In the sporting world we live in today, analytics have given us so many numbers to delve into. In fact, for those so inclined, I wonder sometimes if the end game is to project absolutely everything before it occurs, or at least attempt to. Numbers do matter in sports. They always have and always will. Sometimes numbers and trends do lie. Just look at the plight of the Calgary Flames since Jan. 14th. On that afternoon, the Flames beat the Hurricanes to post their seventh consecutive triumph, including their fourth straight on the road, to run their mark away from Scotiabank Saddledome to 13-5-5. The club was opportunistic and on an absolute roll. Then came the team’s mandated five-day CBA break. Was there any way to forecast a group so hot going in would come out of that work stoppage by losing a season high six straight? Not a chance. But they did. Let’s dig a little deeper into this non-sensible stretch. The Flames lost the first four of six in either overtime or a shootout, which actually ran their season-high point streak to 11. In the last two seasons, Glen Gulutzan’s gang was an impressive 15-3 in contests ending in the 3-on-3 extra time session, including a 6-1 mark this season prior to a pair of recent overtime setbacks at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings. In the club’s final clash prior to the all-star break, a 2-0 lead turned into a 4-3 shootout loss to the Oilers in Edmonton on Jan. 25. So if you are wondering how that happened, let me bring you up to date on the three games after the all-star break. On Jan. 30, the Flames faced off against the amazing Vegas Golden Knights for the first time. An expansion team that has bucked every possible number and projection with a capital B this season. In that game, the Flames led the Golden Knights 2-1 entering the third period. In the Gulutzan era, the Flames posted an incredible record of 50-0-3 when leading after 40 minutes of play. Not one single regulation loss in that situation in more than a season and a half.
Flames proving sometimes numbers and trends do lie
Sportsnet | Feb 4