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Old 07-11-2018, 08:15 PM   #81
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Trying to predict how the standings will end up is a fools game. Just look at Vegas last year.
It's not really a fools game overall. There will always be outliers, and Vegas was even more than a typical outlier as they had loosened expansion rules.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:12 AM   #82
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Flames are very much improved. One of the most improved teams in the league IMO. Are we banking on young players improving? Somewhat but we also have a lot of young players who are candidates to breakout. We're not counting on all of them to take a big step but its reasonable to think a couple will just due to the sheer volume of young players we have.
Good post and I agree with most of what's said. Even prior to the off-season transactions, I thought the PP would improve as part of natural regression. New coaching staff and better offensive talent should definitely help ensure this.

I don't quite buy-in that Hanifin will balance out Dougie's loss over the next 1-3 years. IMO, despite some defensive flaws, Dougie is a definite top 20 D in the NHL based off his offense, skating, and ability to play tough competition. He probably jumps into top 10 once you factor in his great contract. Hanifin has been strongly sheltered and hasn't shown signs he can handle other team's top lines...yet.

Also, I'm a little leery of simply placing Brodie on the top line and assume all the magic he had with Gio will come back. That was a couple years ago and he's been a train wreck since that. This is the guy that most people wanted traded this off-season...and now he's been thrust into an even bigger role. With Gio getting older and Brodie more of a wildcard, our first pairing this year will likely have a hard time matching the first pairing output from last year.

I also agree with your thoughts on goaltending. We've invested a fairly substantial amount drafting higher end goalies so you need to give them a chance to develop. I would let them continue to battle it out in the back-up spot, otherwise all those draft picks were useless. I still think Treliving made a poor bet on Smith last off-season due to his age, contract, and injury history. Playoff hopes are so reliant on goaltending, our great team on paper may come crashing down with one injury or a poor performance from Smith. For that reason, the ideal off-season for me would have been to offload Smith and bring in a more reliable #1.

Overall though, the offense is definitely improved and that's been an area we've always been bad at. I'm just hoping we didn't shift our issues from offense to defense/goaltending. Treliving built up this team over the past couple years tapping heavily into our prospects and using up all our cap space though, so it'll be much harder to course correct moving forward.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:54 AM   #83
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For fun, here's a story about which teams gained and lost most in the offseason. The team that gotten worse by the biggest margin?

https://thehockeynews.com/news/artic...-season-so-far

They are now partying with the Cup.
What a weird analysis. I assume it uses some kind of cryptic advanced analytics? Because according to that graph, the Flames made among the least changes to their roster in the league. And in the half-page on the Hurricanes, no mention at all is made of Hamilton, Hanifin, or Lindholm. I honestly don't understand what the heck they're trying to measure.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:54 AM   #84
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Its from last year.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:55 AM   #85
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That article was written after 2016-17.
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He shook my hand and I said so Bradley in what way are you going to meddle with a trade this year?
He pretty much glared at me before answer.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:02 AM   #86
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That article was written after 2016-17.
That was my point. They totally whiffed on Washington.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:03 AM   #87
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That article was written after 2016-17.

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Old 07-12-2018, 10:14 AM   #88
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For fun, here's a story about which teams gained and lost most in the previous offseason. The team that gotten worse by the biggest margin?

https://thehockeynews.com/news/artic...-season-so-far

They are now partying with the Cup.
FTFY
I was a little confused at first too. Before you realize the article date, you see the graphic showing very little change for the Flames.

Good post just missing one word. Demonstrates that the self claimed experts who chose Caps as the team that got the biggest downgrade were way off.
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:13 AM   #89
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FTFY
I was a little confused at first too. Before you realize the article date, you see the graphic showing very little change for the Flames.

Good post just missing one word. Demonstrates that the self claimed experts who chose Caps as the team that got the biggest downgrade were way off.
He wasn't really wrong though.

Washington went from being a 118 point team to a 105 point team in the regular season.

I think the 16/17 team was better, but the 17/18 team got hot at the right time.
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:47 AM   #90
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He wasn't really wrong though.

Washington went from being a 118 point team to a 105 point team in the regular season.

I think the 16/17 team was better, but the 17/18 team got hot at the right time.
The biggest difference is that the Shattenkirk trade at the deadline never worked as planned, while the Kempny the next year trade worked even better than planned. Steady guys like Kempny drive play even if they don't put up points. We have a similar kid in Kulak whom we shouldn't undervalue.
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:50 AM   #91
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There is too much being read into about this team after its best players went down, and that's the thing. The Flames when healthy last year, before the Smith, Tkachuk injuries, and broken down Monahan, really only needed more finish on their powerplay and finish in terms of scoring depth to be a truly good team, and the difference was often that they couldn't net that one goal to pull even or ahead in games, even while routinely getting enough shots or chances to do so, and it was the inability to score of lines 2-4 holding them back. And yet....They were playoff bound when healthy, even with the awkward second pairing, unsuitable GG system, and poor, static special teams coaching. Which was the point of the writer making up the article. They were 7-8 seed worthy while dragging those issues around, until the starter and top scorer went down. If you add health, add scoring/finish, depth, and remove what wasn't working in coaching, they don't just return to the 7-8 seed projection that they would've without moves and just getting healthy, but it's very hard to see how that isn't pushed up to first or second in the division. Especially since highly competitive teams are able to succeed these days with not spectacular defense, so long as they had a goalie that could play at a high level and can get goals from up and down the lineup. A couple moves that have opened up a whole lot of options for the Flames, and that really looks like the blueprint of the Flames now heading into the season, and if Peters' style is indeed a quick north-south counter attack, that may be eerily similar to what we saw out of Vegas this past season that brought them a whole lot of wins and success.

I think what will determine whether the success goes beyond the regular season is if the Flames can recapture an identity of being relentless and dangerous at all times. The tools are all there, they just need to all be on the same page. The good thing is Johnny, Tkachuk, Smith, Gio and Neal are the sort of guys that have a no holds kind of hunger for winning and hopefully there are less passengers with Brouwer's role being significantly reduced, grit and speed added, and a revamped bottom 6 no longer filled with guys that may or may not be NHLers.

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Old 07-12-2018, 01:05 PM   #92
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There is too much being read into about this team after its best players went down, and that's the thing. The Flames when healthy last year, before the Smith, Tkachuk injuries, and broken down Monahan, really only needed more finish on their powerplay and finish in terms of scoring depth to be a truly good team, and the difference was often that they couldn't net that one goal to pull even or ahead in games, even while routinely getting enough shots or chances to do so, and it was the inability to score of lines 2-4 holding them back. And yet....They were playoff bound when healthy, even with the awkward second pairing, unsuitable GG system, and poor, static special teams coaching. Which was the point of the writer making up the article. They were 7-8 seed worthy while dragging those issues around, until the starter and top scorer went down. If you add health, add scoring/finish, depth, and remove what wasn't working in coaching, they don't just return to the 7-8 seed projection that they would've without moves and just getting healthy, but it's very hard to see how that isn't pushed up to first or second in the division. Especially since highly competitive teams are able to succeed these days with not spectacular defense, so long as they had a goalie that could play at a high level and can get goals from up and down the lineup. A couple moves that have opened up a whole lot of options for the Flames, and that really looks like the blueprint of the Flames now heading into the season, and if Peters' style is indeed a quick north-south counter attack, that may be eerily similar to what we saw out of Vegas this past season that brought them a whole lot of wins and success.

I think what will determine whether the success goes beyond the regular season is if the Flames can recapture an identity of being relentless and dangerous at all times. The tools are all there, they just need to all be on the same page. The good thing is Johnny, Tkachuk, Smith, Gio and Neal are the sort of guys that have a no holds kind of hunger for winning and hopefully there are less passengers with Brouwer's role being significantly reduced, grit and speed added, and a revamped bottom 6 no longer filled with guys that may or may not be NHLers.
Correct, despite the horrible bench management, for 50 to 60 games or so, this team was in the race for 2nd in the division and were a decent power play from being in 2nd.

I think there is an awful lot of hindsight from poor end-of-season results from people who think the team lacked talent.

I think it was a talented team that lacked some depth, but had a bad year.

The depth is solved now, we just need the goaltending to be there.
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:57 PM   #93
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There is too much being read into about this team after its best players went down, and that's the thing. The Flames when healthy last year, before the Smith, Tkachuk injuries, and broken down Monahan, really only needed more finish on their powerplay and finish in terms of scoring depth to be a truly good team, and the difference was often that they couldn't net that one goal to pull even or ahead in games, even while routinely getting enough shots or chances to do so, and it was the inability to score of lines 2-4 holding them back. And yet....They were playoff bound when healthy, even with the awkward second pairing, unsuitable GG system, and poor, static special teams coaching. Which was the point of the writer making up the article. They were 7-8 seed worthy while dragging those issues around, until the starter and top scorer went down. If you add health, add scoring/finish, depth, and remove what wasn't working in coaching, they don't just return to the 7-8 seed projection that they would've without moves and just getting healthy, but it's very hard to see how that isn't pushed up to first or second in the division. Especially since highly competitive teams are able to succeed these days with not spectacular defense, so long as they had a goalie that could play at a high level and can get goals from up and down the lineup. A couple moves that have opened up a whole lot of options for the Flames, and that really looks like the blueprint of the Flames now heading into the season, and if Peters' style is indeed a quick north-south counter attack, that may be eerily similar to what we saw out of Vegas this past season that brought them a whole lot of wins and success.

I think what will determine whether the success goes beyond the regular season is if the Flames can recapture an identity of being relentless and dangerous at all times. The tools are all there, they just need to all be on the same page. The good thing is Johnny, Tkachuk, Smith, Gio and Neal are the sort of guys that have a no holds kind of hunger for winning and hopefully there are less passengers with Brouwer's role being significantly reduced, grit and speed added, and a revamped bottom 6 no longer filled with guys that may or may not be NHLers.
It's true that they were probably a better team than they get credit for, mostly because of the horrible finish to the season. But on the other hand you could argue that the team was being carried by better than expected goaltending in the first half. And it seemed like there were a lot of games where the stat sheet showed the flames outshooting and outchancing their opponent, but after watching the game I had trouble remembering any "actual" high danger scoring chances at all.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:13 PM   #94
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When Gulutzan was fired, I was of the opinion that the Flames would be a playoff team if the exact same team returned, as long as a decent coaching staff was brought in.


I have never seen a team with a defence that capable miss the playoffs. The one stat that really stands out is how so much offence dried up from the defence. That alone should have made the Flames a much closer team to the playoffs. Add an embarrassing PP that was painfully slow to make any adjustments. Add a lack of in-game adjustments. Add a lack of leadership from the coaching staff (don't buy this one? Treliving himself stated that it was an issue).


Barring any changes other than coaching, I think last season's team was playoff caliber, especially considering the division they play in.


With all the changes and flexibility it has provided? Just gravy, IMO. That bottom 6 should never have been that terrible in production. That defence should never have been that inept at generating offence. They were neither good enough defensively, nor were they good enough offensively. People argue with me about Hartley, but at least Hartley had this team being really good where it mattered - generating offence and limiting chances. Hartley's style may not have been the best with his counter-attack focus, and trying to keep the shots wide and all the lanes clogged, but it worked for the team that he had.


Gulutzan's team seemed to just play for the metrics, rather than constructing a sound system that focused on the team make-up. That is why I think the advanced metrics for the Flames - which were awesome - was skewed and difficult to explain. I think a system like Hartley's can perform better than the underlying analytics - watch a Read Madrid game at times when they play a really good team, and they do the same type of collapsing and counter-attacking with speed, even though their possession numbers can stink at times.


Flames under Hartley were god-awful in the advanced metrics, but that system implemented fit the team and they found sustained success. Can anyone really say that Gulutzan's Flames were great at anything OTHER THAN possession metrics? That is my argument here - Gulutzan played FOR the analytics, rather than implementing a system that fit the Flames and then would translate or correlate with strong underlying metrics. I am 100% not against metrics, but I do believe that first and foremost a coach has to lead his team, and a coach has to figure out what his team is really good at and utilize it well.


Peters will hopefully be a breath of fresh air, get this team playing fast again, especially on the transition where it should be a huge strength of their's as 5 out of the 6 defencemen can move the puck quickly (and Stone can also move the puck 'decently', but is the weak link here). I think the Flames should have attacked the net more, but for some reason that wasn't a thing for 2 straight seasons. I think the Flames should have executed a higher level of passing plays and set plays in the offensive zone that should have translated into a tougher night for the opposing goalies - regardless of how many shots they managed to rattle off, it seemed that the Flames' goalies were always working harder even though they sometimes had to face 10+ shots less.


It wasn't bad luck. It was a system that relied on the most talented scorers to beat goalies who were too often set in position with a clear line of sight. Few "Royal Road" chances, too few garbage goals from jamming the net, way too few tips. This is going to be corrected (as per Geoff Ward), and I expect a damn exciting season.


The additions have been just gravy. I still think losing Ferland is a big subtraction as he added in a few different areas that the Flames were short on, but without question this is a MUCH improved squad in talent, and probably a quicker squad too. I also think that Foo, Mangiapane, Andersson and Kylington are on the cusp of making the team and providing another solid layer of depth - actual replacement players that can helping the team win, instead of just hoping they don't lose the game.



I don't care what anyone says - barring a significant run of injuries - this team will be challenging for the division and I wouldn't be surprised with a couple of rounds worth of playoffs, though that is tough to say given that this is still a rather young and inexperienced squad.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:20 PM   #95
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I think the Hamilton trade will turn out to be a bigger win than most think.

I think Brodie at his best is better than Hamilton at his best. If Brodano can reunite, the Flames already win. I also think if Hamonic and Hanifin can pair well, then the Flames not only add the good Brodie, but they also get the Hamonic they traded for PLUS a 21 year old stud, who’s an incredible skater and is only getting better at all facets of the game. He seems like a way smarter player than Hamilton. That’s an amazing top 4.

Not only that, the Flames get a consistent, highly skilled forward in Lindholm. I’m a big Ferland fan, but his upside and consistency are much lower than Lindholm’s.

Subtract the dead weight of Stajan, Versteeg, and Jagr. Make Lazar, Brouwer and Hathaway fight for spots. Add great depth forwards like Ryan and Czarnik.

Give Bennett a new coach to work with, another year for Jankowski under his belt, and the best of all, a true 20-30 goal sniper to play alongside Gaudreau and Monahan to create a top line comprised only of legitimate top line players.

I may be overly optimistic, but I think this Flames team looks a lot better.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:37 AM   #96
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When Gulutzan was fired, I was of the opinion that the Flames would be a playoff team if the exact same team returned, as long as a decent coaching staff was brought in.


I have never seen a team with a defence that capable miss the playoffs. The one stat that really stands out is how so much offence dried up from the defence. That alone should have made the Flames a much closer team to the playoffs. Add an embarrassing PP that was painfully slow to make any adjustments. Add a lack of in-game adjustments. Add a lack of leadership from the coaching staff (don't buy this one? Treliving himself stated that it was an issue).


Barring any changes other than coaching, I think last season's team was playoff caliber, especially considering the division they play in.


With all the changes and flexibility it has provided? Just gravy, IMO. That bottom 6 should never have been that terrible in production. That defence should never have been that inept at generating offence. They were neither good enough defensively, nor were they good enough offensively. People argue with me about Hartley, but at least Hartley had this team being really good where it mattered - generating offence and limiting chances. Hartley's style may not have been the best with his counter-attack focus, and trying to keep the shots wide and all the lanes clogged, but it worked for the team that he had.


Gulutzan's team seemed to just play for the metrics, rather than constructing a sound system that focused on the team make-up. That is why I think the advanced metrics for the Flames - which were awesome - was skewed and difficult to explain. I think a system like Hartley's can perform better than the underlying analytics - watch a Read Madrid game at times when they play a really good team, and they do the same type of collapsing and counter-attacking with speed, even though their possession numbers can stink at times.


Flames under Hartley were god-awful in the advanced metrics, but that system implemented fit the team and they found sustained success. Can anyone really say that Gulutzan's Flames were great at anything OTHER THAN possession metrics? That is my argument here - Gulutzan played FOR the analytics, rather than implementing a system that fit the Flames and then would translate or correlate with strong underlying metrics. I am 100% not against metrics, but I do believe that first and foremost a coach has to lead his team, and a coach has to figure out what his team is really good at and utilize it well.


Peters will hopefully be a breath of fresh air, get this team playing fast again, especially on the transition where it should be a huge strength of their's as 5 out of the 6 defencemen can move the puck quickly (and Stone can also move the puck 'decently', but is the weak link here). I think the Flames should have attacked the net more, but for some reason that wasn't a thing for 2 straight seasons. I think the Flames should have executed a higher level of passing plays and set plays in the offensive zone that should have translated into a tougher night for the opposing goalies - regardless of how many shots they managed to rattle off, it seemed that the Flames' goalies were always working harder even though they sometimes had to face 10+ shots less.


It wasn't bad luck. It was a system that relied on the most talented scorers to beat goalies who were too often set in position with a clear line of sight. Few "Royal Road" chances, too few garbage goals from jamming the net, way too few tips. This is going to be corrected (as per Geoff Ward), and I expect a damn exciting season.


The additions have been just gravy. I still think losing Ferland is a big subtraction as he added in a few different areas that the Flames were short on, but without question this is a MUCH improved squad in talent, and probably a quicker squad too. I also think that Foo, Mangiapane, Andersson and Kylington are on the cusp of making the team and providing another solid layer of depth - actual replacement players that can helping the team win, instead of just hoping they don't lose the game.



I don't care what anyone says - barring a significant run of injuries - this team will be challenging for the division and I wouldn't be surprised with a couple of rounds worth of playoffs, though that is tough to say given that this is still a rather young and inexperienced squad.


I agree with mostly everything you’re saying here, but the Flames did not find sustained success under Hartley. They had one season with some lucky come from behind wins and insane shooting percentages and then two stinkers
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:23 AM   #97
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Gulutzan's team seemed to just play for the metrics, rather than constructing a sound system that focused on the team make-up. That is why I think the advanced metrics for the Flames - which were awesome - was skewed and difficult to explain. I think a system like Hartley's can perform better than the underlying analytics - watch a Read Madrid game at times when they play a really good team, and they do the same type of collapsing and counter-attacking with speed, even though their possession numbers can stink at times.

It wasn't bad luck. It was a system that relied on the most talented scorers to beat goalies who were too often set in position with a clear line of sight. Few "Royal Road" chances, too few garbage goals from jamming the net, way too few tips. This is going to be corrected (as per Geoff Ward), and I expect a damn exciting season.
Sorry I snipped your post down to the two sections that deal with the style. I don't think Gulutzan necessarily played for advanced statistics, but he did talk about 50/50 hockey a lot which in a sense is saying he played to a draw in most instances and hoped talent would get them over the top ... at least in my mind.

I think his system was designed to carry the play and then let the good players do the good things to make it happen.

It didn't.

Did he coach not to move the goalie in the offensive zone? Possible but I doubt any coach would coach that way so I have my doubts. Did he coach to not risk certain plays though? If that's the case then maybe that's the culprit as you can't go across the seam or zone if you're not allowed to turn the puck over in certain situations.

Did they lack the personnel to play the royal road style? To a certain extent I think they must have given the changes to the roster this year. I know the Neal signing came with a lot of mention about across the zone, and in transistion for his goal scoring. The Haynes article last night mentioned a Calgary scout talking about how Ryan pushes the puck across the seam, which is essentially the same thing. Lindholm's metrics show he's a pass to shot player as well.

I think last year was a host of things from maybe playing not to lose, maybe not having the right mix of offensive forwards, and a pretty good heaping of bizarro luck too (led the league in missing the net).

The good news is they haven't assumed luck will correct (~cough Edmonton ~cough) and have made structural and roster changes to bring a more modern balance to things.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:58 PM   #98
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I agree with mostly everything you’re saying here, but the Flames did not find sustained success under Hartley. They had one season with some lucky come from behind wins and insane shooting percentages and then two stinkers
Hartley coached a come from behind game. He demanded his team be in top shape and held back the top lines for a final push at the end. Hartley had some great tricks but the league learned them and made adjustments. In the end that team just wasn't talented enough, but Hartley's team was 3 and 4 seasons ago. I have higher expectations for this group.
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Old 07-14-2018, 02:16 PM   #99
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Hmm.. it is not letting me quote:


Bax: I argue it was sustained success since that success started in the previous season to the one you reference. The Flames were really good since that 'Vancouver Fiaso'. So good in fact, that you will have to remember Aaron Ward predicting that the Flames would make the playoffs. I think there was more to it than 'lucky bounces'. The Flames had a system that was dangerous. Was it figured out? Arguable. Was the last season with Hartley 'bad luck', or was it 'finally caught up with him'? Arguable either way. The goalie issue masked any hope of definitively taking one side or the other. However, for 1.5 seasons, the Flames did more than just 'get lucky'. They made their own luck and had moxy.


Bingo:
I think that stat you provided is rather telling - led the league in missing the net. I think it was actually a symptom of a team trying to shoot at a goalie that is in position. Players are forced to pick corners, and if you are not a confident shooter with a lot of skill, your shooting percentage is going to suffer while missing the net. Do these numbers exist somewhere from previous generations? Would be interesting to see how this number varied in terms of total missed shots and overall ranking in the NHL through the various contrasting styles of play under Keenan, Brent Sutter, Hartley and Gulutzan. I would find that really interesting.



I think it also helps to explain why Gaudreau, Monahan and Ferland - all players with really fantastic shots - were able to find success.


I don't think that Gulutzan necessarily coached against it, but perhaps the system was too focused on quantity vs quality? That's what I mean by coaching for stats. I do think that systems can be implemented and can sustainably conflict with the expectations derived from the common advanced metrics in wide use. For instance, a counter-attack style vs a shoot everything at the net style will yield completely different results analytically, but in 4 seasons of being a Flames' fan, seem incongruent to their respective actual outcomes.


This is not me saying that stats suck - I actually take quite an interest there and believe they add value, but still are falling a bit short in accounting for what actually happens. I do think that it is getting there, and it will just be a matter of time before more metrics are fine-tuned as the sample sizes grow every year, and the confidence intervals increase. Right now they are valuable and are providing further insight into games, which we can all appreciate.


I have absolutely loved what Peters and Ward have been saying with regards to the system and play-style that we can expect from the Flames this season, and I would bet that this is the year that a number of Flames fans won't SEEMINGLY hate the advanced metrics. I think that the Flames will take a huge step forward in terms of success, and I am betting it will align much, MUCH better with the analytics side of the game as well.



Don't worry Bingo. This coming season will be a lot more positive towards the metrics that you put your time and effort into (and thanks for it - I don't have to go searching somewhere else to get that information) instead of making you almost feel attacked with annoying posters like myself seemingly continually questioning them
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:23 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Calgary4LIfe View Post
Would be interesting to see how this number varied in terms of total missed shots and overall ranking in the NHL through the various contrasting styles of play under Keenan, Brent Sutter, Hartley and Gulutzan. I would find that really interesting.
That was a great question ...

Two ways to dig down into.

1. Vs All Teams for the last 20 years. Flames #1. They had 1232 missed shots last year and are the modern record for such a stat. The Kings from 15/16 were close.

So it was an anomaly. The Flames don't show up on the list again until #41 and that was 2010-11

2. Gulutzan seasons. Flames were 21st with only 913. So this to me points more to luck than coaching as the team was night and day from season to season under Gulutzan.

3. Flames all time. Data only goes back to the 2009-10 season so you only get Brent Sutter, Hartley and Gulutzan.

Year one is Gulutzan of course
Two is Sutter
Three is Sutter
Four Hartley
Five Gulutzan

The Flames have hit more crossbars in the last three years than any previous year.

The 2010-11 season they hit more posts than last year.

They've also shot over the net more in the last three years.

Shooting wide is all over the mat.

To me this says coaching to pick corners, but it was a year of Hartley as well.

Anyway lots to ponder. Last year certainly looks like an outlier.
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