Puck Daddy can't seem to like the Flames

The other thing that also agitates me is that people just compare us to Colorado while being woefully ignorant of the noticeable differences.

For one, their top defenseman for most of the last three seasons is Erik Johnson. They have Hejda, but it's seemingly a foregone conclusion that he's going to leave or be traded, leaving them with a top pair of the oft-injured Johnson and Tyson Barrie, who play significantly less minutes than Gio and Brodie even when healthy. The gap is even more pronounced the further down the depth chart.

Colorado also has virtually no possession drivers / minute-munching forwards. The one they had last season was Statsny. He played against the toughest competition by a huge margin, and was the only Av to have a net positive impact on his linemates no matter who they were. He was the reason why their other lines were able to succeed. The Avs made a huge miscalculation in not trying to keep him for longer - they thought their younger players were able to handle tougher minutes based off of their success without factoring in that they were often playing against much weaker competition.

For Calgary to have to go through the same struggle as Colorado, we'd basically have to lose Backlund, Brodie, Byron, Giordano, and Stajan. We can, and have, survived injuries to these players (sometimes simultaneously) largely because we still have two or three other possession drivers to fall back on. Conversely, to make us an instant 'average' team in terms of fancy stats, we'd just have to replace / upgrade upon Smid and Engelland.

Shot quality and goaltending is also another big difference. Varlamov played like he was possessed all last season, which mitigated the fact that Colorado generally allowed shots of much higher quality / better location than we do. Calgary's actually one of the better teams in terms of keeping shots out of the slot and other 'hot' spots that tend to result in goals. We allow as many shots as Colorado, but they are noticeably lower in quality.

In short, I wouldn't even say the fancy stats are against us - it's just that people are only looking at them with their conclusion already determined. They think we're supposed to be terrible, so they only look at the stats to see which ones tell them we are 'supposed' to be terrible.

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