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07-03-2013, 12:05 PM
Bleach Clean
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Originally Posted by Proto View Post
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.

That's the idea. Spend that money elsewhere to get the same overall benefit. Only now, the value of said player is clearly higher than the equivalent value in net. Further, that 3-4 win doesn't have the age/mental concerns we know Luongo will have.

As far as the math goes, I have seen and have looked into exactly this difference in sv% vs goals allowed resulting in W/L. I understand the logic. I just don't think it's that important anymore given the competence of goaltenders, on average, around the league. If one could pull a Thomas off the scrap heap, and he ends up giving said team a .920 sv%, then they are benefitted by being able to spend the money elsewhere. Who knows? Maybe you only get a 1-2 game drop from the switch from elite to good, but then make up an even greater difference with the better forward you are able to add? The net gain may be 3-4 games of improvement overall.

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