Jewish man is “always taking money” or Russian man is “always violent against women”

    • prendrefeu

      Hi Thomas,

      Not that I want to discuss Varlamov, but what in the linked article are you pointing at which indicates otherwise?
      From the article:

      Lynn Kimbrough, a spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney’s Office, declined to offer specifics on the new information that led prosecutors to drop the case. She said it surfaced from additional interviews with witnesses.

      “This is not an indication that we didn’t believe our victim,” Kimbrough said. “It is … simply not having the ability to prove it.”

      I agree that the above quote does not indicate a “severe lack of evidence” and victim blaming is an absolutely terrible thing, however the D.A. in this case did not have the evidence to move forward with the case, and further interviews with witnesses – for all we know – did not add evidence. For all we know, which only the DA does, the witness testimonies may have partially countered the claims from the victim – again, we don’t know either way.

      While I agree that any domestic abuser should not be employed – especially not in professional sports/entertainment – it should also be pointed out that having false accusations (again, we don’t know) is not out of the ordinary and there is, by default in society, to take the side of the accuser through bias tinted by race or a falsified ‘image’ of the accused.

      We see this in issues where a person of color is accused (often falsely) of attacking a white woman, or a person from another country – particularly one at political odds with the local country – is accused of enacting the same things that the media often portrays them as doing. IE, Middle Eastern man is “always scheming to blow up something” or Jewish man is “always taking money” or Russian man is “always violent against women”. Unfortunately this happens everywhere and in all countries, just change the accused and their stigma/portrayal/act.

  • prendrefeu

    @Tdot Fan

    You have difficulty with reading comprehension, I remember this from a previous discussion on an Arii article (her second one about Hartley, which was her second anti-Hartley conjecture in two successive days). It took you several attempts, all of them misses at me, to understand what I and several others were pointing out in the nature of the writing. You still didn’t get it.

    Again, with your response here, please read carefully. I won’t bother responding to the parts you don’t understand yet, I have confidence that with careful reading you will eventually understand. However you did have a good question:

    And shooting from anywhere often results in a loss of possession? What are you talking about? Good lord.

    Let’s say there are two kinds of shots – “high value” shots and “low value” shots. High value is often location, but it is often taken at an opportunity where the defense, whether in bodies or the netminder being out of position, opens up. All teams look for these, some are better than others. I am contending the Flames are better at creating these “high value” shots. There were instances of this last night, and the most obvious instance of this could have been Monahan’s goal from a few nights ago where he waited, patiently, for the goalie to be entirely out of position and for two defenders to be compromised before nutmegging both of them. That’s a high value shot. Can High Value shots exist from anywhere? Sure – if the puck is cycled enough, or some actions are done away from the puck to open up things. I believe, and see, the Flames do this on the instances where they have possession of the puck. From today’s “5 Things” post, this might be tracked by a t.o.o.p/goals analysis (see post #22)… but I’m just asking there.

    “Low Value” shots are shots from the outside, where a team is not doing enough to open up lanes. What happens?

    • Puck misses the net entirely, hits the Boards. Forcing players to chase it.
    • Puck deflects away from net (happens more often than into net).
    • Puck is blocked.
    • Shot is wiffed or not hit correctly, which happens enough, to open up a poke or interference (not the penalty type) by the defense.

    In all of those instances a low value shot results in a moment of loss in possession. The chances of a team shooting the puck, the puck deflecting and it never coming into contact by the opposing team and immediately being cycled back in for another shot is fairly low. Sure the team will get it back, maybe, after some effort.

    What do the Flames do when they’re shooting?
    First, they’re very patient with the puck. It’s that low shooting percentage that irks the stats, understandably. The cycle it a lot. While it is being cycled we have players that are not on the puck actively moving around and causing the other team to get out of position. That, too, is not covered by stats. They also have a good tendency to draw the goalie out of their crease through this, although the better goalies tend to stay at home well enough. Again, not covered by stats. Yet.

    So what you get is:

    • Low shooting rates
    • High puck movement
    • Higher shot-to-goals

    All done fairly quickly – they don’t need to possess the puck for that long, the Flames are doing all of this in the little time they actually have the puck. Other teams can do this as well, but for some reason it takes them much longer to turn possession into goals. When the Flames score off of a rebound they do it extremely quickly – the first player (and shot) is not only forcing the goalie to respond, they are also taking at least two other defenders with them away from the lanes, away from the front of the net. Rebound happens and who is there? A Flames player, usually alone or out numbering the other team still in that quick scramble mode. Does that always result in a goal? No, but the chances are now higher and the Flames do this all very quickly.

    Is that stat friendly? No. Not yet, at least, since it is not clear whether a current advanced stat metric accounts for that (t.o.o.p/goals).

    I believe the analytics community – specifically the ones that develop analytics, not the people who just preach it blindly – will further develop the relatively new approach to understanding this sport.

  • KiLLKiND

    One reason I’ve thought of for Calgary’s low shots is their high shooting percentage. They have an unreal shooting percentage and seem to be doing it off great passing plays. Maybe Calgary is truly waiting for better shooting opportunities like on a give and go one timer or after the puck magically appears on their stick after a Gaudreau pass. They have learned not too shoot a ton of shots every chance but show a tiny bit of patience draw a man to the pass to the open guy and give him a great chance to score.

  • Parallex

    So the Avs can score, but suck defensively. No wonder Iginla chose to sign there.

    The Flames can’t score, but are good defensively.

    It still equates to the same thing IMO. Lots of work to do, lots of growth required, more talent needed.

    Also, Calgary’s goaltending numbers may balance out, but the team has at least 4 serious hot streaks in the net to help them win and other crazy circumstances when it hasn’t been.

    Everything seems to be rolling the right way for Calgary. I fear, however, it won’t last and fans, or worse, the management(though I don’t thinks so), will start to point fingers and look for the easy narrative when in reality the team is in year 2 of a rebuild and proceeding along quite nicely.

    We are the Avs. We are the Leafs. Just for different reasons. I’m enjoying it while it lasts, but won’t be put out when it doesn’t.

    • piscera.infada

      Exactly. But that’s the crux of it though, it should be fine as long as Treliving doesn’t go out and blow it with long-term high-dollar deals (Ie. Iginla or Clarkson). The problem is not unsustainable winning in and of itself, it’s what that can do to management.

      So I say again, everything I’ve heard from Treliving, and now what we saw him do at the trade-deadline (I assume there were very bad “quick-fix” deals coming his way from everywhere), leads me to believe he’s very much in lock-step with what people have been saying about Toronto and Colorado. This is a very young team, they seem to be building something awesome, don’t divert course.

      • Toofun

        I agree on Treliving and certainly the trade deadline backs that up. I was very happy with his performance.

        But it amazes me how many fans thought the team should add pieces and that the Flames essentially blew the 2nd coming of 2004.

        • RedMan

          there were fans that wanted to add pieces? are you talking rental pieces, or pieces that can upgrade the team now and for the next 7 years???

          I assume the team plans on sandbagging their cap space until they are ready for the push… by the looks of the contracts handed out over the last couple years, it appears that the Flames planned to peak and break out after about 2 more seasons… then, when ready to break out, wham! spending spree!

          is the team ahead of schedule on the rebuild? maaaaaaaaaybe… just a bit. therefore, if they could have added a bonafide solid #2/3 defender in the 22-25 range by trading an older vet and redundant prospects and possibly taking on a bad contract, w/o touching 1st & 2nd round picks… I would have thought ya, go for it!

          but I don’t remember many, if any, people advocating they go after rental players with 1st round picks and bluechip prospects as trade bait.

      • Parallex

        It’s not so much Treliving that I’m worried about… it’s the guys above him that concern me.

        Also he talks a good game but his player acquisitions give me pause. Bollig and Engellend particularily (Hiller has been Hiller, and while I don’t love Raymond I think he gets a worse rap then deserved).

        • piscera.infada

          Don’t disagree regarding Engelland and Bollig, but GMs make mistakes. I’m not too concerned about those two signings, but if it becomes more of a norm, I’ll be right there with you. I mean, even Ken Holland signed Stephen Weiss for 5 years at 4.9 million per.

        • piscera.infada

          Fair enough, but you’re kind of missing my point. I was simply talking about moves by a team thinking they’re further ahead then they are (Ie. Colorado’s money may have been put to better use on, I don’t know, signing some NHL-level defensemen…).

          • piscera.infada

            I agree with you that Iginla was a bad signing for the Avs, but he wouldn’t be a bad signing for the Flames.

            Not that we need him. We’ve got Emile Poirier and Sam Bennett to “add” to this team’s forwards roster.

    • Rockmorton65

      I think we’re a bit different than the Avs & Leafs. Unless we do something stupid like trade Gio, Hudler, etc for picks, we should take another step forward next year.

  • slapshot444

    “Does Treliving believe in analytics? ”
    It’s not a matter of believing or not believing. Analytics is just one tool of many. There is no definitive way to gauge performance other than wins and losses. Any time you put all your eggs in one basket and rely on only one tool to gauge performance you have a cult that effectively narrows your view. The future will likely have an accepted/adapted blend of traditional stats, current evolution analytics and whatever is next on the horizon.

    RE the Avs comparison, you really needed to mention the injury to Stastney as it was key to their 7th game loss.

  • OKG makes some good points. Is there some kind of stat that measures offensive zone passing completion or something similar? It’d be interesting to see if that along with a high shooting percentage correlate at all. Assuming that anytime a pass is made it is advantageous and improves the quality of shot.

  • Parallex

    Off-topic: Boychuk is now off the market. Considering what he got I can’t say I’m disappointed… I wanted Boychuk but apparently the Islanders really really really wanted Boychuk. I’ll cross my fingers for Franson come July 1 now.

      • Parallex

        Ripe old age of 39. He turns 39 half way through his last season. To rich for my blood… at least at the end. For the next 3-4 years it’s a good deal. If we were at the part of the win cycle where the Isles are I might do that deal, but we’re not so I wouldn’t.

  • SmellOfVictory

    Another part that we can’t overlook is that they don’t take many penalties. At ES they kind of suck, but one of the best ways to be good at special teams is to avoid taking penalties, which is a repeatable skill for players.

  • SmellOfVictory

    “Goaltending is a singular position. Colorado’s hopes rested on one player, and when that one player failed to produce, everything came tumbling down. The Flames’ problems, however, don’t stem from one player: they stem from an entire team outside of him. ”

    Doesn’t it make sense that with more variables, there are more things can go wrong? Expecting an entire group of young players to improve all at the same time in linear fashion (and for Sam Bennett to have a positive impact in his first year in the NHL) does not sound realistic, it sounds like absolute best case scenario. Look at the Oilers, a team that has planned for best case scenario annually: it never goes that way. Especially when you’re banking on a bunch of kids’ development to boost a CF that’s at 44.3%. That’s not a “we’re almost there” %. That’s cellar dweller territory.

  • slapshot444

    You know when I enjoy Arii’s writing? Whenever she sticks to hockey and considers the topic objectively. You know when I don’t? When her personality comes screaming out with some over-opinionated stance/angle/remark, especially when it’s off-topic.

    Your voice is annoying. Please just stick to hockey.

  • Well then improving possession will be something that the Flames sssistant coaching staff will likely be tasked with as being a good posession team is likely a part of Bob Hartley’s coaching philosophy.