Sunday, August 5, 2018

Calgary Flames key statistics

1. Beating the goalie
The Flames improved their shot total from 2,388 in 2016-17 (24th in NHL) to 2,759 last season (sixth) The difference of plus-371 was the greatest increase in the NHL.
Such a large increase in shots would normally result in more scoring, but the Flames were 27th in the NHL (216 goals). They scored 222 in 2016-17, tied with the Dallas Stars for 16th.
The issue was a drop in shooting percentage. Calgary was 29th in the NHL last season (7.83 percent), down from 14th in 2016-17 (9.30). The difference of minus-1.57 percent was the second biggest in the NHL, with only the St. Louis Blues experiencing a bigger drop (minus-1.64 percent).
2. Creating an advantage
Johnny Gaudreau had 84 points (24 goals, 60 assists) to lead the Flames in scoring for the third consecutive season. He has 223 points (72 goals, 151 assists) in 231 games in that span, tied for 13th in the NHL with Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin.
In those three seasons, Gaudreau has drawn 103 penalties and been called for 21. The difference of plus-82 leads the NHL and results in an extra 14.5 goals based on Calgary's 17.7 power-play percentage.
3. Blue-line bounce back
Defenseman TJ Brodie could be in line for a bounce-back season because of the opportunities presented by new coach Bill Peters and the departure of defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes on June 23.
In the past two seasons, Calgary's share of 5-on-5 shot attempts fell from an SAT percentage of 52.82 to 50.24 when Brodie was on the ice for a relative SAT of minus-2.58 percent for the 28-year-old. That's a big drop from Brodie's relative SAT of plus-4.48 percent over his first six seasons in the NHL.
Brodie's numbers could recover if he is chosen to replace Hamilton on the top defense pair with Mark Giordano. Over the past two seasons, Giordano's relative SAT of plus-6.18 percent ranks third among NHL defensemen to play at least 40 games behind Hamilton (plus-7.19 percent) and Colin Miller of the Vegas Golden Knights (plus-6.71 percent).

Inside look at Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames bolstered their attempt to become a Stanley Cup contender with an offseason full of change.
No addition was bigger than forward James Neal, who has played in the Stanley Cup Final the past two seasons, with the Nashville Predators in 2017 and the Vegas Golden Knights in 2018.
"For me, I want to win," Neal said after signing a five-year contract with an average annual value of $5.75 million July 2. "I've been really close the last few years to winning a Stanley Cup. Once you get a taste, you want more. We have great goaltending in [Mike Smith], and we have great guys up front and a good [defense] corps. I feel like we're really close to winning, and for me, I hope I can be that little piece that they've been missing."
Neal had 44 points (25 goals, 19 assists) in 71 games with Vegas and has scored at least 21 goals in each of his first 10 NHL seasons. He could join center Sean Monahan and forward Johnny Gaudreau on Calgary's first line. Gaudreau had an NHL career-high 84 points (24 goals, 60 assists) last season, and Monahan tied his NHL best with 31 goals despite missing the final seven games of the season because of injuries that required wrist, groin and two hernia surgeries.
Forward Elias Lindholm is another option to play with Gaudreau and Monahan. Lindholm was acquired with defenseman Noah Hanifin in a trade from the Carolina Hurricanes on June 23 for defenseman Dougie Hamilton, forward Micheal Ferland and defenseman prospect Adam Fox.
That trade came two months to the day after the Flames hired Bill Peters as coach. Peters, who coached the Hurricanes the past four seasons, replaced Glen Gulutzan, who was fired April 17 after Calgary went 37-35-10 and missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
The Flames added another former member of the Hurricanes when they signed forward Derek Ryan to a three-year, $9.375 contract July 1.
"I think we're deeper than we were at the end of the year, but it comes down to the individual performance and collective performance," Calgary general manager Brad Treliving said. "It's the execution. That's what the whole game is about, is how well you can execute, how well, hopefully, you can find chemistry.
"We need people to play to their potential. We need to max out. We need to execute. That's the difference in teams that look good on paper and teams that look good on the ice."
It will be up to Peters to help shape the Flames' revamped lineup into a consistent playoff contender.
"You don't change for the sake of having change," Treliving said. "I felt that we needed to have some change this year. Obviously, we weren't happy with the way things went last year. You don't want to just be different. You're trying to make yourself better. You try to be aggressive to see if you can pursue some things. 
"Sometimes you try to do some things and sometimes it just doesn't fall in line or fall your way. We were able to get some stuff accomplished this summer, and we think we've improved our team. Time will tell. We felt it was time to be active."