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05-04-2011, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: St. Andrews
Originally Posted by
I agree with Chris on the goalie issue. I wrote 2 posts in my now defunct blog about it. This was from a few years ago so the numbers don't correspond to this year.
The major knock in my analysis is that I'd compared the in game impact of one individual to a group of twenty. Please understand that that was, in no way, the case. In fact, I agree: the goalie is the single most important player on a team. That is not what I am arguing.
What I am arguing is that there is so much parity between goalies, that all starters are so good at the NHL level, that their relative impact from one to another is somewhat negligible.
Moreover, this allows me to compare the impact of one forward to one goalie and their comparative impact on the game.
The league leader in GAA is Annti Niemi (his gaa is skewed by a great defense, mind you) and sits at 1.98. The average GAA is 2.64. This accounts for a difference of.66 goals per game. Projected over a 82 game season this translates to 54 goals.
The league leader in goals is Alex Ovechkin with 42 goals, the average is 7 (his point totals provide an even larger difference compared to the average-89 to 17). This is a 35 goal difference after 53 games. Coincidentally, this translates to a goal differential (when compared to the average) of .66.
So right there, we are comparing the impact of two singular players, fully neglecting the impact AO has on his linemates (and his 40+ assists). More importantly, a star's presence provides a ripple effect for all of his teammates. The quality of opposition falls for all other lines. This is evidenced by Mike Knubles jump in point scoring despite his age
By the way, Aaron Asham recently scored his 7th goal of the year.... Who falls on the average for GAA and SV% respectively? Marc Andre Fleury and Marty Turco... Just some food for thought about comparative impact
This argument holds a lot of weight as an economic argument about how you spend money on the position, particularly past the identifiable elite. The problem is translating an economic argument about the monetary value of the position onto the importance of the on-ice production from the position.
If you want to have an economic conversation about how much one should spend on goalie, that's an area where it's quite interesting. But Shafer's argument is that goalies are the product of their team more than themselves, and therefore THAT is why you shouldn't invest in 'em.
That argument is crap.
[BTW, GAA is not a stat I would ever use to evaluate the performance of a goalie. Just saying.]
This is evidenced by Mike Knubles jump in point scoring despite his age.
I suggest you look at Knubles TOI's stats before you start making this argument too hard. The reason his scoring jumped was because he was finally given the ice time and linemates to, ya know, score goals.
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