With the Calgary Flames hitting the 50 game mark of the regular season with last night’s game against Vancouver, I wanted to do a second part of my “Do they Deserve their Results” article that I did back in early December at the 25 game mark.
At the time the Flames had a 15-5-5 record and were looking like a very strong team. In the last 25 games Calgary dipped for a while but jumped back with a big win streak. So again, I wanted to see how the Flames actual results compared to how they’ve been playing.
The Meter uses a team’s chances to calculate a likelihood of winning from 0-100%. It is important to note that the Meter changes slightly every time you reload the page so I took the average of three tries for each game. The Meter uses in game events and generates whether teams are deserving by the quality and quantity of their chances, you can read more here on it.
For the sake of argument, I have chosen the following numbers for ranges from the Meter:
- <35% - The Flames deserved a loss, they get 0 points.
- 35-65% - The Game is a Toss-Up, they are credited with going .500/one point in them (1-1, 2-2, etc.)
- >65% - The game is should be a Win, they get two points.
Reminder: In Games 1-25 the Flames had Deserved Points = 32 and Actual Points = 35, and you can read that article below. Here is a breakdown of the last 25 games in five game segments.
Games 26-30 (Opponent, Score, Deserved to Win%, Outcome)
- Game 26: at San Jose, 3-5 L, 61.1%, Toss-Up
- Game 27: vs Carolina, 1-2 OTL, 53.1%, Toss-Up
- Game 28: vs Boston, 2-4 L, 69.7%, Deserved Win
- Game 29: at Seattle, 6-4 W, 78.1%, Deserved Win
- Game 30: at Chicago, 5-1 W, 67.0%, Deserved Win
Segment 6: Points “Earned” = 8, Actual Points = 5
Totals: Points “Earned” = 40, Actual Points = 40
- Game 31: at Florida, 2-6 L, 56.7%, Toss-Up
- Game 32: at Tampa Bay, 1-4 L, 39.5%, Toss-Up
- Game 33: at Carolina, 3-6 L, 50.9%, Toss-Up
- Game 34: vs Ottawa, 1-4 L, 61.4%, Toss-Up
- Game 35: vs Florida, 5-1 W, 24.3%, Deserved Loss
Segment 7: Points “Earned” = 4, Actual Points = 2
Totals: Points “Earned” = 44, Actual Points = 42
- Game 36: at Edmonton, 3-5 L, 84.5%, Deserved Win
- Game 37: vs St. Louis, 7-1 W, 89.2%, Deserved Win
- Game 38: at Columbus, 6-0 W, 90.6%, Deserved Win
- Game 39: at St. Louis, 1-5 L, 62.9%, Toss-Up
- Game 40: vs Vancouver, 1-0 OTW, 79.4%, Deserved Win
Segment 8: Points “Earned” = 9, Actual Points = 6
Totals: Points “Earned” = 53, Actual Points = 48
- Game 41: at Dallas, 4-3 W, 52.9%, Toss-Up
- Game 42: at Arizona, 4-2 W, 79.5%, Deserved Win
- Game 43: vs Vegas, 6-0 W, 67.7%, Deserved Win
- Game 44: vs Toronto, 5-2 W, 51.2%, Toss-Up
- Game 45: vs NY Islanders, 5-2 W, 46.5%, Toss-Up
Segment 9: Points “Earned” = 7, Actual Points: 10
Totals: Points “Earned” = 60, Actual Points = 58
- Game 46: vs Columbus, 6-2 W, 80.1%, Deserved Win
- Game 47: vs Anaheim, 6-2 W, 74.9%, Deserved Win
- Game 48: vs Seattle, 2-1 W, 80.5%, Deserved Win
- Game 49: vs Winnipeg, 3-1 W, 67.6%, Deserved Win
- Game 50: at Vancouver, 1-7 L, 37.8%, Toss-Up
Segment 10: Points “Earned” = 9, Actual Points: 8
Totals: Points “Earned” = 69, Actual Points = 66
Despite an impressive ten game winning streak among this stretch of 15-9-1 hockey, the Flames still actually finished with six less points in this stretch than they deserved. Calgary picked up a total of 31 actual points but played at a 37 point total over 25 games.
It was actually quite impressive that they had only one game during that whole stretch where they outright “deserved” a loss, and that happened to come in their 5-1 victory over Florida. They had 6 deserved losses in the first 25 games, so lowering that to just 1 was impressive work. Calgary went 3-7-1 in toss-up games which is somewhat disappointing compared to how they were 4-1-1 in the first half. The Flames “deserved” to win in 13/25 games in the stretch including 10 of the final 15 games which comes in line with how well they’ve played since their home loss to Ottawa. Calgary went 11-2-0 in their “deserved” win games.
To compare with Calgary, I looked at the Florida Panthers who had 75 points through their first 50 games. When using the same numerical thresholds, Florida actually only deserved roughly 65 points on the year, meaning they have been overperforming by ~10 points so far. It is a testament that a team can win close games but it also shows that the Panthers haven’t been dominant by any stretch in terms of deserving to win. The Panthers have had 16 Toss-Up games between Games 26-50 and they went 13-2-1 in them.
Getting back to the Flames, I think it is encouraging to see Calgary continuing to play very good hockey and despite launching up to first in the division, still have room to grow. The Flames have been a difficult team to play against all season long as evidenced by how they lead the league in a number of major statistical categories along with having the fewest goals against per game. I will probably do one more article similar to this at the end of the season but so far the Flames have played a highly structured and sustainable game that has led to results that they should be able to maintain through the rest of the year.