2014-15 By The Numbers: #17 Lance Bouma

Lance Bouma is another personal favourite of mine, if only because he seems hell-bent on doing whatever he can do to help the Calgary Flames win games.

He’s not what you would traditionally define as a franchise player, but you could argue that his intangibles – his willingness to sacrifice his body for his team, and his knack for clutch goals – make up for his lack of talent. And thank goodness, because his underlying numbers are not particularly good.

For your perusal, everyone that played more than 100 even-strength minutes with Lance Bouma:

Player Together Apart Diff.
Brodie 42.7% 46.3% -3.6%
Jones 43.3% 44.4% -1.1%
Backlund 45.2% 46.0% -0.8%
Russell 40.3% 43.6% -3.3%
Wideman 40.6% 43.4% -2.8%
Engelland 35.1% 42.8% -7.7%
Giordano 48.1% 48.4% -0.3%
Bollig 37.4% 44.0% -6.6%
Stajan 42.9% 45.4% -2.5%
Diaz 43.4% 47.5% -4.1%
Colborne 37.4% 43.4% -6.0%

Literally every single player that played a good chunk of time with Lance Bouma ended up worse-off, possession-wise, with him than without him. He’s a boat anchor.

Lance Bouma, possession boat anchor.

But hey, there are two graphics that tell the tale of the 2014-15 season for Lance Bouma:


Okay, he got an absolute TON of hard minutes. He got a lot of defensive zone starts, and he played a pretty good chunk of time against second line players (and eventually first line players later on in the season, once Curtis Glencross departed).

And as we all will remember this season as the year of Lance Bouma, Top-Six Forward, remember this:

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 1.18.50 AM

This is the time-on-ice of his competition all season. If I put up the same graphic with his teammates, it’d be about the same. He was a fourth liner early-on playing with fourth liners against depth players, and his possession numbers suffered. And then he got thrown up the depth charts, and played with good players…against really good players from the other team. And his zone starts were pretty consistent all season in terms of him spending lots of time in the defensive zone.

So while his underlying numbers aren’t good at all, bear in mind that he played with two of the following all season: (a) tough minutes, (b) lots of defensive zone starts, and (c) with Calgary’s depth players. So it’s not entirely Bouma being Bouma, but recall that Kris Russell’s become known for shot blocking as well, and his underlyings weren’t all that hot either.

Bouma is a difference-maker, but he has to be used the right way to avoid dragging down his teammates’ underlyings. Recall the superb Bouma-Backlund-Jones line from late in the season to get an idea of how Bob Hartley can use Bouma and have him be quite effective.


  • Greg

    Lance Bouma’s slapshot on Varlamov will go down in the annals of history along with Zdeno Chara and Al McInnis as completely unstoppable.

    And his aggressive, surprisingly skilled drives to the net suggest he has a lot more to show as a power winger next to a Backlund than as a center next to a Bollig.

    My biggest expectation is that with guys like Bennett, Poirier, Jooris, Klimchuk, Shore, Jankowski, Byron, Schlemko, Morrison, and Wotherspoon, the Flames will not be as atrocious a possession team next year, and that in turn will only help the rest of the roster (Backlund, Monahan, Bouma, Jones) that got the short end of the stick a whole lot. It seems the middle pairing (Wides/Russ) is the big problem going into 2014/15 and if gauze can be put there, the trickle-down effect will help everyone as the younger forwards are all going to get better and better.

    Watching the Blackhawks eke out a win over the Ducks at the Honda center yesterday, I didn’t think their forwards were any more amazing than the best forwards cores we threw out against them… but Hjalmarsson Oduya Seabrook Kieth Crawford and the Crossbar just gave them a chance to get a lucky break. We’ve got Gio Brodie and Ortio. It’s on Schlemko / Morrison / Wotherspoon / Nakladal / Ramage /Kulak / Culkin to make a statement in training camp!

  • Franko J

    Bouma is just hitting his stride. Too bad a late season injury derailed his season. Teams don’t win and compete without a player with his grit and character. Works his butt off which in turn trickles down throughout the lineup.

  • Greg

    I’ll echo the same comment someone posted on the Russell article… I’d really like to see Bouma’s (and Russell’s) fenwick numbers. Gotta think his underlying a look better when blocked shots are factored in.

  • Greg

    Well with boat anchor like numbers following him around (and very lucky shooting percent), it doesn’t seem wise to committing to more then about 1.5 mil. Otherwise maybe we give him a year contract @ a little higher and say “Ok lance do it again!” Backlund has had to operate in this manor and it he is one of our best players..

    Everyone has to remember that the numbers game is a huge problem, saying we have lots of cap space is sort of right.. but with so many good players (who won’t be maxamizing their ELC bennett , gaudreau, monahan) we need to save every penny we can.

    Do players deserve good contracts? sure but look at where some of the teams in the league are now after handing out huge contracts everywhere…. lets not be them.

    • Greg

      Agreed. There’s a lot of cap space for the flames this upcoming season, but by the next season it’s all spoken for just in resigning our own players. Gio, Russel, Monahan, gaudreau, Hudler all need new contracts then. We’ll be within spitting distance of the ceiling just on that (plus the Backlund, Bouma, eta contracts this year), so need to be very smart about the extensions to provide any room to improve the rest of the roster.

      • Franko J

        Yes, BT has done some good things (pick up schemkos, diaz, brodie contract ect) but he has also done some dumb/bad things picked up / signed Engelland and Bollig( I like to believe it was to just appease his new boss BB)

        This is his chance to show he is the prudent deal maker that this club desperately needs to succeed moving forward. I think the Bouma and Backlund deals could show us a lot moving forward.