Monday, September 15, 2008

Why Aren't There More Brodeurs?

One of the pro-Brodeur arguments is that if it is so easy to rack up huge numbers on a great defensive team, why don't lots of goalies do it? Brodeur's career wins and shutouts will soon surpass every other goalie who has ever played in the NHL. So in a sense Brodeur is a rare breed. Having said that, however, what exactly is rare about him? Does he possess rare goaltending skill? Has he played for a uniquely dominant team? Does he possess any unique characteristics, such as perhaps longevity, loyalty, etc.?

Certainly a goalie's situation is a major factor. Wins and losses are determined by two components - goals for and goals against. Goalies have little impact on goals for, and goals against are largely determined by the number and quality of scoring chances the goalie has to face. Even the best goalies can't singlehandedly save a bad team - Dominik Hasek, Patrick Roy, Jacques Plante, and Glenn Hall have all missed the playoffs in their careers. Without playing on a good team, a goalie will have a much more difficult time making it among the leaders in GAA or piling up a lot of wins and shutouts.

With only a handful of great defensive teams in the league in any given season, the odds are long that any given goalie will end up drawing one of these choice assignments. And even if they do get there, they have to be good enough and durable enough to play lots of games to be able to rack up the huge counting numbers. They also have to stay with that team, which is both a combination of the player being loyal to the franchise as well as the franchise remaining loyal to the player.

So which teams had this type of situation? The two key indicators of strong defensive teams are low goals against and shots against totals. Here are the top 10 teams in goals against during the Dead Puck Era that Brodeur spent most of his career in (say, 1995-96 to 2003-04 to keep league effects roughly constant), with their average shots per game totals in brackets:

1. New Jersey (24.7)
2. Dallas (25.4)
3. Philadelphia (25.0)
4. Detroit (26.3)
5. Colorado (28.0)
6. Buffalo (29.5)
7. St. Louis (24.7)
8. Ottawa (26.0)
9. Washington (27.8)
10. Montreal (29.7)

The effect of really good goaltending becomes obvious in the cases of Colorado and Buffalo. The most similar teams to New Jersey are Dallas, Philadelphia, Detroit, St. Louis and Ottawa. Detroit had the most wins with 431, while New Jersey had 400, Dallas 388, Philadelphia 384, St. Louis 367 and Ottawa 350. All of those teams had seasons when their goaltending was league average or worse in terms of save percentage, so clearly a decent goaltender who started most of the games for any of those franchises would end up "winning" a lot of games.

Here are the total goalie stats for all the teams:

DAL: .596 win %, 2.27 GAA, .910 save %
PHI: .600 win %, 2.27 GAA, .908 save %
DET: .650 win %, 2.32 GAA, .911 save %
STL: .566 win %, 2.44 GAA, .900 save %
OTT: .576 win %, 2.37 GAA, .906 save %*

(*-I chose not to include 1995-96 numbers for Ottawa. The Sens were still an awful expansion franchise and that one season really skews their numbers for the period. Now it is true that if Brodeur broke in with Ottawa he would have had to suffer through the painful early years, but since we are dealing here with "right time, right place" what-ifs let's just say the Ottawa goalie would start in 1996-97).

What were Brodeur's numbers? .626, 2.13, .913. So, expressed in rate stats, he was just slightly better than the goaltending received by Dallas, Philadelphia and Detroit in those years. However, this is comparing Brodeur to all the goalies on the other teams. If another team was going to copy New Jersey's goalie-handling style, they would rely heavily on their starting goalie. So comparing him to the starters only is a fairer comparison.

If you take all the starting goalies (definition: the goalie that played the most minutes in each season) for each of the strong defensive teams, and pro-rate their numbers to Brodeur's level of minutes, here is what you get:

Dallas: 344 W, 60 SO, 2.17, .912
Detroit: 379 W, 54 SO, 2.33, .911
St. Louis: 324 W, 43 SO, 2.42, .903
Ottawa: 311 W, 62 SO, 2.34, .907
Philadelphia: 355 W, 64 SO, 2.13, .913

Brodeur: 355 W, 69 SO, 2.13, .913

Compare those last two lines: Philadelphia and New Jersey had basically identical starting goaltending, the Devils just got more of it. If Philadelphia had played their starter for 70-75 games per season for that entire period and got a similar level of production, they would have matched what New Jersey got out of Brodeur. Now it is probably unrealistic to expect exactly the same performance level with an additional 15-20 starts per season, but I'm not convinced that goalie performance tends to drop off significantly with extra starts (a previous post dealt with this issue). Furthermore, Philadelphia's backups generally did worse than New Jersey's did, yet only one Flyer goalie cracked the 60 game mark in this span. The breakdown:

New Jersey: 649 games for starters at .913, 129 games with backups at .904
Philadelphia: 469 games for starters at .913, 316 games with backups at .901

It looks like New Jersey and Philadelphia simply had differing philosophies on how to handle goaltenders. I think there is little doubt that New Jersey's method is better for both the team as a whole as well as the starting goalie's counting numbers.

St. Louis (Fuhr/Turek/Osgood) and Ottawa (Rhodes/Tugnutt/Lalime) had bad goaltending more often than not, so a good goalie playing on those teams would have likely have surpassed the above numbers. Roman Turek's 1999-00 season (1.95 GAA, 42 wins, 7 SO) and Patrick Lalime's 2002-03 campaign (2.16 GAA, 39 wins, 8 SO) show the kind of numbers a strong goalie could have been expected to put up every season playing behind Pronger/MacInnis or Redden/Chara.

St. Louis in particular was really a wasted opportunity for a star goalie - the Blues allowed the fewest shots of anybody except for New Jersey during the period, but fouled it up by trotting out a line of subpar netminders. If Mike Keenan didn't run Curtis Joseph out of St. Louis in 1995, Joseph could have stayed and won 350+ games over those 9 seasons for the Blues. And in that scenario, as long as he had at least one or two good playoff runs in there, Cujo might be mentioned today in the same breath as Hasek, Roy, and Brodeur in all the best goalie debates. Of course, Joseph would probably still have bolted for a big payday with his home-town Maple Leafs, which just underscores again the rarity of Brodeur being a one-team guy for his entire career.

So was Brodeur really such a special goaltender? The overall quality of his performance was not particularly unique, as the rate stats of the starters for other good defensive teams were very similar to Brodeur, although on the whole Brodeur was certainly a good goaltender with a net positive effect on his team. However, Brodeur really sets himself apart in terms of the quantity of his performances.

Brodeur's career win totals are largely a function of his high number of games played. If Brodeur played a typical starter's workload of 55-60 games per season, he would have likely ended up with 20-25% fewer career wins. His workload was partly a reward for his play, but Brodeur still far surpassed other goalies around the league, even goalies on similar calibre defensive teams who were putting up very similar numbers. Philadelphia, Dallas, Detroit, St. Louis or Ottawa would have produced a goalie with Brodeur-type numbers if they had acquired a decent goalie and given him a heavy workload for a decade or so.

The results show that a strong defence does not necessarily ensure team success or great goaltending (e.g. Ottawa and St. Louis). That Brodeur provided stable enough goaltending to allow a great team to win over a long period of time is certainly a plus, and provides significant value over replacement, even if Brodeur's performance sometimes was barely even above average. Brodeur has never scuttled his team's season like other goalies have, and his performances in the playoffs have been generally good. There have been a few dismal playoff performances in there (including even arguably costing his team the 2001 Stanley Cup), but that is typical of nearly all goalies with a similar length of tenure. Playoff series are short and a lot of luck and randomness is involved. I have probably underrated Brodeur in the past by failing to fully value this type of contribution. Having said that, Brodeur benefits from playing a lot of games, something I tend to believe is more a measure of opportunity than talent, which allows him extra chances to rack up wins and shutouts.

When you allow less than 25 shots per game, you don't need a great goalie to win. But you can still lose with poor goaltending. Brodeur helped prevent the Devils from suffering the repeated playoff failures of the Blues or Senators (Brodeur vs. Lalime was the #1 reason Ottawa did not win the Cup in 2003). On the other hand, he would have never approached his success if he played in somewhere like Long Island or Florida. It is likely that any goalie would have done well in New Jersey between 1994 and 2008 (just look at the backup goalies), but it is unlikely that most other goalies would have been able to stay there that long without getting traded or replaced. The difference between Martin Brodeur and a guy like Patrick Lalime is that Brodeur is a much better goalie, because Lalime had every opportunity to succeed but didn't. But I think the difference between Brodeur and someone like Curtis Joseph or Ed Belfour still comes down more to team factors than individual ones. If you want to rank Brodeur ahead of those guys because he actually did accomplish all those things, while they only hypothetically could have, I don't have a problem with that. But Brodeur is in many ways more of a Joseph with better teammates or a Belfour with more games played than someone who is up there with Roy and Hasek and the greatest who have ever donned the pads.

So in summary, the main reasons for Brodeur's success can be outlined as follows:

1. He is a good goalie, mostly above-average throughout his career and at times great
2. He was drafted by the premier defensive team in the league
3. He played the most games of any goalie in the league
4. He remained a one-team guy, allowing him to play nearly his entire career behind a great defence
5. He played in a low-scoring era, which makes his numbers look better in an all-time context

16 comments:

Bruce said...

CG: This is an excellent summary, very fair-minded. You have indeed singled out many of the qualities that set Martin Brodeur apart from his peers, in season-over-season production as well as the staggering career numbers that he grows at an inexorably prodigious rate. I agree with many of your points, although as is our wont we occasionally draw different conclusions. For now I will address your summary:

1. He is a good goalie, mostly above-average throughout his career and at times great


I would say “very, very good”, but sure.


2. He was drafted by the premier defensive team in the league

Brodeur was drafted by an organization with a plan, and he was part of that plan. I can’t imagine they would have expended a first round draft choice on him otherwise (rare for a goalie in any era, especially around 1990). While the hockey world fixated on that year’s “Big Four” – Owen Nolan, Petr Nedved, Keith Primeau, and Mike Ricci for the record (and a pretty mediocre record it is in retrospect, for all the hype there was about those guys). Pittsburgh, 5th overall, took the booby prize in Jaromir Jagr; and in my view it is a very interesting question who was the best player taken in that draft, Jagr or Brodeur. Nobody else comes close, although Sergei Zubov was a nice steal in the 5th round. Drafting to need, Lou Lamoriello picked Mike Dunham in the 3rd round and Corey Schwab in the 10th, and both went on to play for the Devils, albeit as the definitive back-up to Brodeur who seized the #1 job and never let go. Both were good enough to kick around the league for quite a while, and Dunham in particular had a nice run on a developing expansion team in Nashville.


He played the most games of any goalie in the league

True. I see this as a bigger asset than you do, but certainly it helps the counting numbers. To use a baseball analogy, imagine two pitching staffs where you have an ace of similar ability, one of the best in the league. Pitcher A is in a five-man rotation, Pitcher B in a four-man. (Nowadays in baseball there are no doubt pitchers out there who could pitch on three days rest, but unless a team had an entire rotation that could do the same it is a practical impossibility. But as a hypothetical it works.) Both consistently deliver quality starts, pitching into the late innings with few enough runs allowed to at least keep his team in the game. By season’s end Pitcher B has 20-25% more innings pitched, and commensurately more Wins while maintaining a similar ERA and WHIP. In my mind Pitcher B has helped his team more, simply through volume of above-standard contributions. And if Pitcher B continues to deliver workhouse innings at high quality for a long career, well he’s a Hall of Famer almost by definition.

Now for all you can say that If the other teams started their goalies as often as Brodeur and If they had sustained their level of performance with the extra workload, fact is few goalies have shouldered such a workload and fewer have delivered consistently positive results when doing so.


4. He remained a one-team guy, allowing him to play nearly his entire career behind a great defence

True. He has been a great defensive player on a great defensive team. To my eye he commands the defensive zone the way a great soccer keeper commands the box, and his constant, consistent presence back there helped to simplify his teammates’ defensive responsibilities. He has been loyal to the team and the team to him, befitting of the mutually beneficial relationship they enjoy.

5. He played in a low-scoring era, which makes his numbers look better in an all-time context

Absolutely true. That said, he is at a disadvantage against his peers in this respect: with the single exception of the extraordinary Dominik Hasek, Brodeur’s career started significantly earlier than every other goalie in the Top 10 career Sv% list. In the first three years of his career, years that were played by none of these other guys except the Dominator, the league-wide Sv% was just ~.898. So Brodeur’s career Sv% should be expected to be a little lower against the “next wave” of goalies, just as it should be expected to be higher than the goalies that preceded him (which, of course, it actually is).

And he is at a disadvantage to one specific generation of historical goaltenders, those whose careers started in the late 1920s, who have sewn up the top All-Time GAA stats.

I’m gonna grind some numbers, see if we can add a little more context. Watch this space.

Bruce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce said...

I decided to take a closer look at the "all-time" leaders in Sv%. Due to the era effects noted by CG, and the fact that Sv% has only been maintained for last quarter century, every goalie on the list was active in 2007-08. Here's the list (courtesy Hockey-reference.com):

Career Sv% leaders:
------------------------------
1. Dominik Hasek .9223
2. Roberto Luongo .9191
3. Jean-Sebastien Giguere .9154
4. Miikka Kiprusoff .9148
5. Manny Legace .9143
6. Tomas Vokoun .9136
7. Martin Brodeur .9135
8. Marty Turco .9133
9. Manny Fernandez .9121
10t. Evgeni Nabokov .9109
10t. Martin Biron .9109


Rather than look at league averages from the first time a given goalie got his first cup of coffee in the NHL, I measured against the time the guy established himself as a starter, which I defined as 40+ GP. Many guys on this list spent their early careers in backup roles, playing relatively few games at times of lower average Sv% rates and a disproportionate number during times of higher Sv% league-wide.

In the interest of fairness I will state right here neither method is perfect; to do it right one should weight each goalie by actual shots faced in a given season * the league Sv% in that season.Only then could his career Sv% be expressed fairly against the league norms during his career. But I didn't have time to go into that depth today; having stated the above caveat I think this method is defensible. You did want to compare Brodeur only to other starting goalies, and this accounts for just that.

Anyway, the more stringent requirement reveals this:

Player age in first 40+ GP season:
----------------------------------------------
Brodeur 21
Luongo 21
Biron 22
Giguere 24
Nabokov 25
Fernandez 26
Vokoun 26
Turco 27
Hasek 29
Kiprusoff 29
Legace 30

Brodeur was about one month younger than Luongo when assuming a starting role, and other than Biron the two were 3-9 years clear of the other guys, whose mean age when assuming the #1 job was >27. So these two guys provided outstanding early career value.

First season of 40+ GP | League mean Sv% then to now:
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Brodeur 1993-94 | .9046
Hasek 1993-94 | .9046
Biron 1999-00 | .9064
Luongo 2000-01 | .9067
Fernandez 2000-01 | .9067
Nabokov 2000-01 | .9067
Giguere 2001-02 | .9072
Vokoun 2002-03 | .9071
Turco 2002-03 | .9071
Legace 2003-04 | .9066
Kiprusoff 2005-06 | .9052

Note that the apparent upward curve of NHL Sv% seems to moderate in the case of the last few goalies, due to extra weight afforded the anomalous 2005-06 campaign ("The new NHL" a.k.a. the Year of the Powerplay).

Career Sv% over NHL mean (X)
----------------------------------------
Hasek: +.0177
Luongo +.0124
Kiprusoff +.0096
Brodeur +.0089
Giguere +.0082
Legace +.0077
Vokoun +.0065
Turco +.0062
Fernandez +.0054
Biron +.0045
Nabokov +.0042

Plain enough. Kipper with his relatively light career workload (40+ GP only since lockout) sneaks into third.

Career shots faced (Y):
--------------------------------------
Brodeur 24,256
Hasek 20,220
Luongo 14,888
Vokoun 12,806
Giguere 11,316
Nabokov 10,926
Biron 10,177
Turco 8,940
Kiprusoff 8,299
Fernandez 8,012
Legace 7,737


For all that his team allows relatively few shots per game, Brodeur's workload has been such that he has faced 20% more shots than Hasek, >60% more than Luongo, and double or treble the other guys.

X * Y
--------
1. Hasek -358 GA
2. Brodeur -216 GA
3. Luongo -185 GA
4. Giguere -93 GA
5. Vokoun -83 GA
6. Kiprusoff -80 GA
7. Legace -60 GA
8. Turco -55 GA
9t. Nabokov -46 GA
9t. Biron -46 GA
11. Fernandez -43 GA

To me that's a pretty reasonable account of the true impact of these guys. Hasek stands alone, while Brodeur and Luongo rate far ahead of the rest of the field. Luongo may yet catch Brodeur by this metric given he will presumably play a few years longer; however there is no guarantee that any of these guys will retain their current performance levels into their mid-30s as Brodeur has. Marty ranks behind just Hasek in delivering late-career value.

To me those three are easily the best goalies on the list -- indeed they are three of the best goalies in the history of the league -- and the fact they rank 1-2-3 suggests this method of evaluating career value is a pretty good one.

Of course this does not account for goalies of the '80s and '90s, and it stands to reason that a guy like Patrick Roy (12th on the career Sv% list) would have posted an excellent number as well. Maybe I will extend the study someday and maybe the result will wind up 1. Hasek 2. Roy 3. Brodeur, or (due to volume of GP) 1. Roy, 2. Hasek, 3. Brodeur. Either way it's a short list, and Brodeur is certainly on it, and still climbing. I don't even necessarily disagree that he's third best of that elite group. This metric is of course based in his supposedly weak area, Sv%, with no consideration of other factors (way better peripheral game than Hasek or Roy, way less of a head case, etc.). It confirms to my satisfaction that he belongs in the discussion.

Bruce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce said...

There have been a few dismal playoff performances in there (including even arguably costing his team the 2001 Stanley Cup), but that is typical of nearly all goalies with a similar length of tenure. Playoff series are short and a lot of luck and randomness is involved. I have probably underrated Brodeur in the past by failing to fully value this type of contribution.

That too is fair comment. There's an old saying that applies to every last one of these guys, namely "The sun doesn't shine on the same dog's ass every day". To wit:

1999 Finals: Ed Belfour's Stars outlast Dom Hasek's Sabres (2-1 in triple OT in Game 6).

2000 Finals: Martin Brodeur's Devils squeak by Belfour and the Stars (2-1 in double OT in Game 6).

2001 Finals: Patrick Roy's Avalanche slip by Brodeur and the Devils (3-1 in Game 7)

2002 Semi-Finals: Hasek and his new team, the Red Wings, take down Roy and the Avalanche in the Western Conference Final en route to the Cup (Hasek posting back-to-back shutouts in Games 6 and 7)

Brodeur was a series hero in 2000 when he held the defending champion Stars to a single goal in each of the last four games of the SCF (including five overtime periods with the Cup in the balance in Games 5 and 6). He was again a hero in 2003 when he outduelled one of the best of the Next Gen goalies, J-S Giguere, by recording his third shutout of the series in Game 7. But Brodeur was definitely second best to Roy at the tail end of those '01 Finals. Roy allowed only 1 goal over the last two games, and of course Brodeur had commensurate goal support as his high-powered team couldn't solve the great Roy when it mattered most. And unlike the previous year when Brodeur received equivalent goal support in the last two games (1 regulation goal) but matched Belfour save for save to take both games to OT and give his team an extended chance to break through, the 'lanche got the jump in Game 7, Roy slammed the door, and that was that.

Yet the very next year that same Roy made an horrific blunder against the Wings that turned the series in Game 6, and was blown out 7-0 in the decider. In fact Roy, widely considered a great clutch goaltender, lost a Game 7 showdown in each of 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Even the great Patrick Roy couldn't win 'em all.

Anonymous said...

this article is so full of contradictions. even in the begining when comparing brodeur to philadelphia, the .02 difference in save percentage is described as only "slightly better" yet when talking about the play of backups, a difference of .03 difference is aparently made out to be huge. not to mention that in brodeurs tenure philadelphia has gone through how many goalies? are you kidding here even comparing the teams. i dont care how good you think roman checkmanik or robert esche is, the fact is they havent stuck around for one reason or another. this is just pitiful analysis because its so subjective. not to mention, you start of the paragraph with the question, if its so easy to do what brodeur does, then why dont we have other goalies doing what he does? and what do you do, you completely dodge the question by going off on some statistical tirade to prove that a team can put up similar although not even close to better numbers over a subjective- cherry picked period. i guess we'll just leave ottowa out cuz they werent really a team in 95-96? get real here, how can you pick through a group of the best teams, then take the team with the best numbers, and then try to compare those to an individual?

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Sorry that you missed the point, Anonymous, but the reason I can pick a group of the best teams is that those teams are the most similar to the New Jersey Devils. I didn't take the best teams (for instance, I didn't include Colorado even they were unquestionably one of the best teams in the period), I took the best defensive teams, which is much more relevant when you are considering goalie play. Brodeur played on the best defensive team in the league that allowed the fewest shots against over a 9 year stretch. If you want me to compare Brodeur's numbers to the goalies on Florida and the New York Islanders, well I can do that, but I'm not sure there is any point to it.

And proving that a goalie on another team could put up the same numbers as Brodeur did is actually answering the question, not dodging it. Unless I misunderstand your point.

Anonymous said...

"And proving that a goalie on another team could put up the same numbers as Brodeur did is actually answering the question, not dodging it. Unless I misunderstand your point."

you dont answer it. the question is why arent the more goalies who have numbers like brodeur? not, could there have been a player or team or how ever you theoretically answered the question.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

OK, here is the short answer then if you couldn't get it from the post: There aren't more goalies who have numbers like Brodeur mainly because nobody played as many games as Brodeur, nobody played for as long on an elite defensive team as Brodeur, and Brodeur played in a low-scoring era.

Those are three major advantages that few goalies have ever had in NHL history, and they definitely helped him put up big numbers. Team and era effects matter - that is why Manny Legace, Manny Fernandez, Marty Turco, Evgeni Nabokov and J.S. Giguere all have a lower career GAA and a higher career save percentage than Patrick Roy or Ed Belfour. And more games played means more wins. Or why else would Felix Potvin, Don Beaupre, Kelly Hrudey,
and Sean Burke all rank ahead of Ken Dryden, Johnny Bower, and Bill Durnan on the all-time wins list?

Steven said...

I disagree with you about the effect of the team on Brodeur's ability. Especially in regards to winning games.

Look at the win% for example for Brodeur. His Career average of wins is 58%, However, before the lockout his win% was only 54.5%. After the lockout, with worse D-men his win% shot up to 59.6%. His SV% has also gone up since the lock out. If elite defensemen were indeed padding Brodeur's stats, then why is his stats better when he didn't have elite d-men in front of him?

nightfly said...

This last, I think I can answer...

Leaving aside for the moment "he has worse D-men now," Brodeur's win % went up post-lockout in large measure because some of his losses are now counted as ties, and he gets to win games in shootouts now, and have them count towards his overall totals.

Before the 1999-2000 season, when the league started giving out its pity points for OT losses, the league's win percentage was, of course, .500 overall. The next five years, expressed in terms of points/possible points: .525, .525, .525, .532, .529.

Then, in the five years after that, with shootout wins AND pity points: .557, .557, .555, .557, and so far this year .568.

That's everyone, overall. To take Brodeur specifically - he's 32-15 in the shootout to date. That's very good, and a credit to his individual skill - but that .681 winning percentage skews the numbers you quote. Under the old rules those 32 wins would be ties. Then factor in the 24 games he lost in OT from the 99-00 season to present, all counted as ties even though he was the losing keeper.

Brodeur's career record would go from 572-305-129 to 540-329-137.

Pre-pity points, his record was 201-105-57, a percentage (expressed in points/possible points) of .632. After, it's 371-200-72 (to date), which is .633: virtually identical. But correcting for SO wins and OT losses moves him to 339-224-80, a percentage of .589.

Since his save percentage has risen but he's not actually netting as many points (at least if one adjusts for the rule changes), it's just as reasonable to conclude that it's the Devils' offense that has declined rather than its defense.

Anonymous said...

Statistics are like bikinis… what they reveal is suggestive, what they hide is essential.

Anonymous said...

"And proving that a goalie on another team could put up the same numbers as Brodeur did is actually answering the question, not dodging it. Unless I misunderstand your point"

Really??? Is this a serious article. Your wasting your time with all these posts. I dont think you have any understanding of systems with in a team, chemistry, and choosing the "right" players no just the best ones. You cant break a game down and especially players based purely on numbers. To say any goalie could replicate what Brodeur did with the Devils is ridiculous and ignorant. Yes the Devils had great defense then, but what about now? What is your response to his continued success with NJ while they have mediocre defense and Paul Martin arguably their best defensemen out the entire year. You just cant give goalies or Brodeur any credit can you?

Goalie Pete said...

How do you account for the fact that Brodeur has had some of his best statistical seasons in the last few years when Johnny Oduya and Paul Martin have been his best defenseman? This is the major, read hole that Brodeur detractors have yet to come up with a decent answer for.

Anonymous said...

How would you count shots without noting how many were quality scoring chances? since u say low shot counts are a bad thing. If anything it would be the other way around.You want real results look up goalies world magazine. The only legit system for ranking goalies.

Anonymous said...

Wait, what? Just looking at how many shots a goalie faces in a game is not indicative of anything really. As someone before me said, it says nothing of the quality of the shots on goal. It's not enough to say that a team is great defensively just because their opponents do not generate a lot of shots on goal against them. The Devils could give up 40 shots a game, but if they're from low percentage areas, they'd be a good defensive team. Conversely, they could give up a stingy 18 shots a game, but if they're coming from high percentage areas, that's not good defense at all. You can't pick and choose what aspects of the statistics you use and maintain a valid argument. These are truly frustrating articles to read, however I may still get some use out of them should I present them as examples of how not to make an argument in my philosophy classes.