Thread: Wins Skaters
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11-24-2010, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I was waiting for someone to say this, and there's absolutely no way that it's "just as valid," not even close.

Chelios beat Stevens by holding on as a bottom pairing defenseman for quite a few seasons - probably the equivalent of a backup goaltender. Whereas Stevens went out on top more or less. So I'll say Stevens still holds the record as a skater with a big role.

Seriously though, total wins for skaters doesn't tell us anything without knowing that skater's role. Whereas a goalie has to be a starter (and 95% of the time play the full 60 minutes) to be credited with a win. He also has to not suck enough to lose the game for his team by himself.

Honestly, as questionable as focusing on wins for goaltenders is, the stat itself does us something: A winning team trusted that goalie enough in net to keep him there for a lot of games, and he came through and did his part to win. Racking up a lot of wins shows a mixture of durability and trust given by a winning team (which is why I think total wins shows a lot more than winning percentage). And that most definitely is something that should be taken into account.

(Nothing against the premise of this thread - I do find it interesting).
You're right that goalies can single-handidly lose games in a way skaters can't, and that it's impossible for a goalie to compile wins by being consistently bad on a good team (because the replacement threshold is much higher). But it's still possible for fairly pedestrian goalies to compile wins with longevity on a good team, the threshold of individual talent at which this is possible is just higher. There's also the fact that career longevity in skaters shows that they were good young. If you're bad young, you won't be good enough to play in the NHL once you start declining.

I also think that if we're going to look at career, in v. out of the lineup is very relevant, as is why they didn't get them at certain times (such as political reasons, cough cough). I'd be interested to see how Hasek ranks in career wins at 28+. People remember his career as being fairly short, and I think a lot of them aren't aware he played well into his 40s and it was actually because he was in Europe, not because he declined early.

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