August 11 2016 09:54PM
Leon Draisaitl (in photo by Mark Williams) will be counted on to center a line that will no doubt feature a substantially lesser wingman than Taylor Hall. If Todd McLellan can find the soft minutes for his young center, who might we see playing wing with Leon?
August 11 2016 12:00PM
Last year, the Calgary Flames had bad goaltending. How bad, you may ask? Well, they were the worst team in the entire National Hockey League in terms of even strength save percentage by over a third of a percentage point.
That's pretty bad.
So it's probably not shocking that Flames General Manager Brad Treliving went shopping for new goalies this offseason. After a busy summer attempting to upgrade his goalies, the big question is "did he?" In an effort to judge Treliving's summer moves in context, here's how Calgary's goalkeepers stack up relative to the other six teams in the Pacific Division.
August 10 2016 01:13PM
Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/TSGPhoto.com
There's been a lot of talk about Matt Hunwick on the Leafs side of the internet in the past few days. Part of it comes from an interesting piece on Pension Plan Puppets from Arvind on Morgan Rielly's defensive partners, that largely came to the conclusion that his pairing with Hunwick was a bit of a tire fire. The next day, a post on /r/Leafs questioned the predictive qualities of Dominic Galamini's HERO chart visuals, citing the last two years that show up for Hunwick as proof that there's a lack of consistency.
August 10 2016 12:43PM
Readers of this post will probably be aware of the passing project headed by Ryan Stimson (@RK_Stimp). The idea behind the project is to track the passes that lead to a shot in NHL games. Volunteers track the players making the passes, the player taking the shot, the zone locations of the passes, the shot types and pass types for each shot in a given game. With this granularity of data, we can then begin to piece together which types of passing sequences are more likely to lead to goals than others. Ryan has already done some amazing work in this area over at Hockey Graphs. Reading those articles before proceeding with this piece will give a better idea of the context in which this piece is written. His first piece on playing behind the net can be found here and his second piece on neutral zone play can be found here.
August 10 2016 12:00PM
For all intents and purposes, the Flames roster for 2017-18 is set. The club has come a long way since the inception of the rebuild back in 2012, but there's still a lot of room to grow. The young core seems to be set and the team is moving forward with a fresh, younger coaching staff.
Calgary is exiting the lower expectations of the early rebuild phase and is entering its window for contention. While no one expects the Flames to suddenly jump up to the top of Western Conference this year, the club should be making clear, demonstrable strides given their cap situation and growing maturity (and resultant expense) of their younger assets.
The Flames are still a work in progress. Here are the four major questions facing them this year as they strive to break out of the Western Conference basement: the RW, the defense, the "other" kids and, the new coaching staff.