Monday, March 19, 2007

Playoff Goalies - Overall Performance

Having broken down playoff performance in some detail, we now turn to overall performance measures. Continuing with the philosophy that save percentage is the best commonly available goalie stat, we'll look at that first:

Save percentage
Hasek .926, Brodeur .921, Belfour .920, Roy .918, Cujo .908

Hasek has a decent lead, Roy would come second after factoring in era, there's not much between Brodeur and Belfour, and Cujo trails the pack. Save percentage is of course influenced by various team factors, as previously discussed.

Next we look at goalie head-to-head wins, based on which goalie had the better save percentage in each individual game. This removes the impact of shots for and against, as well as any era effects. If Roy was better than his opponent in 1986, that is the same as Brodeur outplaying his counterpart in 2003. Roy may have let in 3 goals in that game while Brodeur let in only one, but in both cases they were the better goaltender and helped give their teams a good chance to win. Team effects creep in here of course (as with all goalie stats), since goalies playing for good teams will tend to face somewhat easier shots than their opponents, thus making them more likely to win. Here, however, are the results:

Head-to-head record
Hasek 64.2%, Roy 62.2%, Brodeur 52.6%, Belfour 51.3%, Joseph 48.5%

This shows some of the era effect not visible in Roy's overall save percentage numbers. There is a huge gap between Hasek and Roy at the top and the other three. Brodeur, Belfour and Cujo all have been about even-odds to outplay the goalie at the other end. Hasek and Roy have done it nearly two-thirds of the time.

Hot game frequency:
Brodeur 52.9%, Roy 47.8%, Belfour 47.2%, Hasek 46.4%, Cujo 41.2%

Poor game frequency:
Hasek 17.5%, Roy 21.1%, Belfour 21.1%, Brodeur 23.5%, Cujo 29.8%

Roy's numbers here are impressive because they are based on modern-day save percentage cutoffs. He would rank even better if the cutoffs were season-adjusted. Belfour is very similar to Roy. Brodeur has actually been quite streaky, somewhat belying his reputation as Mr. Consistency. Hasek has been the least likely to have a poor game in the playoffs.

Head-to-head record against each other:
Hasek 14-9-1, Roy 26-18-1, Joseph 21-23, Belfour 20-26, Brodeur 14-19

This is head-to-head record, not actual wins and losses, against the other four goalies. Hasek and Roy show again how dominant they were against their peers.

Looking at overall performance, it is impossible not to conclude that Hasek and Roy were head and shoulders above their peers in terms of playoff performance. They were one-two in save percentage (after factoring in era), their head-to-head records are outstanding against their peers, and they were the least likely to let their teammates down with a poor game. Hasek finished slightly ahead of Roy in nearly all the categories, so he gets the nod in top spot. Brodeur and Belfour have very similar stats, with Brodeur having a slight edge. Cujo is a little bit beneath the others, but one of the main reasons for that is of course the team factors discussed earlier.

Overall Performance:
1. Hasek
2. Roy
3. Brodeur
4. Belfour
5. Cujo

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