Penalty Calls and the Calgary Flames

RexLibris
February 25 2017 12:00PM

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(Charles LeClaire / USA Today Sports)

I don't believe in the Wideman curse.

It isn't that I refuse to acknowledge that the Flames are being penalized more heavily this season than last, but rather it is that I don't believe it is entirely due to the incident where Dennis Wideman cross checked Don Henderson into the boards. 

Kerry Fraser wrote a piece in late January responding directly to the question of whether the Flames are being unfairly targeted by the officials because of Wideman. I've recommended it to not only Flames fans, but fans of any team. 

But back to the Wideman curse, the Flames are simultaneously receiving more penalties than any other team in the league (ahead of Colorado by 0.03 penalty kills per game) and being penalized at around a league-average rate of 18%. 

How is that possible? 

They are committing a greater number of infractions. 

This season I have tracked a number of Flames games for penalty infractions committed by both the Flames and their opponents, logging those infractions which were called and which were uncalled.

I did something similar at the end of last season and decided to repeat it again this season but over a longer period.

In all I logged data on twelve games, or roughly 15% of the entire Flames’ season, and compared that data to an equal or greater number of non-Flames games from around the NHL. (Be warned - image-heavy after the jump.)

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Predictions for the Flames' 2016-17 season

RexLibris
September 05 2016 08:00AM

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Once again I’ve run projections on the Flames’ coming season.

Similar to previous years I have used a number of different statistical categories to cobble together a picture of where the Flames might end up and how the season may go for each player.

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Referees and the Calgary Flames - Final

RexLibris
August 04 2016 08:00AM

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In two prior articles (part 1 and part 2) I have examined the nature of called and uncalled infractions over a series of five games the Calgary Flames played at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season. 

Today we'll take all of my accrued Flames data and compare it against the opposition to see how things shake out. 

Reminder: I reviewed every played minute of each game in question, broke the data down into called and uncalled infractions, then into physical and technical categories and ranked them on a scale: 0 for fantasy or ghost calls, 1 for weak or marginal, 2 for fair or earned, 3 for blatant or obvious. 

I realize that a five game sample is in no way statistically significant, therefore what I'm looking at here is using the data collected to examine things from more of a sociological perspective. In other words, looking at behaviours of the teams and officials, asserting or refuting arguments with regards to referees and how they officiate the game, and so on. 

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Referees and the Calgary Flames - Part 2

RexLibris
August 03 2016 11:00AM

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Previously (here) I had examined the role of called and uncalled infractions on two Flames games. In the second of this series we'll be looking at three games: the March 31 3-0 loss to the Kings, a 7-3 smackdown of the Canucks on April 7 and the April 5 5-4 overtime loss to the aforementioned Kings. 

To save space, I'd direct any questions on the methods to the first in the series where I explain why I'm doing this, how I go about it, and some of the basis premises on officiating we are looking to apply here.

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Referees and the Calgary Flames - Part 1

RexLibris
August 02 2016 11:00AM

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In March I took an interest in examining called and uncalled penalties and undertook an exercise to record and examine the relative rates at which a team committed a foul and how often they were penalized.

The primary focus of this project was the Oilers, but I gathered corresponding data on the Flames and a few other teams to use as a sort of control group against which to compare the Oilers' data.

I realized quickly that the Flames' data could, in and of itself, provide some intriguing insight into how the officials interact with the Flames.

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