2014-15 Flames Scoring Chances

As far back as I can remember, and I’m getting up there, we’ve collected and analyzed scoring chance data here at FlamesNation. Now that we’ve had time to dissect all the data we had for zone entries, we figured we might as well review what we had for scoring chances.

A note: our data has proven to be nearly identical to War On Ice’s data and with the web tool we use to manually collect scoring chances being discontinued, we’ve decided to go with War On Ice’s for this analysis. They differentiate a bit more between types of scoring chances and their data is a bit more detailed because it’s not hand-collected. Lucky buggers.

BRIEFLY DEFINED

The historic definition of a “scoring chance” has been a shot attempt – blocked, on-net or that missed the net – taken from within the “home plate” area shown below.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 1.05.22 AM

War On Ice’s definition is more complex, but arguably a bit more nuanced. They break the ice into three zones (graphic via War On Ice): low-danger (yellow), medium-danger (red) and high-danger (blue) as shown below.

danger-zones

And now, their definition:

  • In the low danger zone, unblocked rebounds and rush shots only.
  • In the medium danger zone, all unblocked shots.
  • In the high danger zone, all shot attempts (since blocked shots
    taken here may be more representative of more “wide-open nets”, though
    we don’t know this for sure.)

Click over to their site for a bit more on the hows and whys of their definition. Again, we’re using their numbers, so this way we’re all singing from the same song-book, so to speak.

And unlike the zone entry data, which was for both even-strength and power-play situations but was only for the regular season, scoring chance data is for the regular season and playoffs but is even-strength only.

The data differentiates between “individual” chances – those created by a particular player – and “on-ice” chances – those created when a player is on the ice. To correct for differences in ice-time, we also included looks at the “Per 60 Minutes” numbers, which are rates over a set period of ice-time. And to correct for any number of differences, some categories are limited to “Regulars” – anybody who played in 40 or more of Calgary’s 93 games this past season.

THE STRONG

Which Flames players were on the ice for the most scoring chances or created the most? This won’t shock you, but it’s mostly who you’d guess would be.

MOST INDIVIDUAL SCORING CHANCES:

Sean Monahan 176, Johnny Gaudreau 148, Jiri Hudler 136, David Jones 126, Mikael Backlund 111

MOST ON-ICE SCORING CHANCES FOR:

Dennis Wideman 751, T.J. Brodie 738, Kris Russell 703, Johnny Gaudreau 578, Sean Monahan 577

FEWEST ON-ICE SCORING CHANCES AGAINST (Regulars):

Raphael Diaz 269, Brandon Bollig 284, Markus Granlund 294, Paul Byron 305, Curtis Glencross 340

MOST INDIVIDUAL HIGH-DANGER SCORING CHANCES:

David Jones 70, Sean Monahan 69, Johnny Gaudreau 61, Lance Bouma 60, Jiri Hudler 58

MOST ON-ICE HIGH-DANGER SCORING CHANCES FOR:

T.J. Brodie 425, Dennis Wideman 419, Kris Russell 391, Johnny Gaudreau 326, Sean Monahan 321

FEWEST ON-ICE HIGH-DANGER SCORING CHANCES AGAINST (Regulars):

Raphael Diaz 173, Paul Byron 175, Brandon Bollig 178, Curtis Glencross 182, Markus Granlund 182

BEST SCORING CHANCE PERCENTAGE (Regulars):

Mark Giordano 49.8%, Josh Jooris 49.4%, Paul Byron 47.6%, Raphael Diaz 47.3%, Mikael Backlund 47.2%

David Schlemko was 55.6% but only played 30 games for Calgary, all-told. Micheal Ferland was 47.5% through 35 games. Sam Bennett was at 48.1% through 12 games.

BEST HIGH-DANGER SCORING CHANCE PERCENTAGE (Regulars):

Mark Giordano 49.0%, Matt Stajan 48.6%, David Jones 48.4%, Mikael Backlund 47.8%, Josh Jooris 47.8%

BEST SCORING CHANCE CREATION PER 60 MINUTES:

Johnny Gaudreau 27.5, Jiri Hudler 26.6, Josh Jooris 26.0, Dennis Wideman 26.0, Sean Monahan 25.7

LEAST SCORING CHANCES ALLOWED PER 60 MINUTES (Regulars):

Raphael Diaz 25.8, Mark Giordano 26.0, Josh Jooris 26.6, Paul Byron 27.0, Mikael Backlund 27.6

David Schlemko was at 23.0 through 30 games. Micheal Ferland was at 26.6 through 35 games.

THE WEAK

As with the strong players, the guys that struggle in terms of their scoring chance metrics are largely the guys you would have expected. You’ll see a bit of Monahan and Gaudreau here, but bear in mind that they played some tough minutes – particularly Monahan – during the meat of the season. And you will also see many defensemen in these tallies, because defenders typically don’t generate a lot of scoring chances.

FEWEST INDIVIDUAL SCORING CHANCES (Regulars):

Raphael Diaz 21, Deryk Engelland 27, Kris Russell 48, Mark Giordano 59, Paul Byron 61

FEWEST ON-ICE SCORING CHANCES FOR (Regulars):

Brandon Bollig 200, Markus Granlund 232, Raphael Diaz 241, Paul Byron 277, Curtis Glencross 278

MOST ON-ICE SCORING CHANCES AGAINST:

Dennis Wideman 963, Kris Russell 954, T.J. Brodie 836, Sean Monahan 719, Johnny Gaudreau 655

FEWEST INDIVIDUAL HIGH-DANGER SCORING CHANCES (Regulars):

Raphael Diaz 2, Deryk Engelland 2, Kris Russell 5, Mark Giordano 11, Dennis Wideman 16

FEWEST ON-ICE HIGH-DANGER SCORING CHANCES FOR (Regulars):

Brandon Bollig 103, Markus Granlund 140, Paul Byron 148, Raphael Diaz 152, Curtis Glencross 169

MOST ON-ICE HIGH-DANGER SCORING CHANCES AGAINST:

Dennis Wideman 565, Kris Russell 562, T.J. Brodie 487, Sean Monahan 426, Johnny Gaudreau 381

WORST SCORING CHANCE PERCENTAGE (Regulars):

Deryk Engelland 41.1%, Brandon Bollig 41.3%, Mason Raymond 42.3%, Kris Russell 42.4%, Lance Bouma 43.2%

WORST HIGH-DANGER PERCENTAGE (Regulars):

Brandon Bollig 36.7%, Mason Raymond 40.0%, Kris Russell 41.0%, Deryk Engelland 42.2%, Dennis Wideman 42.6%

Ladislav Smid was at 41.4% through 31 games.

WORST SCORING CHANCE CREATION PER 60 MINUTES (Regulars):

Brandon Bollig 20.1, Deryk Engelland 20.5, Joe Colborne 21.6, Lance Bouma 23.0, Raphael Diaz 23.2

MOST SCORING CHANCES ALLOWED PER 60 MINUTES (Regulars):

Kris Russell 33.3, Dennis Wideman 33.3, Mason Raymond 32.3, Sean Monahan 32.1, Johnny Gaudreau 31.2

TAKEAWAYS

For the most part, these numbers presented data that supported what we mostly thought they would. The guys that did the best in terms of scoring chance creation were your offensively-oriented players on the top line. I’m impressed at how well Micheal Ferland and Sam Bennett did in scoring chance creation and suppression, though their samples need to be larger for me to have confidence in the numbers overall.

In terms of those who struggled, it was mostly the bottom-six players such as Colborne, Raymond and Bollig, as well as the defensemen that weren’t Giordano or Brodie. It’s also notable that while Mikael Backlund and Lance Bouma ended up against the same basic quality of competition throughout the season, Backlund’s scoring chance numbers were miles ahead of Bouma’s. Markus Granlund and Paul Byron did worse than I expected they would considering the offensive numbers they produced this season.

In terms of the Flames’ off-season additions, they seem to be fairly smart acquisitions in the context of scoring chances – albeit in different areas of the ice. Dougie Hamilton was Boston’s best regular defenseman in the area of chance generation, and was about middle of the pack in terms of preventing scoring chances. When you consider that he and Zdeno Chara faced the toughest match-ups on their club, that’s a great sign. Michael Frolik was middle of the pack among Jets forwards in terms of chance generation, but he was one of their better forwards when it came to not allowing a lot of scoring chances.

    • Greg

      Context does seem missing from this… Surprising to see Monahan among the worst scoring chances against per 60, but would likely make more sense if paired with zone starts and QoC.

      Still, does seem to highlight a few popular players we might be wise to sell high on (Russell, Bouma) and some unheralded players we should strive to retain (Schlemko). And confirm the obvious (Bollig, Raymond).

  • Greg

    Dougie Hamilton was Boston’s best regular defenseman in the area of chance generation…

    An important caveat being that Hamilton was, aside from Torey Krug, Boston’s only real offensive threat on the backend.

    • fretsey

      If his mitts were as bad as described for most of last season I’d be willing to see him for 1 more season. Dude has size and some skills…to me he looks like he struggles with coordination,like what happens to younger guys that grow half a foot over the summer…but he should be way past that.

      definately a guy you’d love to see put it all together consistantly…

  • GriffinJeff

    David Jones is one of the regulars who stands out for me. This metric has him performing with some of the big guns.

    Hopefully if he stays healthy and is deployed with the right line mates (and with a little luck) he can start earning more of that big pay check!

  • DestroDertell

    Kris Russell’s ineptitude shouldn’t have surprised anyone but I thought Colborne’s number of individual chances was one of the few things he had going for him. My bad.

    On the plus side, David Jones surprised me in a good way. I wonder what he’s capable of with easier deployment and better linemates.

  • Greg

    Just picked up an interesting bit about where scoring is coming from in the NHL. http://hockey.dobbersports.com/Hockey-Rambling/july-23-2015

    “Here is what’s going on:
    – In 2011-2012, 30 players cracked the 30 goal mark, and four players cracked 40.
    – In 2013-2014, 21 players cracked the 30 goal mark, and three players cracked 40.
    – In 2014-2015, 15 players cracked the 30 goal mark, and three players cracked 40.

    The number of 30 goal scorers has been cut in half in just three years, despite there being just as many goals per game per team in 2011-2012 as there was last year. There are several reasons for this, but here’s a big one:

    – In 2011-2012, 19 defencemen cracked the 10 goal mark, and four scored 15 or more.
    – In 2013-2014, 28 defencemen cracked the 10 goal mark, and six scored 15 or more.
    – In 2014-2015, 32 defencemen cracked the 10 goal mark, and 10 scored 15 or more.”

    I should say that I was led to this from mynhltraderumors.com, and that is where I cut and pasted the above from.

  • KACaribou

    I love scoring chances as the best stat for judging a productive hockey player.

    This stat increases shooting percentages. Players who take shots within this area are really producing, unlike guys in the advance stats world who get the same credit for a wrister from the blue line.

    The flaw in these scoring chances stats are that they should be divided by time-on-ice instead of simply who created the most and who created the least.

    (So Bollig and Diaz had given up the fewest chances against? Of course they played the least. They also had the least for). But how many did they produce and give up per 60 minutes of actual playing time. And for Bollig that could take 6 or 7 games of playing time.

  • CofRed4Life

    Did anybody notice that monahan and gaudreau were more than -150 scoring chances each last season? That doesnt seem very good.

    Wideman and Russell were -200…

    How is that a playoff first line and second pairing?