October 29 2012 04:02PM
Justin Bourne recently wrote about the confusing, fuzzy line between players who make the show and others who plumb in relative obscurity forever on its edges. His notes on role perception, attitude, personality and effort as critical issues for guys at the bottom end of the rotation caused me to theorize a bit on the psychological underpinnings of the observed preferences of coaches and GM's for tough guys with team first attitudes.
October 02 2012 08:47AM
A few things became clearer in the wake of Graphic Comments' three part series on the effects of the prior NHL CBA: that the NHL grew rapidly, but unevenly; that different owners actually have vastly disparate incentives, and that the current labour negotiations don't seem to be focusing on the leagues truly meaningful issues.
September 14 2012 02:56PM
In the first part one of the series, we looked Flames forwards shot rates, mostly with a view to putting the top guys rates in context, both from a team and league perspective. It took me three tries and some helpful comments to ultimately get the chart right, but I blame excel for that.
The follow-up builds on that base to illustrate the effect of possession on individual shot (and goal rates) at even strength as well as gross on-ice totals and ultimately goal differential. This exercise puts some flesh on the bones of corsi/possession theory for those who wonder about the practical applications of that sort of advanced analysis.
September 04 2012 04:18PM
During the previous CBA fight, the owners side basically won the PR battle thanks to a number of factors including a weak Canadian dollar, profligate spending by big markets, suffering Canadian franchises and a complicit press.
August 28 2012 10:09AM
Despite missing the playoffs in each of the prior two seasons, last year began with a glimmer of hope for Flames fans - the club went on to be one of the hottest teams in the league in the wake of Darryl Sutter's ouster in 2011-12. So although new GM Jay Feaster only made a few nominal changes to the line-up in the summer of 2012, the feeling was the organization would bloom now that it wasn't operating under the dour cloud of Sutter's baleful glare.
Unfortunately, the second half run in 2012 was mostly a mirage. The Flames were (and remain) a fundamentally flawed club who are good enough to compete for a playoff spot, but several steps behind the true contenders in the league. The current construction of the team also makes a real step forward in the near future unlikely; in fact, with an aging core and lackluster collection of players in or near their prime, the Flames will probably continue to trend downwards.