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12-26-2007, 04:03 PM
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Location: Murfreesboro, Tn.
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*warning, statistically oriented, highly technical, long post, not for everybody*

some goalie numbers..

even strength;
mason.. .899 save percentage, 3.00 gaa
ellis...... .930 save percentage, 1.91 gaa

on the penalty kill;
mason.. .871 save percentage, 5.41 gaa
ellis...... .890 save percentage, 5.13 gaa

of course, there continues to be an ongoing argument that ellis has in general gotten better defensive play in front of him.. unfortunately that kind of argument tends to be a totally subjective based on 'feelings and observations', a very difficult thing to quantify statistically.. but let me add a couple of things here that might shed some light on those assumptions (or not)

1)even strength, mason has faced an average of 29.6 shots per 60 minutes of even strength time played (455 shots in 923 even strength minutes). while ellis has faced an average of 27.5 shots per 60 minutes of even strength played (230 shots in 502 even strength minutes)..

so on average mason has faced 2.1 shots more per 60 minutes than ellis at even strength.

2)on the penalty kill, mason has faced an average of 41.8 shots per 60 minutes of penalty kill time (85 shots in 122 minutes). ellis though has faced 47.5 shots per 60 minutes of penalty kill time (55 shots in 70 minutes).

so on average ellis has had to face 5.7 shots more per 60 minutes on the penalty kill.

3)therefore, overall per 60 minutes of total icetime, mason has faced 28.4 shots against, while ellis has faced 29.7 shots against.

while of course raw number of shots faced might tell you a little about how well a team has played in front of two different goalies, of course these numbers don't tell you the QUALITY of shots faced, which is the true key to how effective a defense is in front of a goalie compared to another goalie.

i do however keep up with an interesting site that tries to provide a little better insight to this. as most know, every single shot on net is listed on each includes a distance from the net. there is a site that inputs every single shot distance into a computer and uses that to try to determine from how far out a shot is taken to attempt to measure where shots and goals are taken from. in general, the closer a shot the better % chance it has of going in (logically). therefore, the farther out the shot, and in general the better the defense is being played in front of a goalie.

of course, this doesn't truly measure the difficulties of things like wraparounds, and screened shots from the point or deflections. nor does it differentiate a 25 foot shot from the middle of the slot (high probability) from a 25 foot shot from a tough angle along the boards (low probability). but in general, statistically these things sort of tend to even themselves out. this site has found that there is a direct correlation to distance that a shot was taken from to the percentage of made shots (not surprisingly). in other words, a shot from 20 feet has a higher percentage of made shots than from 23 feet around the league in all games.

if you take these numbers league wide from every shot attempted this year, and then see them applied to where every shot has come against mason and ellis, you come up with an "expected" save percentage and goals allowed based on the probability of these shots going in. that way you can sort of see which goalie is getting the "best" defensive support, when comparing the two.

even strength, based on where all recorded shots against our goalies have come from, using the leaguewide average, you come up with this;

mason "should" have a save percentage of .908 even strength (actual .899). while ellis "should" have a save percentage of .920 (actual .930)... what this shows, is that mason has faced more shots in close and therefore more dangerous than ellis even strength.

on the penalty kill mason "should" have a save percentage of .882 (actual .871). while ellis "should" have a save percentage of .873 (actual .890). so on the pk, ellis has actually faced slightly closer in shots.

of course, these numbers sort of confirm what i think we've witnessed in many ways. that mason overall has faced slightly tougher shots than ellis, but that ellis has outperformed expectations, and mason has underperformed.

anyway, just something i found interesting.

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