Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"Goaltender wins is the most useless statistic in hockey"

So says Alan Ryder in his 2007-08 NHL season review, and no arguments here.

Of note, Ryder ranks Vokoun as the best goalie for 2008, with Brodeur #2, although it is close. I think you could have made a decent case for either one. Ryder's shot quality calculations show that New Jersey still has a pretty good defence (8th in shots against, 9th in shot quality against, 6th best in Ryder's combined "defensive index"), whereas Florida's was one of the worst in the league. Tim Thomas, J.S. Giguere, Henrik Lundqvist, and Roberto Luongo round out the top 6.

Ryder agrees with me that Nabokov's 2007-08 season wasn't really all that special. In fact, it had a lot in common with early '00s Brodeur: lots of games played on a top defensive team results in lots of wins, a low GAA, and lots of (probably undeserved) Vezina votes.

8 comments:

Rob S said...

if you think the Sharks are a top defensive team, you sir, are on crack.

i know there is a eastern bias in the NHL, but you don't have to be ignorant to west coast hockey.

The Falconer said...

If Vokoun had played his career say in Vancouver instead of Nashville and Florida he'd be talking about MUCH more as a great goalie.

Anonymous said...

Player Contribution (PC) is directly related to minutes played... a goalie who plays 3000 minutes with an amazing save pct can have a lower PC than one who plays every minute of every game & has an avg save pct.

So if a goalie with a very high save pct has his minutes reduced due to e.g. injury (or perhaps his backups are quite good too), or a goalie with an avg save pct has his minutes increased due to the team not wanting to play lousy backups, the PC rating can be a bit misleading.

This goes back to the Hasek vs. Brodeur argument.

Anonymous said...

Wins are largely useless - true. Two goalies with identical save pct's & minutes played can have very different win totals.

Goalies have very little affect how many goals their team scores. They also have very little affect on how many shots they face.

So, a goalie's overriding purpose is to simply stop the puck. A goalie who stops 95% of shots faced (even if his team is poor & scores little and/or allows 50 shots per game) is better than a goalie who stops 90% of shots faced (even if his team is great & scores lots and/or allows very few shots against). Yet the 95% sv pct goalie may have far fewer wins than the 90% sv pct goalie.

Anonymous said...

You don't feel that Nabby's season was great? Okay... well I feel the same way about Brodeur's 07-08 season... but heck he won the f'in Vezina.

Are you telling me that just because his GM was an idiot and didn't have "good defense" results in a Vezina for Brodeur? Please, Nabokov played well. If his season was not "spectacular" then Brodeur and Luongo are not good goalies.

And Vokun? Wow... that Ryder really must be smoking something. Best in the league... bs!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (not me): Why would you say that Nabokov had a "great" season?

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

If his season was not "spectacular" then Brodeur and Luongo are not good goalies.

Nabokov's season was "spectacular", I agree, for the first three months. He kind of went downhill from there (.899 save percentage from January to April), which was why overall I wouldn't rank him up there with guys like Vokoun and Brodeur.

And Vokun? Wow... that Ryder really must be smoking something. Best in the league... bs!

There is a difference between saying someone is the "best in the league" and someone had "the best season". Nobody is saying that Vokoun is the league's best goalie, although he is obviously one of the better ones, but he had quite a good season and one could make a legitimate case that he was the best in 2007-08.

And if you don't even think Vokoun is one of the best in the league, well, you're wrong. Over the last 5 seasons, Vokoun is in the top 5 in both wins and save percentage.

Anonymous said...

Vokoun is very good but this season not good enough to be considered for a vezina. I think giguere got overlooked this year due to the quality of the Duck's defense, but people forget they didn't have neidermayer most of the season