Looking at the Calgary Flames’ expected goals and saves

The past is a great predictor of the future. When we examine National Hockey League shooters and goaltenders, their past performance is a good indicator – barring for miraculous collapses or improvements – of their future performance levels. Career shooting and save percentages can be used to provide high-level estimates of a skater’s production level and a goaltender’s overall performance.

Now that we have 32 games of the 2016-17 Calgary Flames to examine, let’s take a glance at their performance – both in net and putting pucks in ’em – based on expected goals and saves.

EXPECTED GOALS

Player
Actual
Goals
Expected
Goals
Diff.
16-17
Sh%
Career
Sh%
Shots
Monahan 9 9.5 -0.5 14.3 15.1 63
Bennett 7 6.9 +0.1 13.7 13.4 51
Gaudreau 7 8.2 -1.2 12.1 14.1 58
Brouwer 7 6.3 +0.7 15.6 14.1 45
Frolik 6 5.5 +0.5 8.6 7.9 70
Tkachuk 6 6.0 12.5 12.5 48
D.Hamilton 6 5.5 +0.5 6.5 6.0 93
Backlund 5 6.9 -1.9 6.4 8.8 78
Chiasson 5 4.7 11.6 11.0 43
Ferland 5 1.9 +3.1 13.5 5.2 37
Versteeg 4 2.9 +1.1 15.4 11.2 26
Giordano 3 5.1 -2.1 4.3 7.4 69
Stajan 3 3.4 -0.4 11.5 13.2 26
Wideman 2 3.1 -1.1 4.0 6.1 50
Brodie 2 2.0 5.9 5.9 34
Engelland 1 2.1 -1.1 2.4 4.9 42
F.Hamilton 1 1.0 6.3 6.4 16
Jokipakka 1 0.4 +0.6 8.3 3.2 12
Bouma 1 0.8 +0.2 11.1 9.0 9
Hathaway 1 0.5 +0.5 10.0 4.8 10
Shinkaruk 0 0.6 -0.6 0.0 11.8 5
Jankowski 0 0 0.0 0.0 0
Grossmann 0 0.1 -0.1 0.0 3 3
Kulak 0 0 0.0 0.0 16
Vey 0 0.1 -0.1 0.0 12.7 1
TOTAL 82 83.5 -1.5

Scoring less than expected? Mark Giordano (2.1 goals), Mikael Backlund (1.9), Johnny Gaudreau (1.2), Dennis Wideman (1.1) and Deryk Engelland (1.1).

Scoring more than expected? Micheal Ferland (3.1 goals) and Kris Versteeg (1.1).

If there’s anything you need to know about Calgary’s offense thus far in 2016-17, it’s basically this. The differences do seem to cancel each other out to some extent. Ferland’s offensive explosion could simply be the establishment of a new normal for the winger considering his age and relatively low NHL experience level.

EXPECTED SAVES

Player Actual
GA
Expected
GA
Diff.
16-17
Sv%
Career
Sv%
Shots
Elliott 44 33.6 +10.4 .886 .913 386
Johnson 40 44.7 -4.7 .928 .919 552
Empty Net 8
TOTAL 92 78.3 +5.7

Stop me if this sounds particularly shocking or surprising: Brian Elliott is under-performing versus his historical results while Chad Johnson is slightly over-performing against his. For what it’s worth, Johnson isn’t over-performing by that much given how much he plays.

SUM IT UP

The Flames are scoring slightly less than you would expect them to given their roster’s historical shooting percentages. Their goaltenders are letting in more goals than you would expect given their historical save percentages.

That said, Ferland and Johnson have emerged as really nice success stories (so long as their results don’t correct themselves in a severe way over the remainder of the season).

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Ferland’s 5.2% shooting will almost certainly not be close to his career shooting average as his career progresses. His simply too good and possesses and very good shot. I’m not confident he will sustain 13+%, but from what I’ve seen it will be closer to 13 than 5.

  • Ole YELLEr

    Speaking of Ferland’s career shooting %, is there a generally accepted amount of time to set player’s career benchmarks? I’m guessing at least 3 years to compensate for the potential of one season being wildly above or below norm.

  • Lucky 13

    The teams bad start of say 15 games, no doubt has skewed some of those numbers. ( Elliott for sure and the D in general)

    If statistical sh% is an indication of future results ,then the Flames look to be in a better position forging ahead. Most of our offensive players (with noted exceptions aside) have yet to reach the normal levels of productivity.
    That’s good news.

    It seems to me, just from watching the games that our D isn’t shooting the puck often enough. Exception to that would be D Hamilton who seems to be able to sneak in shots while under pressure. Gio, Wideman and Brodie seem more reluctant this year. Is it our style of play? Less turnover mentality?
    Or are teams just playing a very similar method and keeping shots at bay?

    • Thunder1

      I know, right? That’s why I get a chuckle when Fail and the gang go off on their nonsensical rants about how Monahan isn’t the number one centre on the team.

  • Ferland’s offensive explosion could simply be the establishment of a new normal for the winger considering his age and relatively low NHL experience level.

    ^^^^^^^
    this was a contributing factor in the Lance Bouma contract decision as well….. true?