Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Goaltending is All About Winning

OK, I'm finally caving in to the commentors and anonymous angry emailers. Let's look at the wins. That's what a lot of people say about goalies - stats are nice, sure, but does he win? I am always amused by the insinuation that goalies aren't actually helping their teams by making a lot of saves, but in a sense I do agree with this point because winning is indeed the point of the game. The reason that wins are not very good for evaluation purposes is not that they are unimportant, it is simply that there are too many other factors involved. OK then, so let's try to remove some of those factors and look at wins from a bit of a different perspective, and that will maybe allow us to more clearly see who did the best job of winning games.

I like to look at backup goalie stats to try to develop a team context and as a point of comparison for the starting goalie. Now I'm going to take it one step further, to compare how the backups did on other teams compared to how they did when playing with a particular starting goalie. In that way, we can identify the team effect in terms of winning, and then adjust the goalie's record to take that into account.

Here's an example: a goalie has a .600 winning percentage, and his backup goalies are at .550. Let's say that when they played on other teams, the goalie's teammates had a combined winning rate of .450. That means they were probably below average goalies (assuming there is a fairly large sample size of minutes played). We can take that into account by normalizing the backup numbers to a league average of .500 (.550*.500/.450), and come up with an adjusted backup goalie win percentage of .611. This means that the goalie was actually probably slightly worse than his backups in terms of winning games, and the main reason he outplayed them was because they were bad goalies, not that he was anything special. This also suggests that the main reason for his high win rate was not great goaltending, but a very good team.

One of the problems of this type of study is that you run into era effects. Some goalies played most of their careers in the 1980s, and so if I am comparing their career results against just the seasons when they played with certain other goalies in the mid- to late-'90s, it skews the results. This does not matter so much for wins, of course, because a win in 1975 is the same as a win in 1999 (although shootouts do obviously affect the post-lockout period). However, when I did the number-crunching I was looking at a few other statistics as well that were more impacted by era, so I decided to limit the starter/backup comparisons to only results that took place during the study goalie's career. For example, when evaluating Hasek based on how much he won with Fuhr compared to without Fuhr, I only took Fuhr's seasons from 1991-92 to 1999-00 since they were concurrent with Hasek, and ignored the prior years.

The only other thing to adjust for here is when the winning percentage of the backups is compiled, it is important to adjust for minutes played with the study goalie. Otherwise you could have misleading results, for example a goalie that only spent part of a season as a teammate of the study goalie and had a long career elsewhere would affect the aggregate of the "other teams" numbers much more than he would the "same team" numbers. By weighting based on minutes played, we can avoid this issue.

So who is the clutchest, winningest goalie? I looked at a group of the top starters of the '90s and '00s, and came up the following top 10 list (with quite a surprise at the top):

1. Arturs Irbe, +0.125
2. Dominik Hasek, +0.123
3. Roberto Luongo, +0.118
4. J.S. Giguere, +0.098
5. Marty Turco, +0.068
6. Ed Belfour, +0.067
7. Evgeni Nabokov, +0.057
8. Curtis Joseph, +0.049
9. Ron Hextall, +0.029
10. Mike Richter, +0.019

Hasek and Luongo are no real surprise, but if you really want a clutch winner, go with Arturs Irbe, a guy you can always count on to make the key saves at key times in the game! The results do suggest that it is easier for a goalie to make an impact on mediocre teams, where a few extra saves can turn losses into wins (or vice versa). On a good team, the team will often win regardless of how well the goalie plays, so it is harder to have the same marginal impact.

I do think Arturs Irbe is a very underrated goalie though. He played almost his entire career on bad teams (the average increase in GAA when his teammates played with Irbe compared to when they didn't was 0.70, and their average winning percentage was .344 with Irbe, .480 without). All things considered, he did very well.

There were two large omissions on the list, of course, Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy. I'll get back to Brodeur in a second, but the biggest surprise of my little study was that Patrick Roy was probably a lot more of a team creation that I ever realized. Roy's winning percentage was .069 better than his backups, but his backup goalies had just a .400 winning percentage everywhere else. This results in an adjusted winning percentage that was .068 worse than his backups, which was actually the lowest result of any goalie I looked at.

To get a better picture of Roy, I split his results into the Montreal and Colorado samples, which also roughly coincide with high-scoring and low-scoring periods in the NHL. In both cases, Roy's stats were impressive, but his backups did far better when they were his teammates than when they weren't. The team effects, calculated by finding the difference between what the goalies did when playing with Roy and when not playing with him were larger than any other goalie I looked at, both in Montreal (+0.241 win %, -1.16 GAA, +.026 save %) and Colorado (+0.080 win %, -0.62 GAA, +0.018 save %). Roy's Montreal playing partners Brian Hayward, Steve Penney, Doug Soetaert, Jean-Claude Bergeron, and Rolie Melanson were generally awful in the minutes they played on teams other than Montreal.

On a raw basis compared to his backups, Roy was roughly the equivalent of someone like Belfour, Turco or Giguere, but after factoring in the skill level of his playing partners Roy was way worse. I don't particularly trust the Montreal numbers; for example, Hayward's numbers outside of Montreal were bad because Winnipeg was an awful team while Steve Penney was a bit like Jim Carey in that he flamed out early in his career. The evidence is that Montreal was certainly a great place to play goalie, but I'm not sure it is fair to say that Roy was an underachiever. In Colorado, Roy was +.045 in adjusted winning percentage over backups, which would have ranked him a little bit below Curtis Joseph in 9th on the above list.

Rankings like these are going to be more relative than absolute - if the stats are close than it means goalies are in a similar range, not necessarily that one is clearly better than the other. But I think it can be reasonably concluded that Patrick Roy had a very large advantage because of the teams he played on.

I expected Martin Brodeur would rank a little higher, but he came out just slightly above average at +.008, which is not too far behind Richter. Brodeur does have a smaller teammate sample size than usual, so his backup results could be more subject to randomness/luck, and Chris Terreri makes the results look a bit worse as well since Terreri played nearly all of his non-New Jersey career on bad teams, primarily expansion-era San Jose (without Terreri included, Brodeur would rank about even with Hextall). The team effects I always keep harping on showed up yet again: When your backup goalies put up a .522 winning percentage, 2.56 GAA and .902 save percentage playing with you and a weighted average of .419, 3.08, .891 when they aren't, you can be reasonably certain that the skaters in front of you are doing something right.

Conclusion: Wins are a team stat. If you want to judge goalies on wins, you have to consider the very heavy impact of team context, and the results will probably be quite different than expected. My analysis indicates that Arturs Irbe and Roberto Luongo are two of the best goalies in recent years in terms of winning games for their teams. Their career losing records are because of weak teams, not their lack of skill or lack of clutch play. As per usual with goaltending evaluations, Dominik Hasek also ranked near the very top.

At the other end of the scale, goalies like Chris Osgood and Mike Vernon were very average in terms of winning games, and even goalies like Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur were not particularly outstanding given the records and quality of their backups. Nevertheless, fans will of course remember them all for their wins and team successes.

10 comments:

a witness said...

Once again, interesting analysis.

I'll say that i am not shocked with Roy. I'd still probably go with him above most goalies for a run in the playoffs, but he really did play on some good good teams for his entire career. Teams that could cover over any blunders he made.

People will harp on the inadequacies of your analysis. With any analysis there are short-comings. BUT the logic and results are valid and do have at the least SOME indication as to team impact. I think this analysis is pretty close to a clear white light. Well done.

Wins and Shutouts are so overblown in goalie evaluations.

Bruce said...

CG: A very interesting post. You put a lot of work into this, and it deserves a detailed response. I'd really like to see your raw data, put names and other-team affiliations on all these back-ups. By and large I know who they are, but where, when and how much they played is critical to this type of analysis.

winning is indeed the point of the game.

Glad we got that out of the way.

We can take that into account by normalizing the backup numbers to a league average of .500 (.550*.500/.450), and come up with an adjusted backup goalie win percentage of .611.

I have a real problem with this. Why normalize the backups to .500? Because you assume they're average goalies playing on average teams? That's not generally how it works. They're all over the map. Frequently a guy who isn't quite good enough to carry the mail for a top team will get a longer look by a team further down in the standings, as in way down the standings (recent examples: Ilya Bryzgalov, Mike Smith). If you're going to go all the trouble to compare each goalie to his back-up, the next logical step is to compare the back-up to his creasemates elsewhere rather than simply assuming they should be around .500. (What does .500 even mean anymore? The median is .555 these days, thanks to that wonderful Bettman Point, Ver 2.0 (Ver 3.0 if tied after regulation))

This means that the goalie was actually probably slightly worse than his backups in terms of winning games, and the main reason he outplayed them was because they were bad goalies, not that he was anything special. This also suggests that the main reason for his high win rate was not great goaltending, but a very good team.

Hold the phone, I'm calling you on this one. They lost games because they were bad goalies, but he won games because he was on a good team? I don't think your logic is very consistent, CG.

One of the problems of this type of study is that you run into era effects. Some goalies played most of their careers in the 1980s, and so if I am comparing their career results against just the seasons when they played with certain other goalies in the mid- to late-'90s, it skews the results.

OK, that seems reasonable. I assume for Brodeur you don't consider his cup of coffee in '91-92 as the start of his career, but rather his '93-94 Calder Trophy season.

This does not matter so much for wins, of course, because a win in 1975 is the same as a win in 1999 (although shootouts do obviously affect the post-lockout period).

Overtime affected Wins before 1941 and since 1983. Bettman points have infected Wins since 1998, and shootouts have defected Wins since 2005. What should be the standard is a constantly moving target, thanks to the clowns that run the NHL. This is why most of the individual season league and franchise Wins records have been dropping like flies for teams, coaches and goalies alike in recent years. It's also why I like the playoffs, where a win is a win, and, get this, a loss is really a loss. But I digress ...

However, when I did the number-crunching I was looking at a few other statistics as well that were more impacted by era, so I decided to limit the starter/backup comparisons to only results that took place during the study goalie's career. For example, when evaluating Hasek based on how much he won with Fuhr compared to without Fuhr, I only took Fuhr's seasons from 1991-92 to 1999-00 since they were concurrent with Hasek, and ignored the prior years.

OK, I'm with you so far.

The only other thing to adjust for here is when the winning percentage of the backups is compiled, it is important to adjust for minutes played with the study goalie. Otherwise you could have misleading results, for example a goalie that only spent part of a season as a teammate of the study goalie and had a long career elsewhere would affect the aggregate of the "other teams" numbers much more than he would the "same team" numbers. By weighting based on minutes played, we can avoid this issue.

OK, there's different ways of doing weighting, but I agree with the concept so far. However, there is still one more thing to adjust for, which I alluded to above: to normalize the prodigal backup to his teams and not just the league. More on this below.

On a good team, the team will often win regardless of how well the goalie plays, so it is harder to have the same marginal impact.

Whereas on a crappy team, they only win on a night when the goalie plays out of his head and steals it. Which pretty much describes Irbe in San Jose or Carolina, Hasek in Buffalo, Luongo in Florida. They had lots of chances to steal games, and they stole more than their share. Three outstanding goalies, no question about it.

But ... (and you knew that was coming), the goalie on a good team outplaying its opposition doesn't have to steal as many wins, he doesn't get near as many opportunities. A truly great goalie might turn a 50-point team into a 65- or even 70-point team, or a 100-point team into a 110-point team. By your analysis the first guy has accomplished more than the second, and I'm not buying it. By your method Gilles Meloche probably looks way better than Ken Dryden, and I'm not buying that either.

On a raw basis compared to his backups, Roy was roughly the equivalent of someone like Belfour, Turco or Giguere, but after factoring in the skill level of his playing partners Roy was way worse. I don't particularly trust the Montreal numbers; for example, Hayward's numbers outside of Montreal were bad because Winnipeg was an awful team while Steve Penney was a bit like Jim Carey in that he flamed out early in his career.

Again you're getting warmer; I don't trust ANY of the numbers for the reason you allude to here; quality of backups' other teams. Hayward only played his last year in Winnipeg during Roy's career, but later played for terrible Minnesota and much worse San Jose.

The evidence is that Montreal was certainly a great place to play goalie, but I'm not sure it is fair to say that Roy was an underachiever.

Wow, if they had prizes for understatement, I'd nominate you for that one.
*shakes head in amazement*

Brodeur does have a smaller teammate sample size than usual, so his backup results could be more subject to randomness/luck

Yeah, maybe his backups didn't play on .500 teams which randomness suggests they should. Maybe they just weren't lucky.

The team effects I always keep harping on showed up yet again: When your backup goalies put up a .522 winning percentage, 2.56 GAA and .902 save percentage playing with you and a weighted average of .419, 3.08, .891 when they aren't, you can be reasonably certain that the skaters in front of you are doing something right.

Or that the skaters on their other teams aren't doing much right at all. Let's see, Peter Sidorkiewicz came from awful Ottawa; Chris Terreri got sent to stinky San Jose; Corey Schwab was traded to terrible Tampa Bay; Mike Dunham got nabbed by neophyte Nashville; the newest New Jersey jersey, Kevin Weekes, didn't wrack up a W until he was on his third team, still-terrible Tampa Bay, after posting a combined 0-13-2 record in his first two try-outs with flatulent Florida and vile Vancouver. Sorry Canucks fans, some of those teams including yours have been OK at times inrecent years, but they all stunk when these guys played for them. And somehow the fact they had worse numbers for these teams than they did in Jersey suggests that Marty Brodeur is overrated??!!

Chris Terreri makes the results look a bit worse as well since Terreri played nearly all of his non-New Jersey career on bad teams, primarily expansion-era San Jose (without Terreri included, Brodeur would rank about even with Hextall).

Ah yes, Chris Terreri. Mighty thoughtful of you to weed his numbers out. It so happens that Terreri was the guy I chose for a direct comparison. Brute force method, all manual, so I just picked one.

Chris Terreri played (parts of) 6 seasons with Brodeur, and also played parts of 5 seasons with 3 other clubs during that time. Let's check him out in detail starting from the time Marty Brodeur broke in and took his job:

***
Chris Terreri, NJ, 1993-96: 26-18-6, .580 ; .905 ; 2.67
Martin Brodeur, NJ, 1993-96: 80-52-26, .589 ; .910 ; 2.38

***

Chris Terreri, SJ, 1995-96: 13-29-1, .314 ; .883 ; 3.70
Other SJ goalies, 1995-96: 7-26-6, .256 ; .862 ; 4.74


Chris Terreri, SJ, 1996-97: 6-10-3, .395 ; .901 ; 2.75
Other SJ goalies, 1995-97: 21-37-5, .373 ; .883 ; 3.43

Chris Terreri, CHI, 1996-97: 4-1-2, .714 ; .901 ; 2.66
Other CHI goalies, 1996-97: 30-34-11, .473 ; .917 ; 2.43


Chris Terreri, CHI, 1997-98: 8-10-2, .450 ; .906 ; 2.41
Other CHI goalies, 1997-98: 22-29-11, .444 ; .914 ; 2.29


***
Chris Terreri, NJ, 1998-2001: 12-17-2, .419 ; .884 ; 2.89
Martin Brodeur, NJ, 1998-2001, 124-58-29, .656 ; .908 ; 2.28

***

Chris Terreri, NYI, 2000-01: 2-4-1, .357 ; .912 ; 2.44

Other NYI goalies, 2000-01: 19-50-6, .293 ; .889 ; 3.19

Terreri's PTS% doesn't "normalize" to anywhere near .500 elsewhere than New Jersey, but he outperformed his creasemates in that category wherever he went. Everywhere but New Jersey, that is, where in two stints over 6 seasons he posted a PTS% of .519, far behind Marty Brodeur's .627 those same 6 seasons. Terreri's 2.75 average didn't measure up to Brodeur's sparkling 2.32, nor did the backup's .898 Sv% challenge the starter's .909 over those 6 specific seasons. Whereas in San Jose he far outperformed his creasemates, including the immortal Arturs Irbe, in all categories; in Chicago posted a winning record on yet another a sub-.500 team; and then badly outplayed his Islander creasemates in his last cup o' coffee. Terreri wasn't a bad goalie, he just played on bad teams. Everywhere but Jersey ... where, lest we forget, Terreri was the #1 goalie until Brodeur came along, at which point the team took a 20-point leap in the standings from middle-of-the-pack to contender. They went from a good goalie to a great one, and the team did the same thing. Call it team effects all you want, but there's more than one way to interpret the Devils' rise to prominence.

Terreri's second stint in Jersey is quite instructive. The above stats suggest it wasn't all roses tending the twine behind that offensive-minded club, coached those years by Robbie Ftorek and then Larry Robinson. As people around here constantly remind me, Brodeur's personal Sv% took a hit during those seasons, all the way down to (gasp) barely above the league average; yet he still outperformed the solid Terreri by an impressive .024, with a much better GAA and a much, much better PTS%.

Conclusion: Wins are a team stat. If you want to judge goalies on wins, you have to consider the very heavy impact of team context, and the results will probably be quite different than expected. My analysis indicates that Arturs Irbe and Roberto Luongo are two of the best goalies in recent years in terms of winning games for their teams. Their career losing records are because of weak teams, not their lack of skill or lack of clutch play. As per usual with goaltending evaluations, Dominik Hasek also ranked near the very top.

Again, no argument that these guys are excellent goalies that made poor teams respectable, and even dangerous in the playoffs. But I think your measurement system is flawed to favour goalies in such situations. Or as you put it:

The results do suggest that it is easier for a goalie to make an impact on mediocre teams, where a few extra saves can turn losses into wins (or vice versa).

That's a fair statement, and it's central to this study. Whereas Wins themselves favour good goalies on good teams, a wins-over-expected-wins method will favour a good goalie on a poor team. It's an interesting take on the situation, but in my view it has a systemic bias. Moreover, until you account for the specific circumstances of the "control group" (the backups) I'm a little dubious about the results. I'd be keen to see a revised list that hasn't been "normalized", except against teammates. And should you undertake that, please leave Terreri in the mix. :D

a witness said...

Bruce: Good points as well.

Terreri, though, was not a good goalie. He was fortunate to play in the NHL. Even Mike Dunham showed more than Terreri. And Dunham, at best, is a starter and really should never have been a team's #1 goalie.

There will always be short-comings in any statistical analysis. So many factors are unaccounted for and i think GC here does a good job to attempt to bring those unaccounted things into the mix.

If nothing else, even if he had TRIED to skew the results against Brodeur...the analysis should AT LEAST point out that Brodeur's numbers, which will be in the record books for a time, are indeed inflated by his teams' greatness.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Thanks for the feedback, Bruce and a witness. As you know, I don't put a lot of stock in wins or winning percentage, and I really still don't even after this study, although I think the results were interesting. If I get the chance maybe I'll tinker with some of the results and see if I can improve the conclusions.

I have a real problem with this. Why normalize the backups to .500? Because you assume they're average goalies playing on average teams?

No, I'm not assuming they are average goalies, one would expect the backup numbers to be sub-.500 and they were in nearly all cases. Comparing to league average does not mean you expect everyone to be average, it is a way of adjusting the numbers to a single common standard, and for that .500 is as good as anything else. I could have used .555, .400, or whatever, and the relative results wouldn't change because everyone would still be normalized by the same factor.

the next logical step is to compare the back-up to his creasemates elsewhere

A good point, and I agree with this. Probably the main reason I didn't do that already is that it is a more complicated calculation. Again, the backup numbers I presented would only be meaningful in a large and diverse sample, i.e. the goalie played with a lot of other goalies and those goalies played on a lot of other teams. I agree that in the case of someone like Brodeur the numbers are not as significant, which is why I repeatedly pointed that out.

Hold the phone, I'm calling you on this one. They lost games because they were bad goalies, but he won games because he was on a good team? I don't think your logic is very consistent, CG.

I think you probably have issues with my assumptions, rather than my logic. I assumed a large sample size and that the backups played on roughly average teams. Given those two assumptions, there aren't many other logical explanations for a subpar (.450) winning rate, other than that the goalies were weaker than average. And if weaker than average goalies are winning games at a higher than average rate, then that is in my book evidence of a good team.

OK, that seems reasonable. I assume for Brodeur you don't consider his cup of coffee in '91-92 as the start of his career, but rather his '93-94 Calder Trophy season.

Correct.

By your method Gilles Meloche probably looks way better than Ken Dryden, and I'm not buying that either.

I'd also bet Meloche would rank ahead of Dryden. I know I looked before at straight winning percentage vs. backup, and Ken Dryden wasn't too impressive. Obviously that was because the Canadiens tended to blow out their opponents no matter who they had in net. Also, Dryden played the vast majority of his career with Michel Larocque, who got hammered in subsequent NHL stints in Toronto and St. Louis, so I bet the numbers would probably show Dryden to be one of the worst goalies. For sure you have to interpret the numbers with care when looking at these types of things.

Winning percentage was the theme, so those were the results I posted. There are save percentage and GAA numbers as well, and they tend to give a bit more insight into which goalies were actually outplaying everyone else and which ones weren't. Chris Osgood, for instance, has basically identical stats to his backup goalies in all areas. I think it is fair to say that Osgood is almost completely a product of his teams. You can't say that about Brodeur and Roy, but on the other hand it would be pretty naive to not take into consideration the strength of the teams they played on.

And somehow the fact they had worse numbers for these teams than they did in Jersey suggests that Marty Brodeur is overrated??!!

Yeah, I think it is fair to say those numbers suggest a strong team effect, but it is not particularly strong evidence and yes those team factors need to be taken into consideration. I do think this study is more suited for picking out the Luongo-type overlooked goalies than judging goalies who played on stronger teams.

And should you undertake that, please leave Terreri in the mix. :D

Sure, no problem. I don't think Terreri refutes the analysis at all, in fact it merely makes me consider doing another adjustment to take age into account. Looks to me like Terreri simply fell off a cliff at the age of 35, which is not too uncommon for goalies or other hockey players. If we compare him to Brodeur in New Jersey in two groups, <35 years old and 35+, the split is noticeable:

<35 years old:
Terreri: .604 win %, .904, 2.63
Brodeur: .601 win %, .909, 2.35

35+ years old:
Terreri: .237 win %, .876, 3.16
Brodeur: .670 win %, .908, 2.28

Bruce said...

I'm not assuming they are average goalies, one would expect the backup numbers to be sub-.500 and they were in nearly all cases. Comparing to league average does not mean you expect everyone to be average, it is a way of adjusting the numbers to a single common standard, and for that .500 is as good as anything else. I could have used .555, .400, or whatever, and the relative results wouldn't change because everyone would still be normalized by the same factor.

That's the trouble with normalizing. Goalies could go elsewhere and post a Win% of .400 and the conclusion is that they are subpar goalies when in truth they could be racking up that .400 percentages on a .300 team. See: Terreri stats above, which seem to fly in the face of A Witness's contention that he was a poor goalie. He wasn't as good as Brodeur -- not many are -- but he fared pretty well compared to his teammates on all of his other teams.

I don't think Terreri refutes the analysis at all, in fact it merely makes me consider doing another adjustment to take age into account. Looks to me like Terreri simply fell off a cliff at the age of 35, which is not too uncommon for goalies or other hockey players. If we compare him to Brodeur in New Jersey in two groups, <35 years old and 35+, the split is noticeable:

<35 years old:
Terreri: .604 win %, .904, 2.63
Brodeur: .601 win %, .909, 2.35

35+ years old:
Terreri: .237 win %, .876, 3.16
Brodeur: .670 win %, .908, 2.28


A convenient explanation, but it doesn't explain why Terreri outperformed the other goalies on the Islanders in his last cup of coffee at age 36. Also, Brodeur himself turned 35 this year and won another Vezina Trophy.

Brodeur <35 years old: .631 Win%, .913, 2.20
Brodeur 35+ years old: .610 Win%, .920, 2.17


Guess Marty's managed to avoid that cliff to this point.

I do think this study is more suited for picking out the Luongo-type overlooked goalies than judging goalies who played on stronger teams.

Agreed in principle, although I'd be a lot happier if you had said "Irbe-type overlooked goalies". Luongo is a very long way from being overlooked.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Agreed in principle, although I'd be a lot happier if you had said "Irbe-type overlooked goalies". Luongo is a very long way from being overlooked.

OK, whatever. I think Luongo should have 2 Vezinas by now, which to me means he has been pretty overlooked, but today I'd agree he gets more of his due.

Guess Marty's managed to avoid that cliff to this point.

Sure, some goalies and players do, especially the better ones. I never said all, I just said it wasn't uncommon (i.e. on average players tend to decline in their mid-thirties, especially players who weren't that good to begin with).

A convenient explanation, but it doesn't explain why Terreri outperformed the other goalies on the Islanders in his last cup of coffee at age 36.

How many times have you complained about me using small sample sizes? If you want to weight 443 minutes of decent play over half a season as more meaningful than over 30 full games' worth of .884 from 1998-2001, go right ahead. In New York, Terreri had two great games (2-0-0, 1.00, .971) and other than that was 0-4-1, 2.97, .881. If he played more games, I think we would have seen a lot more of the latter than the former.

There is also that tricky little business of nobody offering him a job the next season and that being the end of his NHL career, which implies that GMs leaguewide agreed he was washed up.

I don't think that Terreri was a poor goalie (pre-1999). He was a long-time starter in the NHL. Also, Brodeur did not outplay him by much until Terreri started declining. As I mentioned in my last comment, Terreri's winning percentage in his first 75 games as Brodeur's backup was actually higher than what Brodeur posted over that same span. Sure, he played easier competition and so on, so of course he wasn't as good as Marty, but they were in the same ballpark. Then Terreri's numbers nosedived in his second stint with the Devils, and I think the most likely reason was age.

Goalie Fan said...

honestly you're dumb as hell. you must be some kind of rich loser with nothing better to do than to deconstruct and insult and demean some of the greatest goalies the game has EVER seen! on what grounds can you say wins or winning percentage don't matter? if the goalie lets in 10 goals a game, he won't win any teams... HE is responsible for the loss. if the goalie pitches a shutout, his team is probably going to win. why else would the league track WINS and LOSSES for the goaltender ONLY? sure these stats are tracked on a team level which I'll admit makes more sense, but in the end, the game is in the hands of your goaltender.
based on your lil handle here, I'd assume you ARE a goaltender so you should know that. how would you feel if you never got any credit for winning games?
In any case, I know for a fact the GREAT Marty Brodeur wouldn't give a crap about what you think of him, he'll still be winning games & cups when you're a septuagenarian getting your ass wiped by a nurse. he's just THAT cool, and as hard as you try to garner undue attention via this LAME blog, you'll never be 1/10th as cool. sorry mate!

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

why else would the league track WINS and LOSSES for the goaltender ONLY?

I honestly have no idea. Why does the league give you a point for losing a game? Why do they allow fighting? Why did the league cancel hockey for a season to get a new CBA that doesn't seem to have changed much at all? If your belief is that everything the NHL does is correct, or that because it is exists it must be meaningful, then I think we are in some disagreement.

how would you feel if you never got any credit for winning games?

Fine with me, since again goalies do not "win" games, they just contribute to the overall team effort. The top skaters don't seem to be all that miffed that they don't get credit for "winning" games, but just because goalies wear different pads they are so very special and are singlehandedly responsible for the entire result?

I would definitely feel no worse about it than the best player on my team should feel, or the #1 defenceman. Chris Pronger or Nicklas Lidstrom never get credit for "winning" games, but they have a bigger impact on their teams than their respective goalies do. Who do you think "won" more games, Wayne Gretzky or Kelly Hrudey? Bobby Orr or Gerry Cheevers?

he's just THAT cool, and as hard as you try to garner undue attention via this LAME blog, you'll never be 1/10th as cool. sorry mate!

Ouch. If he really is THAT cool, then I better just shut this whole thing down. I certainly wouldn't want anonymous commentators to think less of me.

Anonymous said...

Im really late but why not putting Irbe in that underrated section eh? Im baised towards him but whatever. Deffintly underrated IMO. As a matter of fact I think its pretty sad, usually when ever Irbe comes up hes like the butt end of a joke. Sad.

Colin Timberlake said...

I agree that he was one underrated goalie...