NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams from Nov. 16-Dec. 16. Today, three key statistics for the Calgary Flames.
1. Johnny Gaudreau‘s points
Left wing Johnny Gaudreau scored an NHL career-low 58 points (18 goals, 40 assists) in 70 games last season. He averaged 1.70 points per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time, down from the 2.50 he averaged from 2015-16 to 2018-19. One reason for his decrease was his 5-on-5 shooting percentage of 7.8 percent, down from 12.4 percent in 2018-19. Last season the Flames averaged 2.91 goals per game, 20th in the NHL, and had a 5-on-5 shooting percentage of 7.6 percent, tied for 22nd with the Ottawa Senators and the New Jersey Devils. One way for Gaudreau and the Flames to increase their scoring is to raise their shot-attempt differential. Calgary was 15th in the NHL last season at plus-43, down from plus-559 (fifth) in 2018-19 and plus-547 (second) in 2017-18. Gaudreau was plus-23 last season. He was plus-213 in 2018-19 and plus-204 in 2017-18.
2. Jacob Markstrom‘s save percentage
Goalie Jacob Markstrom, who signed a six-year contract with the Flames on Oct. 9, had a .918 save percentage in 43 games for the Vancouver Canucks last season that was fourth in the NHL (minimum 40 games). The last Flames goalie to play at least 40 games with a save percentage of at least .918 was Jonas Hiller in 2014-15 (.918 in 52 games). David Rittich, who played 48 games for the Flames last season, had a .907 save percentage. Markstrom also had a .925 even-strength save percentage that was better than Rittich’s .913. If Markstrom can have that level of success with the Flames, that could help lower Calgary’s average of 3.06 goals-against per game last season, which tied the Chicago Blackhawks for 16th in the NHL.
3. Penalty kill
The Flames’ penalty-kill percentage of 82.1 percent was tied for eighth with the Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. Defenseman Travis Hamonic, who led the Flames in shorthanded time on ice per game at 3:07, is an unrestricted free agent. Defenseman TJ Brodie, who was fifth among Flames defensemen with 1:39 of shorthanded ice time per game, signed a four-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 9. With Brodie gone and Hamonic possibly not coming back, Calgary will rely heavily on Markstrom, who had an .876 power-play save percentage, which was seventh in the NHL among goalies to play at least 40 games.