Looking at the Calgary Flames' expected goals and saves

Ryan Pike
December 15 2016 02:00PM

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.

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Looking at the Calgary Flames' improving special teams

Ryan Pike
December 13 2016 02:00PM

When the season began, the Calgary Flames had a problem. A big problem. Their power play was powerless. In short? It was awful. It took them 22 games to score seven power play goals. For comparison's sake, they have seven power play goals through five games in December.

Prior to Saturday's Flames game against Winnipeg, head coach Glen Gulutzan had a simple assessment of what's different with the power play's recent success:

It's confidence, when they start to go in they go in in bunches. Even if you go beyond the four games or back past, we were creating some good chances they just weren't going in. When we look at it, our stats, we haven't created as good of chances, but they're going in. So that's why we're going to try to keep pushing on the power play, so we don't get complacent. But they're just going in right now.

We ran the numbers.

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Learning how to Dougie

Ryan Pike
December 12 2016 10:00AM

An important part of being an analyst or commentator is admitting when you're wrong. I'll flat out admit it: when Glen Gulutzan shook up the defensive pairings following Calgary's Dec. 10 loss to the Dallas Stars, I thought it was a bad idea. Heck, I wrote about it and pronounced it as such. My thought process was that the Flames had one defensive pairing that worked really well (Deryk Engelland and Brett Kulak) and it would be silly to break them up to gamble on finding chemistry elsewhere.

Now that Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton have gelled this well together, making such a fuss about the third pairing sure seems silly in hindsight. In particular, the solidifying of Hamilton's role on the team and a consistent partner have unlocked a ton of really good things in his game.

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The season so far in seven-game segments

Ryan Pike
December 05 2016 02:00PM

Seemingly eons ago, Bob Hartley gained a lot of praise from fans and onlookers for his method of chopping the 82-game National Hockey League season into digestible seven-game chunks. The justification was that it approximated playoff series length, and if a team wins enough seven-game segments they'd be very likely to make the playoffs.

In the interest of taking a different look at the Flames' struggles thus far, we've done the same thing to this season. Hartley may be gone, but his legacy lives on. (But only in this one, specific way. Okay, this and the stretch pass...)

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Is Johnny Gaudreau drawing fewer penalties than he used to?

Ryan Pike
November 17 2016 12:00PM

We're over 20% of the way through the 2016-17 Calgary Flames schedule and there are quite a few things to talk about. In light of the injury to Johnny Gaudreau and general whispers of an officiating conspiracy in the aftermath of Dennis Wideman's altercation with Don Henderson in January, we felt the need to dig into officiating in Calgary's games so far this season.

We have two broad questions to explore: Is Johnny Gaudreau drawing fewer penalties than he used to? And are the Flames as a team drawing fewer penalties than they used to?

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