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05-21-2013, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Thanks for pointing out that there were replies there. I hadn’t realized. I was watching for bolded threads and for whatever reason that thread never showed as bold all weekend. I’ll answer those points over there.
I've had the same thing happen to me with those sticky threads before.

Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
We’re talking about two different leagues though. I think that, for the most part, save percentage was closely tied to actual goaltender performance. With the exception of Martin Brodeur, from 1987 to 2004, it seemed that the goalies considered the best were also the ones who had the highest save percentages most frequently. But team style of play and coaching have distorted that lately. People should be somewhat skeptical of goalies such as Thomas/Rask, Rinne, Backstrom, and Hitchcock and Dave Tippett’s recent creations.
There's skepticism and then there's guilty until proven innocent. Look at Tomas Vokoun: What if he continues in these playoffs (currently a .949) and wins a Stanley Cup himself? Are the save percentage skeptics going to accept that Vokoun, another goaltender with a higher save percentage than Lundqvist since 2005-06, might actually be as good? Or are the skeptics going to continue writing him off for alternating seasons of high-home and high-road save percentages that paralleled his win/loss record?

Thomas is beyond that; there's no more reason to be skeptical of him. Both times he led the league in save percentage, he won the Vezina and the 1st Team with high road numbers and a margin over his teammates. Every goalie with two Vezina/1st Team selections is a HOFer. And a .967 over seven games against the dominant President's Trophy winner (1st in the league in both GF and GA) is going to be the playoff that gets talked about alongside Sawchuk, Parent, and Roy.

Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
It’s funny, save percentage just seems to have finally won the stats battle as the best simple stat that exists for goalies, but just as it did, team effects became more pronounced and now we’re in more danger of overusing the stat than ever before.
So are we supposed to revert back into the mentality that secured Lundqvist a low percentage of Vezina votes in 2007-2009: Voting because of high-GP related statistics? I think it can be overused too: Look at 2009, when 15 goaltenders landed between .920 and .915 (5th-19th place). Is there really much of a difference that can't be accounted for with special teams factors, shot recording, etc.? But when a goaltender separates himself from the pack, he should get credit.

Save Percentage Leads (50 GP minimum)
2006: Kiprusoff (.001)
2007: Brodeur (.001)
2008: Giguere (.001)
2009: Thomas (.007)
2010: Miller (.003)
2011: Thomas (.008)
2012: Smith (.000)
2013: Bobrovsky (.003)

Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I readily acknowledge that Rask as a comparable is better than what the other goalies have typically had to contend with. That said, he still hasn’t been tested in a variety of situations. In other words, his greatness as an NHL goaltender has not been definitively proven.
So if he turns out to be really good too, you have to go back and give Thomas the same credit that everyone else gives him?

Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
No one said Thomas was a bad goalie. In his Vezina years, he did badly outplay the other goalies on his teams. And I’m glad you see that as a useful stat, because Lundqvist outshines the entire NHL in that regard.
Having horrible backups doesn't make someone better, nor does having great backups make someone worse. A question of value, perhaps, but not a question of better or worse. For instance, I would never use Biron's .923 in 2011 that equaled Lundqvist's number against Lundqvist.

Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
If we’re trying to distill their eight season performance into one number, then let’s stop trophy counting and look at cumulative save percentage. Because if trophy counting matters, it must be acknowledged that for him to have an extra vezina with numbers that aren’t any more impressive, his lows had to be lower… right?
I think an isolation of a small sample of years only magnifies the importance of dominant regular seasons and dominant playoffs. Cumulatives work to lessen dominant statistical seasons by chipping away at them for a few points every year. I'll give you an example: Sakic versus Jagr. Cumulatively, Jagr only scores at a pace of 2 extra points per 82 games, but we know that there is a very real gap between them.

As for Thomas and Lundqvist, Thomas has seen 79.3% of the amount of Lundqvist's shots. For Thomas to dip down to Lundqvist's cumulative save percentage, he would need to stop exactly 2699 of the next 2945 shots. In the playoffs, he would need to stop exactly 236 of the next 280 shots. But Thomas isn't a .910 goaltender over this eight year sample; he's a .923 goaltender. And he might very well be a HOFer right now.

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