West: 2016 Off-season Outlook: Calgary and Winnipeg

Doran Libin

2016-05-09

The offseason fantasy hockey outlooks for the Calgary Flames and the Winnipeg Jets…

 

This week features the outlook for two teams who saw their fortunes tumble this year after making the playoffs last year. While the Jets can partially blame their place in a very strong division for the Flames it was more of a coming back down to earth than anything else. One of these two teams looks primed for a rebound next season.

 

 

Calgary

 

The Flames truly showed the danger of making giant leaps forward based on percentages instead of actual improved play. The Flames went from making the playoffs last year to third last in the division, however it would be easy to argue that their actual play was better than it was when they made the playoffs. For the second straight season the Flames took shots at a higher rate than they did the previous years. They almost reached 29 shots per 60 minutes and averaged more shots than they gave up for the first time in three years. They have managed to basically keep their shots against steady at 28 and change per 60 minutes for the last three years. From the changes in their expected goals scored and allowed it is evident that the Flames were a bit better offensively and despite not allowing more shots notably worse defensively. The massive drop in the standings much more a result of the Flames inability to achieve the shooting and save percentages they had the previous year. It was highly unlikely that the Flames were going to be able to repeat the 10.52% shooting percentage they had last year thus while they took more shots this year they actually scored fewer goals. The team save percentage should have been easier to repeat, but both Karri Ramo and Jonas Hiller fell apart and the Flames ended up with a sub-90 save percentage and allowing more than three goals per 60 minutes this season. The way the Flames are trending they should see improvement next year just by getting league average goaltending, which would have kept them around an even goal differential this year, or sitting just outside of the playoffs.

 

With Ramo and Hiller both having struggled this year, and mid-year Niklas Backstrom acquisition not faring much better in a limited run, the Flames are almost guaranteed to have a new starting goalie this year unless they decide to turn the reins over to