Gus Katsaros

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A Goaltending Comparison

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


In the upcoming three or so months, the carousel will be at full throttle, alternating netminders in creases across the league.

 

I wondered if there were any parallels to be learned from the previous lockout. In the run up to finding very little to learn from that particular season, it seems the current day trend may have been born as a result of that shortened season.

 

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The Goalie Guild’s Justin Goldman took an in-depth review from creases throughout the league.

 

The look at the 1995 season really begins the previous season, in 1993-94.

 

Four goaltenders appeared in excess of 70 games in ’93-4, with Arturs Irbe topping out at 74. The average in the 70’s range was 71.5 amongst the four top goalies.

 

In 1995-96, the season after the lockout four goalies appeared in more than 70 games. Grant Fuhr played 79 GP, Bill Ranford and Martin Brodeur tied at 77. The average games played for goalies in the 70’s rose to 76.

 

The biggest change occurred in the range of 60-70 games played.

 

In 1993-94 nine goalies played over 60 games with a mix of teams in the upper echelon of the NHL, balanced with weaker teams like Ottawa and Tampa Bay, recent expansion clubs with limited time in the NHL.

 

Rk

Player

Age

Tm

GP

W

MIN

5

Bob Essensa

29

TOT

69

23

3914

7

Patrick Roy*

28

MTL

68

35

3867

6

Mike Richter

27

NYR

68

42

3710

8

Felix Potvin

22

TOR

66

34

3883

9

Ron Hextall

29

NYI

65

27

3581

10

Kelly Hrudey

33

LAK

64

22

3713

12

Daren Puppa

28

TBL

63

22

3653

11

Craig Billington

27

OTT

63

11

3319

13

Dominic Roussel

23

PHI

60

29

3285

 

In ’95-6 that number dropped to three (3): Felix Potvin, Sean Burke, and a traded Patrick Roy.

 

Rk

Player

Age

Tm

GP

W

GA

SV%

GAA

SO

MIN

5

Felix Potvin

24

TOR

69

30

192

0.91

2.87

2

4009

6

Sean Burke

29

HAR

66

28

190

0.907

3.11

4

3669

7

Patrick Roy*

30

TOT

61

34

165

0.908

2.78

2

3565

 

An increase to double digits featured 11 goalies ranked in the 50 games played range, up from the eight in ’93-4.

 

An interesting note of the lockout shortened 1995 season: four of the five highest save percentages were achieved by goalies that played less than 31 games.

 

Rk

Player

Age

Tm

GP

W

SV%

GAA

MIN

5

Dominik Hasek

30

BUF

41

19

0.930

2.11

2416

22

Andy Moog

34

DAL

31

10

0.915

2.44

1770

30

Chris Osgood

22

DET

19

14

0.917

2.26

1087

34

Jocelyn Thibault

20

QUE

18

12

0.917

2.34

898

44

Damian Rhodes

25

TOR

13

6

0.916

2.68

760

 

Moog came in at 31 games with a .915 save percentage with the Stars allowing 135 goals, and Moog letting in 72 or 53% of the goals against that season.

 

The average for NHL goalies dressing more than 10 games was .898, while goalies that played over 40 games, the average posted average .906 save percentage.

 

Essentially, the backup goaltender may end up pushing your fantasy team’s save percentage to the top. Don’t overlook the quality of depth in goaltending and what that means to the overall strategy approaching your draft or in negotiations for other players.

 

Fantasy GM’s can take a gamble that they could find adequate top tier, but not elite goaltending and fare well enough to give your team a fighting chance.

 

Wins remain an issue with starters likely locking up better numbers. Andy Moog had a .915 save percentage in 1995 for the Dallas Stars, but he sported a 10-12-7 record, hardly impressive numbers.

 

Three of the five best goals against average were by goalies that didn’t play more than 30 games. Call this an issue due to a smaller sample size, but a fantasy GM shouldn’t overlook the value of depth goaltending.

 

Work it into your strategy. A little patience and some shrewd positioning decisions could shore up a good overall showing between the pipes.

 

Look at Ed Belfour, who played the third most minutes (2450), and third most games (42), but faced only 990 shots on goal. The average for the top 10 minutes producers was 1183, meaning theChicagonetminder faced almost 140 less shots on goal, closer to the average afforded to goaltenders in the 35-38 GP range.

 

Rk

Player

Age

Tm

GP

W

GA

SA

SV

SV%

GAA

MIN

2

Patrick Roy*

29

MTL

43

17

127

1357

1230

0.906

2.97

2566

1

Trevor Kidd

22

CGY

43

22

107

1170

1063

0.909

2.61

2463

3

Ed Belfour*

29

CHI

42

22

93

990

897

0.906

2.28

2450

4

Sean Burke

28

HAR

42

17

108

1233

1125

0.912

2.68

2418

5

Dominik Hasek

30

BUF

41

19

85

1221

1136

0.930

2.11

2416

7

Kirk McLean

28

VAN

40

18

109

1140

1031

0.904

2.75

2374

12

Ken Wregget

30

PIT

38

25

118

1219

1101

0.903

3.21

2208

8

Bill Ranford

28

EDM

40

15

133

1134

1001

0.883

3.62

2203

6

Martin Brodeur

22

NJD

40

19

89

908

819

0.902

2.45

2184

 

The young, upstart in New Jersey that would scorch a path to the Hall of Fame emerged as the Devils nearly ground the league to a halt implementing the ‘left-wing lock’ faced even less shots on goal (908) despite dressing in 40 games.

 

Both goaltenders let in less than 100 goals, the only top-10 minutes played goaltenders to do so during the year.

 

This shortened season scenario is absent in the previous season. In 1993-94, four of the five top save percentages were from goalies ranked in the top 15 in minutes played, with Martin Brodeur dressing in 47 games as a rookie.

 

The top five in save percentages followed the similar pattern.

 

If the elongated regular season taught GM’s anything it was that goaltenders that played a lot of games into the 60’s range seemed to have ideal elements of equilibrium between fatigue and results.

 

The lockout shortened season, with a congested schedule produced better results for goaltenders that didn’t play regularly.

 

Four of the five best save percentages in 1995-96 were earned by goaltenders dressed in games with numbers in the high 50’s, with the lone exception being Jeff Hackett in 34th place with 35 GP and exactly 2000 minutes.

 

Rk

Player

Age

Tm

GP

W

L

T/O

GA

SA

SV

SV%

GAA

SO

MIN

8

Dominik Hasek

31

BUF

59

22

30

6

161

2011

1850

0.92

2.83

2

3417

9

Guy Hebert

29

MDA

59

28

23

5

157

1820

1663

0.914

2.83

4

3326

10

Daren Puppa

30

TBL

57

29

16

9

131

1605

1474

0.918

2.46

5

3189

11

John Vanbiesbrouck

32

FLA

57

26

20

7

142

1473

1331

0.904

2.68

2

3178

12

Ron Hextall

31

PHI

53

31

13

7

112

1292

1180

0.913

2.17

4

3102

13

Nikolai Khabibulin

23

WIN

53

26

20

3

152

1656

1504

0.908

3.13

2

2914

14

Tommy Soderstrom

26

NYI

51

11

22

6

167

1370

1203

0.878

3.87

2

2590

15

Ed Belfour*

30

CHI

50

22

17

10

135

1373

1238

0.902

2.74

1

2956

16

Chris Osgood

23

DET

50

39

6

5

106

1190

1084

0.911

2.17

5

2933

18

Jocelyn Thibault

21

TOT

50

26

17

5

138

1480

1342

0.907

2.86

3

2892

17

Chris Terreri

31

TOT

50

16

29

1

164

1414

1250

0.884

3.61

0

2726

What does this all mean?

 

The lockout changed the way we seem to look at goaltending, where only the real NHL elite goaltenders are getting the greater number of starts, and everyone down the chain has settled into a position in tandem with a back up in a shared load.

 

What it also means is the value in the middle rounds of the goaltending draft rankings. Three goaltenders dressed in more than 70 games averaging 35 wins among them and 10 in the 60 games played range averaging 33.7 wins. Three goaltenders ranked among the top-5 save percentage and two of those goalies, Jonathan Quick and Henrik Lundqvist posted top-5 goals against average.

 

Be aware of the value of an elite goaltender, even more so if there are expanded categories like save percentage and goals against average. There may be a point in your draft where you are making a decision on the elite goalie, or forward. Be aware of the value and that decision becomes easier to make.

 

In this season of minimal practice, lots of travel and crazy schedules, making better goaltending decisions will have a significant impact.



Gus Katsaros is the Pro Scouting Coordinator with McKeen’s Hockey, publishers of industry leading scouting and fantasy guide, the McKeen’s Annual Hockey Pool Yearbook. He also contributes to popular blog MapleLeafsHotStove.com ... he can be followed on Twitter @KatsHockey
Email :Gus Katsaros



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