Tuesday, November 4, 2008

How Good Is New Jersey's Defence?

How hard is it to play goal in New Jersey? We are about to get as much evidence over the next 3-4 months as we have over the last decade.

All of us, his most hardcore critics included, don't like to see players injured and wish Martin Brodeur a speedy recovery.

By the way, here are a few numbers for temporary Devils #1 goalie Kevin Weekes:

Career save percentage: .902 (league average during career: .906)

Post-lockout shot quality neutral save %: .888 in 2954 minutes played

Career SO: 19. Career Expected SO: 17.3.

vs. Backups ('99-00 through '05-06):
Weekes: .414 win %, 2.81, .905
Backups: .418 win %, 2.71, .905

Kevin Weekes is an average-to-slightly-below-average goalie, or at least he was one a couple of seasons ago. Weekes hasn't played much over the last two seasons, so the small sample size limits our ability to evaluate him, but if he can regain his pre-lockout form the Devils shouldn't be hurt too badly by goaltending. With the way the rest of the team has played in the early going, I think the Devils should still be a playoff team without Martin Brodeur. But if you disagree, feel free to vote in the poll on the right or explain why in the comments.


Anonymous said...

I voted barely make the playoffs. Brodeur's injury is obviously the biggest, but the extended absences of Rolston, Holik, and Andy Greene are also going to hurt this team's point total.

If Sutter can get that motley AHL defense together to play some traditional Devils shutdown D, they've got a shot to ride Zach Parise, Patrik Elias, and a newly confident Travis Zajac to the playoffs.

JH29 said...

Agreed with the above commenter
I think with Brodeur injured NJ Devils will still be a decent team. They can still make it into the playoffs with a strong overall team play and good coaching by sutter. THey are not in as much trouble as everyone says they are.
My predictions and thoughts:

Jeff J said...

CG, Elliotte Friedman says your whining is lame and ridiculous.

There is something about Friedman that just twists my nuts. Behind that placid, professional demeanour lies the innumerate and illogical mind all too commonly pumped out of J-school.

And this is just poetic. Word verification: "turdized."

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

I saw that article. I think I've seen all those arguments before by anonymous commenters on this blog, most of whom also exhibit better logical reasoning skills, although I'm sure Friedman thought it was a devastating critique.

Just the usual journalistic mix of illogical conclusions, false analogies, and non-sequiturs. People are saying Brodeur is overrated because of his defence, therefore any goalie behind a strong defence must be automatically overrated. People say a strong defence helps a goalie, but why then doesn't every strong defensive team win the Stanley Cup? New Jersey had all these great Hall of Famers, and the fact that Brodeur did well without them proves that he was a great goalie all along. Now forget what I said about how good those players were, New Jersey's playoff success was obviously entirely because of Brodeur. Etc, etc.

Anonymous said...

CG, I don't know if there are really any parallels to be drawn in this situation, but I'm just curious as to what you thought was going to happen to Pittsburgh when they lost Fleury.

Anonymous said...

NJ is 4th best in defensive rebound %... now, to seperate goalie effects from skater effects...