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08-14-2012, 08:52 PM
Hammer Time
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Originally Posted by Taco MacArthur View Post
I'll play devil's advocate (since I'm widely known as the biggest "goalie homer" on the board).

Suppose that goaltenders have much more influence on the game than either forwards and defensemen (and let's suppose that it isn't even close). That's different than what's being considered here, which is "how much more value does Goaltender X bring to a team than a replacement-level player?".

If we pictured a world where goaltenders had the most influence on the game, but where all goaltenders were identical, then Goaltender X would have no value (because you could go down to the goalie store and get another one just like him).

To summarize: the question here isn't whether or not a goaltender has value. The question is whether or not he has more valuable than a team's next option.
The problem is with the definition of replacement level - Ryder's Player Contribution (I'd hazard a guess that GVT has a similar definition) defines replacement level as the level that a minor-league player would perform at if called up.

So what these stats are actually measuring is "how many wins did the Bruins gain with Tim Thomas in net, compared to if they had Anton Khudobin in net" rather than comparing Thomas to Rask (which is what you are suggesting).

This is why the likes of Antti Niemi appear higher than, say, Ryan Suter on a GVT list. Niemi may not be an elite goalie, but simply by not making rookie mistakes, he's already contributing a lot of "value over replacement level" to his team.

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