Friday, June 15, 2007

Martin Brodeur Wins His Most Deserving Vezina Ever

I would argue strongly that he did not deserve it this year either, but he certainly had a stronger case this year than in either of 2002-03 or 2003-04. The voting was pretty close as well (16 first-place votes for Brodeur, 14 for Roberto Luongo).

I guess Luongo, who should have 2 Vezina Trophies on his shelf by now, may just have to wait a little longer until the point where he starts getting awarded Vezinas just because of his past successes.

I'd still bet on him for 2007-08, though. I think a key point in this debate is that while Brodeur may have had a career year this year, Luongo certainly did not, despite all the wins and accolades and so on. All he did was play on a better team. Looking at this season in the context of their recent careers, Brodeur's season looks like an outlier and Luongo's season is pretty much the same thing that he has been doing since 2000:

2000-01: Brodeur .906, Luongo .920
2001-02: Brodeur .906, Luongo .915
2002-03: Brodeur .914, Luongo .918
2003-04: Brodeur .917, Luongo .931
2005-06: Brodeur .911, Luongo .914
2006-07: Brodeur .922, Luongo .921

When Goalie A has a career year, and Goalie B plays the same way he always has, and their performances are similar, then the logical conclusion to make is that Goalie B is the better goalie, Vezina or no Vezina.

10 comments:

Woody said...

not only are you wrong, stats are not the end all be of of hockey, it's a lot of different factors, a lot of goalies will tell you it is harder to face less shots than more, it's hard to stat sharp hen not a lot of pucks are being thrown at you.

Brodeur had a better year in 96/97 in case you cared to look and do your homework, look at their career GAA and Save %

Brodeur 2.20 .913
Luongo 2.63 .919

so that .006 and a worse GAA makes him obviously a better goalie.

Both are amazing goalies, but Brodeur has done it over time, won multiple Stanley Cups.

Taking last year as an example, he had more shots on gaol than Luongo and a better SV% so go ahead and HATE Brodeur if you like, but your logic is flawed.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

A lot of goalies may tell you that, but this goalie won't. In fact, I'd argue the opposite. Teams that give up few shots are usually strong defensively, and often they are strong teams overall, which means you are playing with the comfort of a lead and facing not only fewer shots but often easy shots as well. Getting shelled on a crummy team is exhausting, frustrating and hard. That's my personal experience, anyway.

If you actually think I haven't done my homework on Martin Brodeur, then I cordially invite you to peruse the rest of the site. Pretty much everything I have written will explain to you why you cannot simply glance at Brodeur's stats and take them at face value. Luongo has played most of his career on a team that was the laughingstock of the league, while Brodeur played on a near-dynasty, and also played a larger portion of his career in the "Dead Puck Era" with reduced scoring.

The fact that Luongo has a higher career save percentage, despite these very strong team factors, is very, very strong evidence that he is a better goalie than Brodeur.

StevieRayVaughan said...

Mrtin Brodeur happens to be the best goalie in the NHL he also has brought Canada a GOLD Medal and he did this with Luongo doing what keeping the bench warm. Brodeur also happens to have led the Devils to multiple Stanley Cups. At this point Brodeur has 529 wins and he has only played 14 seasons with "King" Patrick out in front with 551 wins in 19 seasons so lets see I think Brodeur might just win 23 games in 5 seasons and BEAT Patrick Roy. Think about it Martin BBrodeur will go down with most carrer wins with something over 700 wins. He will be the greatest goalie off all time.

Marty's Better said...

If you expect to be taken seriously you shouldn't throw out comments like:

"The fact that Luongo has a higher career save percentage, despite these very strong team factors, is very, very strong evidence that he is a better goalie than Brodeur."

Very VERY strong evidence! One playoff appearance in his whole career! A Vancouver team who was one of the best teams in the NHL since 2000 and they DON'T make the playoffs! Do you blame their offense, which was BETTER than the Devils... or their blueline which is also more stacked...

Luongo singlehandedly ended Vancouver's chances to make the playoffs last year by ending the season going 1 - 7 with higher than a 3.125 GAA and a .864 save percentage... not to mention being pulled in 3 of those games.

But yeah.. I guess you are right.. those last 8 games of the season don't matter.. In analyzing stats you have to look at all the games right?

You have to be a complete moron to think the last 8 games of the season mean the same as any other 8 regular season games.

This is when teams start playing better and gearing up for the playoffs. Roberto can't cut it when the pressure is on and his career save percentage does NOTHING to prove his is better than Brodeur.

But I guess according to your standards, Dan Ellis is the best goalie in the NHL. You can make a VERY VERY strong argument in his favor right? I mean he had the highest save percentage so he must be the best...

Ever since joining the Canucks, a better defensive team than the Panthers, Luongo has finished behind Brodeur in save percenage.

Perhaps you are overestimating the value of this stat, considering that a poor team like the Panthers just gave up a ton of shots although they were not great scoring chances, which ultimately inflated Luongos save percentage. Not to mention his bulky butterfly pads which give up tons of rebounds and thus more shots.

Don't go out and run to some "Shot quality" stat because if those were legitimite stats, they would be on TSN or NHL.com. When you start judgeing the quality of a shot, one would need the same judge to watch every shot in every NHL game in order to have a fair, unbiased, and consistent value. I don't think one guy tapes all the games every night and does this on his own so this "stat" is bogus.


P.S. The .005 difference in their career save percentage means Brodeur lets up 1 extra goal every 200 shots. I don't think this is significant enough to make such bold claims, especially when you start considering the number of shots that Brodeur's play prevents compared to the number of shots that Luongos fat pad rebounds produce.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

If you want to be taken seriously, you shouldn't throw out comments like "Vancouver has been one of the best teams in the league since 2000". Or do you think one of the league's best teams would finish 20th, 15th, 14th, 7th, 7th, 17th, and 6th (with Luongo) in the league during the period in question?

Also, good point. Luongo is the only goalie who has ever finished the season poorly in a season where his team does not make the playoffs. No goalie of Brodeur's calibre would do such a thing. Oh wait, there was 1995-96, when Brodeur's team didn't make the playoffs. I wonder how Marty did in the last dozen games of the season there? 5-6-1, 2.91, .895, team scored 33 goals. Compare that to how Luongo finished off the season in 2007-08: 4-8-0, 3.11, .902, team scored 27 goals. Yup, Luongo's a choker, Brodeur is a winner, just as I thought.

I don't think one guy tapes all the games every night and does this on his own so this "stat" is bogus.

I don't think you understand how the stat is computed. It is based on the distance and type of shot taken, which is recorded in the NHL play-by-play records. We know how likely each type of shot is to go in (e.g. slapshot from 15 feet is maybe a 20% scoring chance), so we can calculate the expected goals against for every goalie on every shot. There is no subjectivity involved.

The .005 difference in their career save percentage means Brodeur lets up 1 extra goal every 200 shots. I don't think this is significant enough to make such bold claims, especially when you start considering the number of shots that Brodeur's play prevents compared to the number of shots that Luongos fat pad rebounds produce.

.005 is 10 goals over a full season, which could easily be the difference between playoffs or not. And I have considered the number of shots Brodeur prevents and the evidence suggests it is relatively insignificant. Giving up rebounds means giving up goals and lowering your save percentage, because rebounds are great scoring chances, so suggesting that Luongo is helping himself out is just plain wrong. Also, for what it is worth, Vancouver allowed fewer rebound shots and fewer rebound goals against this year than New Jersey did, according to NHL play-by-play records (link here).

Marty's Better said...

Actually if you look at the NHL since 2000

here are the top teams in terms of points: (Not including 08 season)

Detroit Red Wings
Ottawa Senators
Dallas Stars
New Jersey Devils
Colorado Avalanche
Vancouver Canucks
San Jose Sharks

6th in the NHL.

This is a perfect example how you pick out stats to back up your arguments but you neglect the real data.

Just like how you had to go back 12years and add 4 games to Luongos end of season record to make your comparison to find a season where Brodeur's team failed to make the playoffs. I have no problem that you bring these stats up to compare but think about Brodeur's reputation at this point of his career and compare that to Luongo's. People were not calling Brodeur the "best goalie in the NHL" during these times. The whole point is that Luongo has never done anything to deserve this title.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

First of all, of course I "pick out" stats. It would be impossible to list every available statistic, so there has to be some editing. Just because I present certain statistics and not others does not mean I am being dishonest, or cherrypicking, it is just one of the constraints of the medium. Unless you want me to just post a huge spreadsheet along with every single blog entry.

Also, I'd encourage you to make sure you aren't falling into the same ditch yourself that you are accusing me of falling into. There is no difference between looking at the last 8 games of a season and the last 12, both are arbitrary cutoffs. You are arguing that 8 games prove that Luongo can't handle the pressure - I seem to recall 12 playoff games in 2007 at 1.77 and .941, they don't count at all I suppose?

OK, you're right, Vancouver has been pretty decent since 2000. Just wondering, though, what is so special about 2000? Why not since 2002? Or 1999? Do you think the best predictor of a team's record this coming season is the period from 2001 to 2008? That's good news for the Ottawa Senators, then, who apparently are going to be winning the Eastern Conference. And why does everybody think the Maple Leafs are such a bad team? They had the 4th best record in the Eastern Conference since 2001 - I guess we should be looking for them to secure home-ice advantage in the playoffs.

I would think that a team's post-lockout record would be a better predictor of how well they should do in 2007-08 than how well they did back in 2000-01 or 2001-02. I chose that period before I even looked at the numbers. Turns out that in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons combined, Vancouver was the 10th best team in the league. With Auld or Cloutier in net instead of Luongo in 2006-07, they'd be even lower. So we can either look at Vancouver's recent numbers and figure they should be around the middle of the league, or we can reason that since Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi were both elite players 5 years ago, Vancouver is one of the league's top half dozen teams. Whatever makes more sense to you.

If you want to call your selected stats "the real data" and my selected stats as just the ones I "picked out", go ahead, but just be aware of your double standard.

The whole point is that Luongo has never done anything to deserve this title.

Yes, except for stopping pucks at a higher rate than any other starting goalie in the league since the day he broke into the NHL, despite playing at the same time as at least 4 future Hall of Famers and doing it mostly on terrible teams, Luongo has never done anything of significance.

Marty's better said...

Again, it is completely fine to look at statistics and draw conclusions. Streaks are guarenteed to happen, both positive and negative for any goalie and so averages should be the only thing that matters. You can go ahead and believe that over 6 years Luongo has only had bad teams and bad luck (such as his downspurt that blew the playoffs for Vancouver last year).

I will always take the side that has more luck however. Whether you call it good teams, good timing, or good luck, 3 stanley cups and 4 Vezinas and a Gold medal are alot better than having Luongo's small pile crap better known as his World Cup of hockey championships, which by the way you only get to play when your team doesn't go far in the playoffs.


Lastly, a short note about the whole selecting a year to start assesing a team arguement. (and by the way the yes the Senators do have a good chance of winning the eastern conference, apparently you didnt follow hockey last year for the first half of the season. But I guess injuries to your best players resulting in some losses late in the season (not as bad as vancouver's obvoiusly) are a good statistical reason to discount a team that is as good as ottawa is...) But onto this arguement... you have no problem saying Brodeur has played for a good team his whole career, especially when you see that the Devils have an 11 year playoff streak going. But that is the whole basis behind Brodeur's consistency. You can ask any wings fan if they think the Red Wings would be the same consistent playoff contender year in and year out without lidstrom. They all would say no, and the same goes for any devils fan with Brodeur. It is extremely difficult to have such consistency in winning for a hockey team so you can either attribute this 11 years of postseason success to Elias, Brylin, or Brodeur... the pieces of the puzzle that have been there for that whole time. Who do you feel is most relavent a guy who plays 18 minutes for 80games or a guy who plays 60 minutes for 70.

I also feel then that you must agree with me that when ESPN analysts are idiots when they say they expect the Devils to be pushed out of the playoffs, if you believe they are such a good team. But then the question remains, if the Devils are such a solid team in a winning yet from a roster perspective even when improving on their 4 place team last year with free agency, why are projected in a lower spot every year?

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

if the Devils are such a solid team in a winning yet from a roster perspective even when improving on their 4 place team last year with free agency, why are projected in a lower spot every year?

Because TV analysis is very shallow. All they do is look at the best couple of players on the team and the goalie, and use that to make their picks. That is why everybody picks the Calgary Flames to win their division every year, because they have Kiprusoff, Iginla and Phaneuf. And they come in 3rd every year, because they have no depth, but nobody remembers that the next spring when it is time to meet their deadlines once again.

The St. Louis Blues had a 25 year playoff streak, and very few of their goalies were Hall of Fame-calibre. I get what you are saying about the Devils' consistency, but the team defence is just as consistent as the goaltending (and probably more so), as the Devils have been near the league lead in fewest shots against for the last 15 years. Even last season, when their fans were throwing up their hands at how horrible their defence was, they still finished top 10 in the league and second in the Eastern Conference in fewest shots against.

When you say you'd rather have wins, gold medals and Cups, what you are saying is you'd rather have Brodeur and his teammates than Luongo and his teammates. So would I. I don't see how that makes Brodeur better than Luongo, however, because the determining factor in that choice is that Brodeur's teammates are far better, not that Brodeur is by far the better goalie.

And finally, you really want to blame the disaster in Ottawa last year on injuries? That is your explanation? Well, you're wrong. Ottawa had the 6th fewest man-games lost to injury in the entire league.

Yes, I did follow the Senators throughout the 2007-08 season, and the reason they started losing was because they started playing badly, not that they had a few guys miss games with injuries.

Alfredsson:
Oct-Dec: 37 GP, 24-27-51, +17
Jan-Apr: 33 GP, 16-22-38, -3

Heatley:
Oct-Dec: 38 GP, 23-29-52, +32
Jan-Apr: 33 GP, 18-12-30, +1

Redden:
Oct-Dec: 38 GP, 5-19-24, +15
Jan-Apr: 42 GP, 1-13-14, -4

Gerber:
Oct-Dec: 19-6-1, 2.50, .920
Jan-Apr: 11-12-3, 2.95, .900

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