[ed. The following is a guest post from MattyFranchise. A ton of work was put into this, and it’s a really in-depth read on the season – enjoy!]
I wanted to take some time to examine game-by-game where this team has improved and where it needs work over the course of the season. I also wanted to see just how effective a teaching tool Bob Hartley’s seven-game segment structure really is.
I choose the stats I did because I feel that PDO over a large enough sample is a good indicator of a team’s overall ability. Corsi For Percentage was chosen because possession is 9/10ths of the law in hockey. Good teams have the puck, bad teams don’t. Of course, you can shoot the puck from the red line all day long to boost your Corsi rating but all shots are not created equal so I’ve included both High Danger Scoring Chances For and just plain old Scoring Chances For to get an idea of shot quality.
A lot of the blame for the poor season has been placed, by eye rightfully, on the goaltending so On Ice Save Percentage was included and in the interest of fairness, since you can’t win if you don’t score, I’ve included On Ice Shooting Percentage as well.
Numbers are all Even Strength 5v5 as per War On Ice.
I chose only 5v5 since most of the game is played 5v5 and everyone and their dog already knows that special teams were an unmitigated disaster this season.
Segment One 2-5-0 October 7 – October 23
Segment One Stats
PDO: 95.8 CF%: 46.6 HSCF%: 46.0 SCF%: 45.9 SV%: 88.7 SH%: 6.9
Wow. What could go wrong, did go wrong to start the season. The goalies had a good night? The shooting dried up. The skaters had an amazing night? The goaltending on either or both ends of the rink completely sunk them. Just as often though, neither part of the team was functioning properly and it showed clear as day over those first seven games. Poor possession, failing to capitalize on chances and well below league average in SV% and SH%.
Segment Two 2-4-1 October 25 – November 5
PDO: 96.1 CF%: 51.4 HSCF%: 59.1 SCF%: 54.9 SV%: 86.6 SH%: 8.1
Two games at home, two wins. Five games on the road, five losses. Over the next three segments the Flames set a franchise record for most consecutive home wins and it all started against the Philadephia Flyers in Game 14. Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo traded starts until a Hiller injury necessitated recalling Ramo, who had been sent down long enough to play one period for the Heat.
Segment Three 4-3-0 November 7 – November 20
PDO: 100.7 CF%: 47.0 HSCF%: 51.2 SCF%: 48.6 SV%: 93.7 SH%: 7.1
The first winning record in a seven-game segment of the season, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how that happened. SV% at 5v5 rebounded in a big way going from 86.6% all the way up to 93.7% and taking the PDO with it. Whereas in the previous seven games it was the skaters trying their damnedest to make the Flames look respectable, this time around it was actually the goaltending winning games. And by goaltending I mean Ramo, as he started all seven games.
Segment Four 4-2-1 November 24 – December 10
PDO: 101.9 CF%: 49.6 HSCF%: 47.6 SCF%: 52.1 SV%: 91.5 SH%: 10.4
During this segment there was a large improvement in possession while the SV% normalized. Luckily SH% reached its highest point in the season thus far. The skaters ended with less HSCF% than the last seven-game sample but over all, SCF% had a respectable increase to help even it out. Twenty-eight games in and the skaters were scoring despite some outliers, such as the Coyotes loss (the only Flames goal was a PPG, hence a 0 for 5v5 SH%), but the goaltending was still a crapshoot at even strength. Ramo started four games, Hiller started three. Joni Ortio was sent down to Stockton.
Segment Five 5-2-0 December 12 – December 27
PDO: 102 CF%: 43.9 HSCF%: 45.1 SCF%: 43.8 SV%: 92.5 SH%: 9.5
Possession and scoring chances went way down. They actually became the worst that we’d seen so far this season. Ramo started six games, Hiller only got one. Not only was this the winningest segment of the season, it was also the one wherein the Flames set their franchise record 11 straight wins on home ice against everybody’s favourite punching bag: the Oilers.
Segment Six 3-4-0 December 29 – January 13
PDO: 101.3 CF%: 48.1 HSCF%: 46.2 SCF%: 49.3 SV%: 93.4 SH%: 7.9
Everything rebounded from the previous segment – except for SH%, despite that six-goal, 21.4% outburst against the Panthers. Goaltending looked pretty stable and the skaters could score. When they couldn’t, their goalies were at least giving them a chance most nights. Ramo (six starts) and Hiller (one) were both rewarded with their first shutouts of the season.
Segment Seven 2-4-1 January 16 – February 3
PDO: 99.1 CF%: 46 HSCF%: 48.3 SCF%: 48 SV%: 92.2 SH%: 6.9
The Flames continued to be opportunistic. Despite getting worse in the possession department their HSCF% steadily rose over the last three segments. Their SH% overall was down which may just as well have been an anomoly as the Flames skaters generally employed high percentage shooters that just had the bad luck to all be slumping all at the same time. This segment’s 6.9 SH% was the lowest since the start of the season, while their SV% and PDO remained in the middle of the pack as the goaltending settled into a respectable 91.5-93.5 range over the last five segments. Ramo started five games, Hiller started two. Dennis Wideman was suspended near the end of this segment.
Segment Eight 3-4-0 February 5 – February 17
PDO: 100.7 CF%: 47.6 HSCF%: 48.1 SCF%: 47.6 SV%: 91.6 SH%: 9
A bounceback segment for the stat lines, as they all marginally improved – aside from goaltending dropping to the bottom of the range found in the previous six segments. Ramo started two games while Hiller got the other five. Ladislav Smid was injured on the 17th and Jakub Nakladal was recalled. Ramo was injured in San Jose and his season ended, resulting in Ortio being recalled. The San Jose game also saw the skaters set a season-high 23.1% shot conversion. Kris Russell was injured against Arizona and didn’t play for the Flames again.
Segment Nine 1-5-1 February 19 – March 1
PDO: 98.4 CF%: 48.7 HSCF%: 45.3 SCF%: 52.6 SV%: 91 SH%: 5.2
Hiller started three games, Ortio started four. Russell, Jiri Hudler, and David Jones were all traded during this segment. Jyrki Jokipakka and goaltender Niklas Backstrom came back the other way. Wideman was still suspended. The revolving door of emergency call ups began, starting with Garnet Hathaway.
Segment Ten 4-2-1 March 3 – March 16
PDO: 101.9 CF%: 48.1 HSCF%: 48.4 SCF%: 47.5 SV%: 92.7 SH%: 9.2
Ortio started six games, Hiller started one. Possession took a little bit of a hit but SV% and SH% improved. Wideman’s suspension was lifted. However, he only played three games before an injury shut him down for the season.
Segment Eleven 2-4-1 March 18 – March 30
PDO: 94 CF%: 52.3 HSCF%: 50.2 SCF%: 52.1 SV%: 87.3 SH%: 6.8
Ortio got three starts while Hiller and Backstrom got two apiece. A large number of players were out for a game or two and emergency recalls took their places, with lots of looks at prospects in the system to finish out the year. Aside from SV% and SH% this was one of the most consistent segments of the year – particularly for possession and scoring chances.
Segment Twelve 3-1-1 March 31 – April 9
PDO: 103.1 CF%: 45.7 HSCF%: 42.4 SCF%: 45.9 SV%: 92.8 SH%: 10.3
Ortio started four of the last five games while Backstrom got the last one. Several skaters were shut down for the remainder of the season during this segment and a number of players were called up from Stockton for cups of coffee in the last game of the year.
The Season As A Whole
PDO: 99.3 CF%: 48 HSCF%: 48.1 SCF%: 49.2 SV%: 91.1 SH%: 8.2
Individual Save Percentages
All Situations is SV% regardless of score. Adjusted SV% is adjusted for all score effects.
GP: 37 All Situations SV%: 91.85 Adjusted SV%: 91.88
GP: 26 All Situations SV%: 89.54 Adjusted SV%: 89.99
GP: 22 All Situations SV%: 91.96 Adjusted SV%: 92.00
GP: 4 All Situations SV%: 89.02 Adjusted SV%: 89.67