The season so far in seven-game segments

Updated: December 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm by Ryan Pike

Seemingly eons ago, Bob Hartley gained a lot of praise from fans and onlookers for his method of chopping the 82-game National Hockey League season into digestible seven-game chunks. The justification was that it approximated playoff series length, and if a team wins enough seven-game segments they’d be very likely to make the playoffs.

In the interest of taking a different look at the Flames’ struggles thus far, we’ve done the same thing to this season. Hartley may be gone, but his legacy lives on. (But only in this one, specific way. Okay, this and the stretch pass…)

SEGMENT 1: October 12-24

The Flames were not very good during this segment. Their special teams were okay, but this was a segment where they repeatedly found ways to lose. They weren’t great at even strength and their offense-generating forwards didn’t do much generating of offense. Their goaltending was also generally not good.

  • Opponents: Edmonton (twice), Vancouver, Buffalo, Carolina, St. Louis and Chicago
  • Record: 2-4-1
  • PP: 3-for-30 (10%)
  • PK: 8 in 33 (75.8%)
  • Goal Differential: -5
  • Corsi For: 49.5% (48.1% score-adjusted)

Goalies:

  • Elliott: 1-3-0, 3.96 GAA, .867 SV%, .894 ES%
  • Johnson: 1-1-1, 2.89 GAA, .901 SV%, .915 ES%

Selected Skaters:

  • Brodie: 46.5 CF%, 1 assist
  • D. Hamilton: 53.0 CF%, 2 assists
  • Giordano: 45.4 CF%, 1 goal, 4 assists
  • Monahan: 46.8 CF%, 3 goals
  • Gaudreau: 48.0 CF%, 1 goal, 2 assists
  • Tkachuk: 53.1 CF%, 1 goal (5 games)
  • Backlund: 40.0 CF%, 4 assists

(Giordano tied with Brouwer for the team lead in scoring with five points.)

    SEGMENT 2: October 25-November 6

    The Flames were a lot better at even strength, but the bottom absolutely fell out of their special teams. Of note: they drew fewer penalties and took fewer penalties than in the prior segment. Gaudreau improved in this segment, but few of the other big guns did in terms of scoring. Goaltending improved, though.

    • Opponents: St. Louis, Ottawa, Washington, Chicago, San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim
    • Record: 3-4-0
    • PP: 1-for-18 (5.5%)
    • PK: 8 in 25 (68.0%)
    • Goal differential: -7
    • Corsi For: 50.3% (49.9% score-adjusted)

    Goalies:

    • Elliott: 2-3-0, 2.82 GAA, .903 SV%, .916 ES%
    • Johnson: 1-1-0, 3.00 GAA, .878 SV%, .914 ES%

    Selected Skaters:

    • Brodie: 50.5 CF%, 1 assist
    • Hamilton: 51.5 CF%, 2 goals, 2 assists
    • Giordano: 50.8 CF%, 0 points
    • Monahan: 46.0 CF%, 1 goal, 1 assist
    • Gaudreau: 39.8 CF%, 1 goal, 4 assists
    • Tkachuk: 62.4 CF%, 2 goals, 3 assists
    • Backlund: 63.0 CF%, 1 goal, 2 assists

    (Tkachuk, Gaudreau and Frolik tied for the team lead in scoring with five points.)

      SEGMENT 3: November 10-21

      The Flames were really, really good at even strength and their special teams rebounded slightly. They continued to cut down on penalties. The divergence in goaltending outcomes is arguably the big story here – aside from Gaudreau’s injury.

      • Opponents: Dallas, NY Rangers, Minnesota, Arizona, Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo
      • Record: 3-4-0
      • PP: 2-for-23 (8.7%)
      • PK: 5-in-19 (73.7%)
      • Goal differential: -5
      • Corsi For: 54.4% (53.2% score-adjusted)

      Goalies:

      • Elliott: 0-3-0, 3.71 GAA, .864 SV%, .894 ES%
      • Johnson: 3-1-0, 1.50 GAA, .937 SV%, .940 ES%

      Selected Skaters:

      • Brodie: 48.3 CF%, 2 assists
      • Hamilton: 59.9 CF%, 4 assists
      • Giordano: 62.7 CF%, 2 assists
      • Monahan: 59.6 CF%, 1 goal, 2 assists
      • Gaudreau 70.4 CF%, 3 goals (3 games)
      • Tkachuk: 52.4 CF%, 2 goals, 1 assist (5 games)
      • Backlund 52.1 CF%, 2 goals

      (Frolik led the team in scoring with five points.)

        SEGMENT 4: November 23-December 4

        The Flames arguably played their worst hockey (in terms of possession) during this segment, but their special teams were really good – despite an uptick in penalties against – and that was easily enough to help them to their best segment in terms of results this season. Both goaltenders played well.

        • Opponents: Columbus, Boston, Philadelphia, NY Islanders, Toronto, Minnesota and Anaheim
        • Record: 5-1-1
        • PP: 5-for-16 (31.3%)
        • PK: 2-in-27 (92.6%)
        • Goal differential: +8
        • Corsi For: 45.4% (47.3% score-adjusted)

        Goalies:

        • Elliott: 0-0-1, 1.95 GAA, .926 SV%, .909 ES%
        • Johnson: 5-1-0, 1.82 GAA, .948 SV%, .945 ES%

        Selected Skaters:

        • Brodie: 43.5 CF%, 1 goal, 2 assists
        • Hamilton: 50.7 CF%, 1 goal, 2 assists
        • Giordano: 49.8 CF%, 1 goal, 2 assists
        • Monahan: 42.3 CF%, 2 goals, 3 assists
        • Gaudreau 50.0 CF%, 1 goal, 1 assist (1 game)
        • Tkachuk: 53.2 CF%, 1 goal, 2 assists
        • Backlund 51.7 CF%, 1 goal, 2 assists

        (Bennett, Versteeg and Chiasson were tied for the lead in scoring with six points.)

        SUM IT UP

        If Calgary captured eight points out of each seven-game segment to date, which would equate with “winning” each segment, they would currently have 32 points. They have 28 points right now, so they’re four points behind a theoretical playoff pace of 93 points. Granted, current projections for the Western Conference are aiming a tad lower (around 85-87 points), but this provides a general guideline for how well they need to play to make it. In short? If they keep chugging along at this pace – winning four of every seven – they should have a decent chance at making the postseason… despite their horrid start.

        As a general observation, it’s interesting that the Flames are doing as well as they have been given (a) aside from their goaltenders nobody’s really gotten hot in any single segment and (b) their even strength play seems to waver a lot from segment to segment, a sign of their general inconsistency. If (or when) some of their scorers do get it going, it might be enough to counter any cooling down that happens with their goaltenders.