Digging into the Flames and 2015-16 game scores

Updated: July 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm by Ryan Pike

What constitutes a “good game”? Many other sports, notably baseball, have seen their advanced stats communities tabulate what are known as “game scores,” in an attempt to quantify what constitutes a good game.

In the context of ice hockey, obviously there are significant differences in terms of what are major events worthy of being captured in a game score. But the folks at Hockey Graphs have made an attempt. How does it work, and what can it tell us about the Calgary Flames?

Let’s dive in!

WHAT IS GAME SCORE?

In short, game score is an attempt to measure single-game performance through aggregation of a bunch of statistical information. Dom Luszczyszyn over at Hockey Graphs poured through data from between 2007 and the end of this past season in an attempt to formulate an effective measure, both for skaters and goalies. (He aimed to make a “good” game score equally achievable for skaters and goalies, so coefficients were scaled with that in mind.)

Here are the formulas he came up with:

Player Game Score = (0.75 * G) + (0.7 * A1) +
(0.55 * A2) + (0.075 * SOG) + (0.05 * BLK) + (0.15 * PD) – (0.15 * PT) +
(0.01 * FOW) – (0.01 * FOL) + (0.05 * CF) – (0.05 * CA) + (0.15 * GF) –
(0.15* GA)

Goalie Game Score = (-0.75 * GA) + (0.1 * SV)

Based on these formulas, how do the 2015-16 Flames stack up? (It probably isn’t surprising to learn that Johnny Gaudreau stacks up really favourably.)

THE 2015-16 FLAMES

Players that have left the organization and those who played fewer than 10 games are noted.

By Overall Cumulative Game Score:

(In-so-much as we aggregated the game score from every game each player played.)

  • F Johnny Gaudreau – 74.2
  • D Mark Giordano – 66.5
  • F Sean Monahan – 58.9
  • F Mikael Backlund – 53.0
  • D Dougie Hamilton – 44.8
  • D T.J. Brodie – 41.0
  • F Michael Frolik – 39.7
  • F Sam Bennett – 39.3
  • F Joe Colborne – 37.7 [gone]
  • F Jiri Hudler – 29.6 [gone]
  • G Karri Ramo – 23.5 [gone]
  • F Micheal Ferland – 19.5
  • D Dennis Wideman – 13.8
  • F Josh Jooris – 13.6 [gone]
  • D Deryk Engelland – 11.1
  • D Kris Russell – 11.1 [gone]
  • D Jakub Nakladal – 10.7
  • G Joni Ortio – 9.65 [gone]
  • F Matt Stajan – 9.5
  • F David Jones – 8.9 [gone]
  • F Lance Bouma – 7.6
  • F Mason Raymond – 5.7 [gone]
  • D Jyrki Jokipakka – 5.4
  • F Markus Granlund – 5.4 [gone]
  • F Garnet Hathaway – 4.3
  • F Hunter Shinkaruk – 2.9 [7 games]
  • D Tyler Wotherspoon – 2.8
  • F Freddie Hamilton – 2.6 [4 games]
  • D Brett Kulak – 1.4 [8 games]
  • F Brandon Bollig – 1.2
  • F Drew Shore – 1.1 [gone; 2 games]
  • D Patrick Sieloff – 1.1 [gone; 1 game]
  • F Emile Poirier – 1.0 [2 games]
  • F Derek Grant – 0.7 [gone]
  • F Kenny Agostino – 0.3 [gone; 2 games]
  • D Ladislav Smid – 0.2
  • F Turner Elson – 0.2 [gone; 1 game]
  • G Niklas Backstrom – -0.15 [gone; 4 games]
  • D Oliver Kylington – -0.3 [1 game]
  • G Jonas Hiller – -1.75 [gone]

(Yes, Jonas Hiller had a net negative impact on the team.)

    By Average Game Score:

    • D Patrick Sieloff – 1.100 [gone; 1 game]
    • F Johnny Gaudreau – 0.939
    • D Mark Giordano – 0.811
    • F Sean Monahan – 0.727
    • F Freddie Hamilton – 0.650 [4 games]
    • F Mikael Backlund – 0.646
    • G Karri Ramo – 0.635 [gone]
    • F Michael Frolik – 0.620
    • D T.J. Brodie – 0.586
    • F Jiri Hudler – 0.558 [gone]
    • F Drew Shore – 0.550 [gone; 2 games]
    • D Dougie Hamilton – 0.546
    • F Joe Colborne – 0.516 [gone]
    • F Sam Bennett – 0.510
    • F Emile Poirier – 0.500 [2 games]
    • G Joni Ortio – 0.439 [gone]
    • F Hunter Shinkaruk – 0.414 [7 games]
    • D Jakub Nakladal – 0.396
    • F Garnet Hathaway – 0.307
    • D Jyrki Jokipakka – 0.300
    • F Micheal Ferland – 0.275
    • D Dennis Wideman – 0.271
    • D Tyler Wotherspoon – 0.255
    • F Josh Jooris – 0.231 [gone]
    • D Kris Russell – 0.218 [gone]
    • F Turner Elson – 0.200 [gone; 1 game]
    • F Mason Raymond – 0.197 [gone]
    • D Brett Kulak – 0.175 [7 games]
    • F Markus Granlund – 0.174 [gone]
    • F Lance Bouma – 0.173
    • D Deryk Engelland – 0.161
    • F David Jones – 0.151 [gone]
    • F Kenny Agostino – 0.150 [gone; 2 games]
    • F Matt Stajan – 0.119
    • F Derek Grant – 0.047 [gone]
    • F Brandon Bolig – 0.022
    • D Ladislav Smid – 0.009
    • G Niklas Backstrom – -0.038 [gone; 4 games]
    • G Jonas Hiller – -0.067 [gone]
    • D Oliver Kylington – -0.300 [1 game]

    Ten Best Individual Games:

    1. Sam Bennett (Jan. 13; 6-0 win vs. Panthers) – 4 goals, 5 shots, +5 goal differential, +5 Corsi differential – 4.4 game score
    2. Sean Monahan (Feb. 3; 4-1 win vs. Hurricanes) – 1 goal, 3 primary assists, 3 shots, +2 goal differential, +7 Corsi differential – 3.9 game score
    3. Mark Giordano (Oct. 23; 3-2 overtime win vs. Red Wings) – 2 goals, 1 primary assist, +1 goal differential, +13 Corsi differential – 3.7 game score
    4. Johnny Gaudreau (Dec. 4; 5-4 overtime win vs. Bruins) – 3 goals, 1 secondary assist, +2 goal differential, +5 Corsi differential – 3.7 game score
    5. Michael Frolik (Oct. 31; 5-4 win at Oilers) – 3 goals, +3 goal differential, +7 Corsi differential – 3.7 game score
    6. Johnny Gaudreau (Dec. 22; 4-1 win vs. Jets) – 3 goals, +1 goal differential, +5 Corsi differential – 3.3 game score
    7. Joe Colborne (Apr. 7; 7-3 win vs. Stars) – 1 goal, 2 secondary assists, +2 goal differential, +9 Corsi differential – 3.2 game score
    8. Sean Monahan (Dec. 10; 4-3 win vs. Sabres) – 2 goals, 1 primary assist, +3 goal differential, +6 Corsi differential – 3.2 game score
    9. Johnny Gaudreau (Feb. 27; 6-4 loss vs. Senators) – 2 goals, 1 primary assist, +2 goal differential, +4 Corsi differential – 3.2 game score
    10. Mikael Backlund (Apr. 7; 7-3 win vs. Stars) – 3 goals, +2 goal differential, +4 Corsi differential – 3.1 game score

    Ten Worst Individual Games:

    1. Karri Ramo (Jan. 11; 5-4 loss vs. Sharks) – 18 saves, 5 goals against – -2.45 game score
    2. Niklas Backstrom (Mar. 24; 6-2 loss at Wild) – 29 saves, 6 goals against – -2.2 game score
    3. Niklas Backstrom (Mar. 30; 8-3 loss at Ducks) – 22 saves, 5 goals against – 2.05 game score
    4. Jonas Hiller (Mar. 30; 8-3 loss at Ducks) – 5 saves, 3 goals against – 2.05 game score
    5. Joni Ortio (Oct. 30; 6-2 loss vs. Canadiens) – 31 saves, 6 goals against – -2.0 game score
    6. Joni Ortio (Feb. 27; 6-4 loss vs. Senators) – 25 saves, 5 goals against – -1.75 game score
    7. Jonas Hiller (Feb. 15; 6-4 loss vs. Ducks) – 17 saves, 4 goals against – -1.7 game score
    8. Joni Ortio (Apr. 5; 5-4 overtime loss vs. Kings) – 26 saves, 5 goals against – -1.65 game score
    9. Karri Ramo (Oct. 20; 6-2 loss vs. Capitals) – 18 saves, 4 goals against – -1.6 game score
    10. Jonas Hiller (Oct. 28; 5-4 shootout loss at Senators) – 18 saves, 4 goals against – -1.6 game score

    THE NEW FLAMES

    For those of you that are curious how the five newcomers to the organization stack up, here are their game-scores:

    Brian Elliott (St. Louis): 63.15 cumulative; 1.053 average
    Chad Johnson (Buffalo): 40.4 cumulative; 0.898 average

    Bear in mind that St. Louis was really good defensively and Buffalo was… not, but both of the Flames’ new goaltenders are big upgrades on literally every single goalie they used last season. By a lot. Comparing them to the players remaining on the roster, they’d be the third and eighth best players on their team in terms of cumulative game score.

    In terms of their forwards, it’s a bit of a mixed bag:

    Troy Brouwer (St. Louis): 53.7 cumulative, 0.526 average
    Linden Vey (Vancouver): 8.0 cumulative, 0.195 average
    Alex Chiasson (Ottawa): 9.9 cumulative, 0.129 average

    So… Brouwer is basically Colborne, except he played more consistently with good young players. Vey and Chiasson are effectively Raymond and Stajan, respectively. The Flames lost Hudler and Colborne (and replaced them with Brouwer) and Raymond, Jooris and Jones (and replaced them with Vey and Chiasson). It’s, at best, a lateral move.

    SO WHAT?

    Based on game score, the Flames goaltending was horrendous last season. However, based on the game scores of the players acquired to shore up netminding this season, their goaltending should be appreciably better. (To be blunt: it’s not like it could’ve been much worse.)

    But their three forward additions are basically just replicating Colborne, Raymond and Stajan. The goaltending is a huge upgrade, but in terms of their forward acquisitions they’re basically doubling down on Gaudreau and Monahan (and to a lesser extent Frolik, Backlund, Bennett and Matthew Tkachuk) and their ability to carry the mail offensively.