Monday, December 10, 2007


Flames thru 30

Note: scroll to the bottom for the cumulative numbers; these are for Games 21-30 exclusively. Numbers for Games 1-10 here, for Games 11-20 here.

Record: 4-4-2 (2-2-2 Home, 2-2-0 Road)
4 Regulation Wins, 0 OT/SO Wins, 4 Regulation Losses, 1 OT Loss, 1 SO Loss

Scoring & Preventing Goals:
Better than the previous stretch, but still pretty meh. The bright spot is the PK: 5 GA is a world ahead of the 1st two 10-game segments, where they allowed 10 and 16(!) goals while shorthanded.

The PP is slightly ugly even before accounting for the 3 shorties against (10 games isn't a huge sample, but having a higher GAA when you're on the powerplay than at even strength is Not Good).

Player Rates:

(Click to enlarge; sorted by ESP/60) Anything in particular to take from this?
There's not a lot that needs to be said besides "They need to be better." Last night was slightly encouraging, with two firsts:
  1. First time this season Kipper was excellent in a game they probably would have lost if he wasn't
  2. First time this season the Flames didn't outscore the other guys 5v5 but won anyway
This is wandering off-topic a hair, but the big story on the Blackhawks -- by which I mean "why they resemble a decent hockey team this year" -- is not actually Toews or Kane, it's Robert Lang. Every time I've glanced at the Corsi numbers for a Hawks game this year, Lang has been well in the plus, so I was paying attention last night, and damned if Lang wasn't on the ice virtually every time the Hawks were sustaining pressure (and for both their goals). And this morning I check Desjardins, and Hello!, he's +22/-9 5v5. Makes you wonder: is he just playing well (inspired, feels like he has something to prove, whatever), or is the Red Wing Way a relevant factor? (Old habits die hard, even good ones?) And if it is -- would Dan Cleary be one hell of a good buy this summer? Who knows. And Go Flames.

Cumulative (Games 1 thru 30)


I've been playing around with some numbers recently, trying to get an idea of what it will take for the Flames to make the playoffs this year. I've been posting a required win % after each game, and it's around .68 usually.

Today I decided to run the numbers for the rest of the teams in the conference, and I was shocked at what I discovered: my assumption that it will take 100 points to make the playoffs is off. Way off. The way things are going right now, it will take only 89 points to make a playoff spot. Only three teams (Detroit, San Jose, and St. Louis) are on pace for 100 point seasons, with Vancouver coming in at 99.

The number of points required to make the playoffs is one more than what the 9th place team gets. There are only two things that increase the number of points required for a playoff spot: more games going to overtime and a greater differential between the top 9 and the bottome six. Neither of those is the case this year. (Currently, 8% of the points in the West come from OTLs. At the end of the season last year, it was 9.7%. You can compare the difference between the top 9/bottom 6 last year and this year to see the difference there.)

This is very encouraging for any Flames fan. The conference is far from decided at this point, and we are not far off the pace we need. For example, on this road trip, we need only collect 7 of 12 points. Since we've already collected 2, we need only play 50% hockey and we can come away satisfied. (Of course, building up a buffer against future slides would be nice.)

With the way things are trending, I really fear the Flames will finish 9th in the WC:

That would probably mean they hang around just enough NOT to sell off pieces like Langkow and Huselius at the deadline, and end up finishing high enough NOT to get a decent draft placement.

I'd rather tank than pull a Colorado. Just say "no" to 9th place.

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?