Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In response to Eric Francis

This was Eric Francis' tweet last night after the Flames squandered a two-goal first period lead and eventually came out on the positive side of a 3-2 overtime decision. Quite frankly, I see where he is coming from, but it is a little immature. It's no secret that just about anybody who watches more than 25 Flames games a season has been calling for someone's head. Because we all pay to watch the Flames, we're all hockey experts, but our opinions differ. Some want Darryl fired, some would prefer Brent. Some would like to see Ken King get the axe. Personally I think Harvey has got to go.

From the article published today (link here) it is hard to tell which Francis would prefer. But at the root of the tweet is the thought that winning games will only hurt the Flames, because this is not a team that is built to be competitive. Realistically, I'd have a hard time defending that.

You can see its pretty ugly. Obviously Calgary is at the bottom of the Western Conference. If you only looked at this, it might be reasonable to think that Calgary could have a shot at a lottery pick. To those who don't know, a "lottery pick" is considered to one of the top five picks in the draft. The bottom five teams in the league all enter a "lottery" at the end of the season. The team who wins the lottery gets the first overall pick, then the second, and so on. The worse your team does, the better chance they get at winning the first overall pick.

Calgary is (as good as) last in the West. Two points up on the Oilers, but the Oilers have two games in hand etc. It might be reasonable to speculate that because of their standings in the West, this would transfer to a league-wide status. The case is otherwise:

These are the standings for the bottom half of the league. As you can see, Calgary would need to finish between 25-30 to get a lottery pick. They are currently in 22nd place, but more importantly, you need to consider the facts. Realistically, although the bottom five teams all have a shot at the first overall selection, its only the bottom two teams that actually get a chance as the lottery is weighted. I think 30th has a ~44% or something like that, then 29th has around ~20%. Really don't feel like Googling it.

The Devils and Islanders are done. Nobody is going to touch the mess that is going down on Long Island.

My point is: the Flames aren't going to finish below either of these two teams, and therefore won't really have a shot at the top pick. If you're not going to shoot for the top pick, why would you try to lose? They might as well come out and be competitive every night and at least give people a reason to watch the team play.

This is now on Youtube:

(so is this one)

I agree that management needs to be held accountable for their actions. But until there is a real plan in place, in terms of what direction and what kind of structure this franchise is going to have, nothing should be done. I'll still watch Calgary play every night. Does that make me an irrational consumer? Maybe. I won't let that bother me though. I still know that night in and out the Flames have a chance to win every game they play. Its the hope that keeps me coming back for more.

 I'm going to Flames/Leafs on Thursday night. I am really unsure what to do about Phaneuf. The first thing I thought was to boo him. But then I sat back and thought about it. He didn't really do anything to Calgary, or to the Flames, to hurt them. I mean, Darryl Sutter straight up lied to his face. He issued a press release that said Dion Phaneuf would not be traded, then traded him like ten days later. Looking back at that trade is absurd now. Mayers is gone, Stajan is a healthy scratch, and White got traded for Babchuk and Kostopolous. So that trade was pretty much Phaneuf and Keith Aulie for Nik Hagman. My god.

I'll be posing the question on Twitter, so tweet at me with suggestions (@rshillin). Also make sure you follow @TheRealDanMoser too. When he's not writing about corsi and qualcomp stats he says some funny shit. The guy can't help it, he loves the stats.

1 comment:

  1. It's crazy to think. When you watch the Flames play they look like a lottery team (I'm an Oilers fan, I know a thing or two about the lottery), but there is a decent chance they miss the lottery by a spot or too because the East is so awful. Has there ever been a lottery of only Eastern Conference teams?