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by Anthony SanFilippo / Philadelphia Flyers

PHILADELPHIA – A word you always here around hockey locker rooms after games is “chances.”

It’s referring to a statistical measurement that’s not officially tracked by the NHL. Probably because it’s a subjective statistic. One person may think a chance – or opportunity to score a goal – is legitimate while another might argue that it isn’t.

As such, it’s not kept by the league. But you can bet your life savings that each team keeps their own “chances” statistic to determine the success of the play in the defensive zone.

A chance is usually defined as a good scoring chance. Sometimes those chances end up in the net. Sometimes they are stopped by the goalie. Sometimes the shots miss the net, hit the post, or are otherwise blocked.

Regardless of the result, the chance is measured by the likelihood of scoring on that particular play.

As such, shots on goal aren’t always the best indicator. To the point, dump-ins that happen to go on goal and are easily controlled by a goalie count as a shot on goal – but not as a chance.

The same can be said as far as shots from the wall or the points that are seen cleanly by the goalies, again, shots on goal, but not chances.

Still, a fluctuation in the shots on goal can indicate the chances aren’t there as teams struggle to find the time and space necessary to try to make something happen.

In that regard, the Flyers are vastly improving. In six of the last seven games, the Flyers have held their opponent to fewer than 30 shots.

And if you break it out a little further, in the past 15 games, teams have averaged 29.5 shots on goal against the Flyers. In the previous 53 games, that average was 33.6 per game. That means defensively, the Flyers have figured out a way to trim off four shots on goal per game.

Which also means the chances they are facing are fewer and fewer.

No wonder they are 11-3-1 in the past 15 contests.

“We have the right mindset,” said coach Craig Berube. “We have everyone coming back and flooding the ice and doing a good job. It’s not leaky. That’s the thing. There’s no room. The forwards are doing a good job coming back and pressuring and getting to the slot area and stopping and not leaking away. That’s what it’s all about. It takes five guys to do it.”


NOTES: Steve Mason is back in net for the Flyers. He will be opposed by Tim Thomas for the Stars… Flyers prospect defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (Union College) was named as one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award which recognizes the most excellent player in college hockey… A nine-year old Philadelphia Flyers fan, TJ Ramos

The Dallas Stars posed for a team photo with Flyers fan T.J. Ramos and his family. Ramos suffers from the same heart condition as Stars forward Rich Peverley, who collapsed on the Stars bench last week.

met Dallas Stars Athletic Trainer, Dave Zeis, before morning practice at the Wells Fargo Center. TJ suffered a heart attack last fall during a youth baseball practice and was revived on the field by his coach and a parent of a teammate, both local police officers. TJ was diagnosed with CPVT, the same condition as Dallas Star player Rich Peverley. Peverley suffered a cardiac arrest during an NHL game last week. The Stars were classy, rolling out the red carpet for Ramos and his family, allowing him to take pictures with the team in the locker room. Ramos wrote a letter to Peverley after his cardiac arrest last week. Peverley is not traveling with the team as he underwent a successful surgery this past Tuesday and is recovering. Ramos and his family will also attend the game tonight.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

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