Monday, December 24, 2007

Measuring save quality

Comparing netminders' performance is always tricky business, mainly due to the fact that every goaltender has a different cast in front of him and, as a result, faces an entirely different level of shot quality. Martin Brodeur, for example, may make many of his saves on shots from a long distance due to the strength of his defenders, while someone like Ilya Bryzgalov faces far more shots from closer range.

Gabe Desjardins has been working on a netminders study that evaluates the quality of shots they face, and then attempts to rank them when compared to an average goaltender facing those same scoring opportunities.

There's a lot of data there, but it's interesting to see that goaltenders like Pascal Leclaire and Dom Hasek are facing fewer difficult shots, while Jason LaBarbera and Henrik Lundqvist have a much tougher task every night.


At 6:33 a.m., December 26, 2007, Blogger Andrew Bucholtz said...

What I found most surprising on that list was the discrepancy between Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo: both are usually mentioned in the same breath as the NHL's top goalies, and both play for teams that play a defensive system and have a reasonably solid blue-line corps. Yet, Luongo is near the top (-0.65 delta GAA) while Brodeur is buried in the middle of the pack (-0.11 delta GAA). It will be interesting to see how the Vezina voting goes this year...

At 12:06 p.m., December 27, 2007, Blogger The Forechecker said...

That's something that's been found in a number of different save quality studies, including ones done by Alan Ryder over at Not to knock Brodeur, but he's definitely benefitted from the team he plays behind, whereas Luongo has overachieved consistently.


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