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07-03-2013, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by opendoor View Post
Yeah, I strongly disagree. There's a vast difference between winning with average goaltending and winning with a seemingly average starter who performs extremely well. Over the regular season and the playoffs Crawford put up a .929 sv% over nearly 1500 shots; you can't reasonably say that he was merely "competent".

Cheaping out on goaltending to spend money up front doesn't get you Chicago; 9 times out of 10 it gets you Tampa or Philadelphia.
Exactly. Over a 60 game regular season for a starter, you're probably looking at around 1500 shots at ES. The difference between a 929 ES goaltender and a 919 ES goaltender is about 15 goals at ES. That's probably 3-4 wins, which is the same value as you'll get from a very good/elite forward. Even Crosby is probably only worth 5-6 on his own.

The only real question at this point is whether there's any ability for a team to tailor playstyle to a goaltender, which is totally unquantifiable as far as I know (at least for the published numbers we see). But there are teams that look at shot location, so it wouldn't surprise me if this is a thing that's happening behind the scenes. Like, if you have a goaltender that's weak on second saves or gives up more rebounds on the whole, you play your defense to collapse and clear loose pucks.

Regardless of how you get there, I think having that goaltending is important. The only way an average goaltender would be useful is if you paid him like 950k a year -- someone like Ericsson -- and were able to spend another 5-6 million on a 3-4 win player. That seems possible I guess.

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