Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chart of the Day

The following graph is of the difference between save percentage and league average for Patrick Roy (blue), Dominik Hasek (green), and Martin Brodeur (red). Since goaltending results are often highly variable from year-to-year, I smoothed the curves by averaging the season together with the one before and the one after, i.e. three-year rolling averages. I believe I once referred to Brodeur as having an "upside-down career curve", and this lays that out pretty well.

Brodeur's abnormal career path makes it difficult to project what kind of a decline he will see as he ages. He is already defying the standard projections on aging (check out this post at Mc79hockey from three years ago that outlines how Brodeur should have performed over the last few seasons based on typical averages), and has now come back from a 4 month injury break apparently without missing a beat. I think the observed results suggest that Brodeur is not going to decline in a typical fashion, and he may very well be able to keep up his current level of play for several more seasons.

There are many New Jersey fans that lament Brodeur's lost season during the lockout, as he would otherwise already be the all-time wins and shutouts leader. However, looking at this graph one has to wonder whether taking that time off was possibly a good thing for a guy who played both more regular season and more playoff games than everyone else in the preceding decade. I doubt we will ever know for sure, although there is a lot of research that can be done on the relationship between the rate of decline from injuries and aging and the games played and shots faced by a goalie.


Anonymous said...

man brodeur sucks. look at him break all those records. wow he's so bad. i guess anyone could have beaten those records over such a long period of time right? that's why they get broken every year? oh... wait.

Anonymous said...

do my eyes deceive me ;)

are you actually paying a sort of compliment to Brodeur?

Perhaps I am biased because I am a NJ fan, but to be honest, I feel that we would have not won 3 cups (and more on the way before MB retires) with Hasek or Roy or especially Lounou (spelling?) in net. Maybe Roy and Hasek might have gotten us a cup, but certainly not 3 like MB.

To play devils advocate, if I were a fan of any other teams (rangers, detriot, etc)... I would want nobody else except Brodeur in net for my team. It all starts with goaltending, and why not have the greatest to ever play as a cornerstone.

MB is consistent, and like your curve displays, has abnormal ability, whether he gets help from his team or not. Truth be told, he carries his team more often than the other way around, as evident in his 4 games since returning from injury. Clemmensen did not put up performances like that!

Anonymous said...

That mc79hockey guy is pretty stupid. Nearly everything he has predicted about Brodeur is dead wrong, even dating back to the 05-06 playoffs. Just goes to show how you stat junkies are no more correct in the logic and data you use than anyone else.