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05-22-2013, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
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?
I don't know, what side of the Vokoun debate do you think I am on? I think he's always been a very good goalie.

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.
You're overstating my degree of skepticism. I think it's quite possible he was the best goalie in the league for those two seasons; I just think the margin of victory (sv%) distorts what the difference actually was.

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.
No, over a one season sample I don't think that there's a big difference between .920 and .915. Over 8 years, absolutely. One point over 8 years? Easily explainable by coaching and smaller sample.

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?
Yes, in retrospect it will help Thomas' case if Rask turns out to be a true star that always greatly outplays his backups and posts high numbers regardless of who his coach is. That's a fair thing to say. On the other side of the coin, in two seasons if New Jersey brings in someone like Brian Elliott and the team continutes to allow 23 shots per game and he can rack up 40 wins each season by just posting a .910 save percentage, then it's going to play a part in reevaluation of Brodeur.

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.
Nor would I - it's one season! Biron's been in New York for three seasons now; he's played 44 games and they paint a clear picture.

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.
What's wrong with that? I called him "the best goalie over the last 8 years". Not "the best goalie for all of the last 8 years" or "more often the best goalie than anyone else was over the last 8 years".

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.
That's not really a parallel for a variety of small reasons that add up to a large one. Jagr's a winger, Jagr typically had inferior linemates, Jagr was much less reliant on the PP for his production, and Jagr's dominant possession game was largely responsible for him being scored on about 7% less often at even strength. It's not simply that he peaked higher, although that's part of it... I realize that's the point you're trying to make, but both he and Sakic had 8 seasons at 1.32 PPG or higher, and aside from an anomaly 1995-96, Jagr was about 9-10% ahead production wise in those years.

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.
It's not as simple as saying that. these extra games wouldn't be tacked on the beginning or end of some season, they would be interspersed along the way, and they can affect what happens in the other games that have already been played due to the increased workload. Could he be "just" a .916 goalie over 2945 shots? Absolutely, in fact, it's silly that you would dismiss it as absurd. But it doesn't really have to be a question of whether that would happen. We can stick to what actually did happen.*Statistics do tend to regress to the mean in larger samples, that's why being proven in a larger sample is more impressive. In the end, the difference is one sv% point, in a 37% larger sample, with much less in the way of team and coaching question marks.

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