Flames 20-Game WOWY Check-In: Centres

Updated: November 19, 2014 at 1:21 pm by Ryan Pike

The Calgary Flames have been ravaged by injuries this season. Both fortunately and unfortunately, depending on your perspective, the injuries have largely been concentrated to the forward ranks and to the centre position in particular.

As a result, the Flames have used seven different regular centres, as well as an eighth (Paul Byron) who’s dabbled everywhere and isn’t included because he was only really a center for a couple games. Given the importance of centres to the defensive game, arguably the centre’s WOWY differentials (their teammates CorsiFor% with and without that player) are more important to the team’s success in a two-way game than any other forward.

Here’s a brief look at Calgary’s seven pivots. (The cut-off for comparisons is 50 even-strength minutes together and given Max Reinhart hasn’t played 50 minutes period, he’s also not included. Sorry, Max.)

SEAN MONAHAN

Monahan has played 282 even-strength minutes and has played 50+ minutes with nine different players. He is, overall, a huge difference-maker possession-wise for his club.

His face-off percentage at even-strength is 51.1%.

48.5% (overall) With Without Difference
Brodie 50.2% 44.3% +5.9%
Glencross 49.0% 45.6% +3.4%
Giordano 50.7% 44.8% +5.9%
Hudler 49.5% 43.8% +5.7%
Russell 43.2% 44.0% -0.8%
Jones 48.6% 38.2% +10.4%
Wideman 46.0% 43.6% +2.8%
Smid 50.4% 37.4% +13.0%
Engelland 51.5% 34.8% +16.7%

LANCE BOUMA

Bouma is an odd case. He centers the fourth line…sometimes. Matt Stajan and Josh Jooris have also taken a turn as pivots for that unit. He’s played 185 even-strength minutes, mixed between the left wing and center.

His even-strength face-off percentage is 26.9%.

37.7% (overall) With Without Difference
Bollig 35.4% 32.8% +2.6%
Brodie 39.6% 48.3% -8.7%
Giordano 39.4% 49.1% -9.7%
Smid 30.8% 43.5% -12.7%
Russell 46.2% 43.3% +2.9%
Jooris 32.0% 48.5% -16.5%
Engelland 26.2% 44.2% -18.0%
Wideman 47.7% 44.0% +3.7%

JOSH JOORIS

Jooris is the team’s third-most senior center. Let that sink in. He’s played 156 even-strength minutes, almost entirely as a center.

His even-strength face-off percentage is 48.7%.

42.2% (overall) With Without Difference
Wideman 44.6% 44.5% +0.1%
Bouma 32.0% 40.1% -8.1%
Brodie 45.1% 46.8% -1.7%
Russell 50.0% 42.6% +7.4%
Giordano 44.6% 47.5% -2.9%
Bollig 33.0% 35.0% -2.0%

MIKAEL BACKLUND

Backlund is currently injured, and he amassed only 151 even-strength minutes before being shut down.

His face-off percentage is 51.1% at even-strength.

46.9% (overall) With Without Difference
Byron 48.7% 50.3% -1.6%
Brodie 50.5% 45.1% +5.4%
Giordano 52.2% 45.5% +6.7%
Glencross 46.6% 47.3% -0.7%
Russell 45.3% 43.5% +1.8%

JOE COLBORNE

Colborne has bounced around a bit, serving both as a centerman and as a right-winger depending on the team’s situational needs. Because of his injury, he’s played just 135 even-strength minutes.

His even-strength face-off percentage is 47.7%.

37.2% (overall) With Without Difference
Raymond 36.5% 44.0% -7.5%
Russell 36.7% 45.0% -8.3%

MARKUS GRANLUND

Granlund has played 125 even-strength minutes.

His even-strength face-off percentage is 35.2%.

40.4% (overall) With Without Difference
Hudler 41.6% 48.8% -7.2%
Gaudreau 46.8% 41.8% +5.0%
Wideman 42.9% 44.9% -2.0%

MATT STAJAN

Stajan has only played 113 minutes and he’s only played 50+ with Brandon Bollig.

His even-strength face-off percentage is 52.8.

45.2% (overall) With Without Difference
Bollig 39.6% 30.3% +9.3%