By The Numbers: Chemistry, roles, and the wrongful usage of Nic Petan

Garret Hohl
February 27 2017 12:02PM

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© Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Fans haven't been shy about voicing their discontent with one Nic Petan and how he's played. Fairly or otherwise, he's firmly in their crosshairs.

I tend to think much of this is borne of Petan's suffering a 95.8 PDO. That number is likely to regress to the league's mean, and as it does, it will influence how fans and experts alike view Petan's season. Bad luck might not be the only factor at work here, though. What if deployment and usage are responsible for Petan's poor outward perception?

Let's take a deeper look.

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Calgary's best value contracts: 2017

Pat Steinberg
February 27 2017 10:00AM

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Just over a year ago, I put together my list of the best value contracts for the Calgary Flames. Knowing we're right up on the trade deadline, and knowing how tight Calgary's cap situation is going to be going forward, I thought I'd revisit the conversation and assess what we've seen during the 2016-17 season. Who's giving the Flames the most bang for their buck this year?

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The Nation Notebook: Wild acquire Hanzal, Kings confuse with Bishop trade, Eaves and Jurco move

Christian Pagnani
February 27 2017 07:00AM

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The Nation Network Notebook is a regular feature that rounds up interesting news, stories, and rumours from around the NHL that don't quite deserve their own article.

The trades have begun. After a inactive start to the season, actual moves have been made with real impact players. Patrick Eaves and Tomas Jurco were sent to Anaheim and Chicago last Friday night. Los Angeles acquired Ben Bishop? Martin Hanzal gets released from the shackles of the Arizona Coyotes and irrelevant hockey.

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The Leafs should not pay the price for Riley Sheahan

Ryan Hobart
February 26 2017 11:05AM

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Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY SPORTS

On Saturday Night Headlines, Nick Kypreos reported that the Leafs are inquiring about Brendan Smith and Riley Sheahan

A number of pieces have already been written, including several by myself, analyzing the state of the Leafs' fourth line centre situation. Here, here, here, and here. One might suggest that all that can be said has been said (I definitely plan to leave it be after this unless an acquisition is made). And, other than the new factor of the pursuit of Riley Sheahan, that certainly seems true. So this piece will focus entirely on the value of Sheahan himself and the Leafs' apparent pursuit thereof.

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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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