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NHL Goaltender Strength of Schedule (2010-11 through 2011-12)

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Old
01-17-2013, 06:57 PM
  #1
Chalupa Batman
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NHL Goaltender Strength of Schedule (2010-11 through 2011-12)

This is the first step of something that's going to end up on my goaltender page (since I could do what I describe below as far back as I have game logs, so to the mid-1980s):

http://hockeygoalies.org

(Go to biographies, and then each goaltender)

This is a first attempt to quantify the differing strengths of schedule that goaltenders face in the NHL (for the 2011-12 season here).

First, I developed an estimate of each team's strength - using their entire (regular season plus postseason data), I started with each team's goal differential (GF minus GA), and then adjusted for schedule (each team's average opponent's goal differential). This is an iterative process, but does converge to a metric that estimates how many goals better (or worse) a team is compared to average during the 2011-12 season. To give you an idea of the endpoints, Boston was at the top with a rating of 0.655, and Columbus was at the bottom with a rating of -0.666. I also calculate home-ice advantage as worth 0.286 goals in the 2011-12 season.

Next, I take each goaltender's opponents, weighted by minutes against each, and find the average strength of opponent. If they played on the road, I add in half of the home ice advantage (and if they played at home, I subtract).

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01-17-2013, 06:57 PM
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Here are the results (showing only goaltenders who played at least 10 NHL games in 2011-12). The value reflects the average strength of opponent, in terms of how many goals they would be favored to beat an average team (so, if Goaltender X had a strength of schedule of 0.2, then their average opponent would be 0.2 goals better than average):

GoaltenderOpp Strength
Alexander (Alex) Auld0.281
Richard Bachman0.170
Josh Harding0.168
Curtis Sanford0.156
Andrew Raycroft0.152
Allen York0.133
Evgeni Nabokov0.118
Scott Clemmensen0.108
Jason LaBarbera0.107
Brian Elliott0.105
Jonas Gustavsson0.080
Jhonas Enroth0.071
Antti Niemi0.042
Jonas Hiller0.041
Corey Crawford0.037
Dan Ellis0.035
Simeon Varlamov0.021
(Albert) Dwayne Roloson0.020
Johan Hedberg0.017
Sergei Bobrovsky0.016
James (Jimmy) Howard0.015
Anders Lindback0.014
Devan Dubnyk0.013
Joey MacDonald0.006
Jonathan Douglas Quick0.005
Carey Price-0.007
Brian Boucher-0.008
Pekka Rinne-0.010
Matt Hackett-0.011
Steve Mason-0.013
Roberto Luongo-0.014
Michael (Mike) Smith-0.017
Marc-Andre Fleury-0.018
Henrik Lundqvist-0.021
Nikolai Khabibulin-0.026
Kari Lehtonen-0.030
Miikka Kiprusoff-0.037
Timothy (Tim) Thomas-0.038
Jean-Sebastien Giguere-0.040
Ilya Bryzgalov-0.048
Martin Brodeur-0.048
Ray Emery-0.050
Cam Ward-0.053
Chris Mason-0.056
Ondrej Pavelec-0.056
Ben Scrivens-0.066
Ryan Miller-0.067
Tomas Vokoun-0.067
Mathieu Garon-0.070
Ben Bishop-0.083
Michal Neuvirth-0.088
Alvaro (Al) Montoya-0.091
Craig Anderson-0.093
James Reimer-0.095
Niklas Backstrom-0.098
Jonathan Bernier-0.098
Peter Budaj-0.101
Jaroslav Halak-0.119
Martin Biron-0.120
Brent Spencer Johnson-0.123
Cory Schneider-0.145
Jose Theodore-0.150
Thomas Greiss-0.155
Ty Conklin-0.158
Tuukka Rask-0.234

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01-17-2013, 06:57 PM
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And for the 2012 playoffs (showing only goaltenders who played at least 3 NHL games). Note that because all of a goaltender's opponents are playoff teams, the average strength of opponent will usually be higher:

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01-17-2013, 06:57 PM
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Some observations:

Surprised that Tim Thomas was the only goaltender to have an average below-average postseason opponent (if barely) - as it turns out, Washington comes out as -0.214 on the road, and 0.071 at home, and that was Thomas' only 2012 Cup opponent.

Playing Boston and the Rangers in the playoffs gives Braden Holtby the toughest playoff schedule award.

Interesting regular-season juxtaposition between Harding and Backstrom, Thomas and Rask, and Clemmensen and Theodore.

Alex Auld has the toughest 2011-12 regular season schedule by a country mile - he played Philly, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Calgary, St. Louis, Nashville and Boston at home, and Toronto, Washington, Buffalo, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, and Los Angeles on the road.

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01-17-2013, 07:45 PM
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One thing I'd like to do next (aside from filling out the remainder of seasons that I'm able to do) is to see what the correlation is between strength of opponent and save percentage.

That may allow for some future "adjusted save percentage" based on the quality of opposition.

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01-17-2013, 07:55 PM
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Just to help me understand this, the lower the number, the tougher the schedule?

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01-17-2013, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneone View Post
Just to help me understand this, the lower the number, the tougher the schedule?
The higher the number, the tougher the schedule (the number represents how many goals better (or worse) per game the average opponent is).

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01-17-2013, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco MacArthur View Post
The higher the number, the tougher the schedule (the number represents how many goals better (or worse) per game the average opponent is).
If a goalie wins like 3-0, wouldn't this then make their strength of schedule easier than it was before the game?

And also, doesn't this just compare the goalie to their opponent's goalie instead of comparing them to the forwards?

For example, the goalies in the Atlantic Division last year were Lundqvist, Brodeur, Bryzgalov, Fleury, and Montoya. The Pacific Division had Quick, Hiller, Niemi, Smith, and Lehtonen. Using this formula, Lundqvist had an easier schedule than Quick, even though the top scorer in the Pacific was Thornton with 77, while Malkin lead the Atlantic with 109. Six out of the top 10 point scorers were in the Atlantic while 0 were in the Pacific. I don't get how Quick's schedule could have possibly been harder than Lundqvist's.

You're a goalie, right? If you had to choose, which division would you rather play in?


Last edited by Screw You Rick Nash: 01-17-2013 at 08:44 PM.
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01-17-2013, 09:07 PM
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You seem to be looking at this as a Rangers fan. I have no horse in any Lundqvist/Quick debates (although since it seems to matter, I prefer Lundqvist).

Having said that, I'll point out that (as I mentioned above) the team strength considers both goals scored and goals allowed of opposition (and not just goal scoring). If you view this strictly as a measure of offense, you'll be half disappointed.

To your other point, if you shut out a team by 3-0 margin, it will affect their rating yes. However, it's only 1 of 82 games (more for playoff teams), so it won't affect it very much.

I would also suggest that the differences in Quick's strength of schedule and Lundqvist's strength of schedule are essentially meaningless (about one goal every 40 games).

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01-17-2013, 09:12 PM
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For tracking purposes, here are Lundqvist's 2011-12 opponents (and the strength I ascribe to each).

DateOpponentLocationOpp Strength
20111007Los AngelesA0.607
20111008AnaheimA-0.155
20111015NY IslandersA-0.469
20111018VancouverA0.651
20111020CalgaryA-0.154
20111022EdmontonA-0.188
20111027TorontoH-0.556
20111029OttawaH-0.066
20111103AnaheimH-0.441
20111105MontrealH-0.340
20111109OttawaA0.220
20111111CarolinaH-0.552
20111115NY IslandersA-0.469
20111123FloridaA-0.174
20111125WashingtonA0.071
20111126PhiladelphiaH0.196
20111129PittsburghH0.474
20111203Tampa BayA-0.454
20111205TorontoH-0.556
20111208Tampa BayH-0.740
20111211FloridaH-0.460
20111213DallasH-0.254
20111215St. LouisA0.615
20111220New JerseyA0.353
20111223PhiladelphiaH0.196
20111226NY IslandersH-0.755
20111230FloridaA-0.174
20120102PhiladelphiaA0.482
20120106PittsburghA0.760
20120110PhoenixH0.048
20120112OttawaH-0.066
20120115MontrealA-0.054
20120117NashvilleH0.191
20120119PittsburghH0.474
20120121BostonA0.798
20120124WinnipegH-0.462
20120201BuffaloA-0.035
20120205PhiladelphiaH0.196
20120207New JerseyH0.067
20120211PhiladelphiaA0.482
20120212WashingtonH-0.214
20120214BostonA0.798
20120219ColumbusH-0.809
20120221PittsburghA0.760
20120225BuffaloH-0.321
20120227New JerseyH0.067
20120302Tampa BayA-0.454
20120304BostonH0.513
20120306New JerseyA0.353
20120309ChicagoA0.219
20120311NY IslandersH-0.755
20120317ColoradoH-0.291
20120319New JerseyH0.067
20120321DetroitH0.334
20120323BuffaloH-0.321
20120324TorontoA-0.270
20120327MinnesotaA-0.446
20120328WinnipegA-0.176
20120330MontrealH-0.340
20120401BostonH0.513
20120403PhiladelphiaA0.482
20120407WashingtonH-0.214

(Note that you have to weight these by minutes played in each to get the final number above, but this is essentially his schedule)

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01-17-2013, 09:13 PM
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And for Jonathan Quick:

DateOpponentLocationOpp Strength
20111007NY RangersH0.237
20111013New JerseyA0.353
20111015PhiladelphiaA0.482
20111018St. LouisH0.330
20111020PhoenixA0.333
20111022DallasH-0.254
20111027DallasA0.031
20111029PhoenixA0.333
20111030ColoradoA-0.005
20111103EdmontonH-0.473
20111105PittsburghH0.474
20111107San JoseA0.308
20111110VancouverH0.365
20111112MinnesotaH-0.732
20111116AnaheimH-0.441
20111117AnaheimA-0.155
20111119DetroitH0.334
20111123DallasA0.031
20111126ChicagoH-0.067
20111128San JoseH0.022
20111201FloridaH-0.460
20111206AnaheimA-0.155
20111208MinnesotaH-0.732
20111213BostonA0.798
20111215ColumbusA-0.523
20111217DetroitA0.619
20111219TorontoA-0.270
20111222AnaheimH-0.441
20111223San JoseA0.308
20111226PhoenixH0.048
20111228ChicagoA0.219
20111231VancouverH0.365
20120102ColoradoH-0.291
20120105PhoenixH0.048
20120107ColumbusH-0.809
20120112DallasH-0.254
20120114CalgaryA-0.154
20120115EdmontonA-0.188
20120117VancouverA0.651
20120119CalgaryH-0.439
20120121ColoradoH-0.291
20120123OttawaH-0.066
20120201ColumbusH-0.809
20120203St. LouisA0.615
20120207Tampa BayA-0.454
20120209FloridaA-0.174
20120211NY IslandersA-0.469
20120212DallasA0.031
20120216PhoenixH0.048
20120218CalgaryH-0.439
20120221PhoenixA0.333
20120222ColoradoA-0.005
20120225ChicagoH-0.067
20120227NashvilleA0.477
20120303AnaheimH-0.441
20120306NashvilleA0.477
20120309DetroitA0.619
20120311ChicagoA0.219
20120313DetroitH0.334
20120316AnaheimA-0.155
20120320San JoseH0.022
20120322St. LouisH0.330
20120324BostonH0.513
20120326VancouverA0.651
20120328CalgaryA-0.154
20120330EdmontonA-0.188
20120402EdmontonH-0.473
20120405San JoseH0.022
20120407San JoseA0.308

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01-17-2013, 09:14 PM
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By the by, I love this table format - with the ability to sort columns. Thanks, pnep!

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01-17-2013, 09:16 PM
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Here's Alex Auld - the regular season leader:

DateOpponentLocationOpp Strength
20111008TorontoA-0.270
20111015WashingtonA0.071
20111018PhiladelphiaH0.196
20111111BuffaloA-0.035
20111120VancouverA0.651
20111125PittsburghA0.760
20111208New JerseyA0.353
20111216PittsburghH0.474
20111227MontrealH-0.340
20111230CalgaryH-0.439
20120123Los AngelesA0.607
20120207St. LouisH0.330
20120209NashvilleH0.191
20120225BostonH0.513

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01-17-2013, 09:16 PM
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And Tuukka Rask - the regular-season trailer.

DateOpponentLocationOpp Strength
20111010ColoradoH-0.291
20111018CarolinaH-0.552
20111029MontrealA-0.054
20111107NY IslandersH-0.755
20111110EdmontonH-0.473
20111117ColumbusH-0.809
20111125DetroitH0.334
20111203TorontoH-0.556
20111206WinnipegA-0.176
20111210ColumbusA-0.523
20111213Los AngelesH0.322
20111223FloridaH-0.460
20111228PhoenixA0.333
20120110WinnipegH-0.462
20120116FloridaA-0.174
20120121NY RangersH0.237
20120124WashingtonA0.071
20120202CarolinaH-0.552
20120208BuffaloA-0.035
20120217WinnipegA-0.176
20120224BuffaloA-0.035
20120303NY IslandersH-0.755

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01-17-2013, 09:17 PM
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I posted Auld's and Rask's schedules so that you can see what a meaningful difference might look like. I think we can agree that Auld's schedule is significantly tougher (even if you may disagree with how I rank the teams).

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01-17-2013, 09:17 PM
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Here are the numbers that enter into my 2011-12 calculations above (both regular season and postseason).

Different people will come up with different numbers. As I described above, these numbers are the average margin of victory for a team in the year, adjusted by their average schedule (which is the average average margin of opponents' victory - that's a mouthful). It's a standard "power rating" design - which could be improved upon, but it's simple to explain and non-proprietary.

Team2011-12 Strength
Boston0.655
Pittsburgh0.617
Vancouver0.508
Detroit0.476
St. Louis0.473
Los Angeles0.465
NY Rangers0.380
Philadelphia0.339
Nashville0.334
New Jersey0.210
Phoenix0.191
San Jose0.165
Ottawa0.077
Chicago0.076
Washington-0.072
Dallas-0.111
Colorado-0.148
Buffalo-0.178
Montreal-0.197
Calgary-0.296
Anaheim-0.298
Florida-0.317
Winnipeg-0.319
Edmonton-0.331
Carolina-0.409
Toronto-0.413
Minnesota-0.589
Tampa Bay-0.597
NY Islanders-0.612
Columbus-0.666

Last but not least, home-ice advantage is calculated by this method to be worth 0.286 goals (the way I've implemented this above is to increase the home team's rating by half of this value, and to decrease the road team's rating by half of this value).

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01-17-2013, 10:39 PM
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Here are the 2010-11 team rankings - there's a bit more spread here than in 2011-12 (and I'm hoping that when I run the SoS for 2010-11 goaltenders, it's a bit more interesting).

Team2010-11 Strength
Boston0.745
Vancouver0.647
Chicago0.459
San Jose0.329
Detroit0.314
Pittsburgh0.311
NY Rangers0.293
Philadelphia0.283
Nashville0.272
Washington0.254
Los Angeles0.251
Tampa Bay0.239
Buffalo0.115
Calgary0.095
Montreal0.092
St. Louis0.070
Anaheim0.040
Phoenix-0.005
Dallas-0.071
Carolina-0.084
Minnesota-0.343
Toronto-0.415
New Jersey-0.425
Florida-0.432
NY Islanders-0.437
Columbus-0.487
Atlanta-0.575
Ottawa-0.699
Colorado-0.742
Edmonton-0.916

(2010-11 home ice advantage: 0.195 goals)

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01-17-2013, 10:48 PM
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Hmmm...seems like I can crank these out decently fast.

Here is the 2010-11 regular season:

GoaltenderOpp Strength
Justin Peters0.158
Andrew Raycroft0.156
Michael (Mike) Smith0.113
Curtis McElhinney0.103
Jason LaBarbera0.095
Anders Lindback0.085
Pascal Leclaire0.083
Ray Emery0.070
Antti Niemi0.068
Devan Dubnyk0.052
Johan Hedberg0.049
Mathieu Garon0.040
Rick DiPietro0.038
Nathan Lawson0.038
Steve Mason0.036
Jose Theodore0.033
Jonas Gustavsson0.031
Ty Conklin0.030
Simeon Varlamov0.027
Peter Budaj0.026
Jonathan Bernier0.021
James Reimer0.018
Ondrej Pavelec0.011
Tomas Vokoun0.007
Jaroslav Halak0.007
Nikolai Khabibulin0.004
James (Jimmy) Howard0.000
Brian Boucher-0.002
Jhonas Enroth-0.004
Ilya Bryzgalov-0.004
Craig Anderson-0.012
Carey Price-0.018
Niklas Backstrom-0.021
Jonathan Douglas Quick-0.022
Kari Lehtonen-0.024
Martin Brodeur-0.030
Alvaro (Al) Montoya-0.035
Corey Crawford-0.035
Jonas Hiller-0.037
Marc-Andre Fleury-0.037
Joey MacDonald-0.037
Braden Holtby-0.040
Miikka Kiprusoff-0.040
Marty Turco-0.052
Henrik Lundqvist-0.052
Brian Elliott-0.052
Scott Clemmensen-0.060
Timothy (Tim) Thomas-0.060
Ryan Miller-0.065
Pekka Rinne-0.067
Chris 'The Wizard Of' Osgood-0.073
Chris Mason-0.074
Roberto Luongo-0.075
(Albert) Dwayne Roloson-0.076
Cam Ward-0.079
Jean-Sebastien Giguere-0.084
Dan Ellis-0.087
Sergei Bobrovsky-0.092
Michal Neuvirth-0.125
Brent Spencer Johnson-0.126
Martin Biron-0.133
Tuukka Rask-0.144
Henrik Karlsson-0.149
Alexander (Alex) Auld-0.185
Cory Schneider-0.192
Antero Niittymaki-0.258
Kevin Poulin-0.301

And the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs:


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01-18-2013, 02:34 PM
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Just compiling observations here as I note them - I was trying to figure out why, in the playoffs particularly, backup goaltenders had a tougher strength of schedule than starters.

Now it's obvious (one of those things that's obvious once you figure it out ).

In the playoffs, backup goaltenders are likely to only play in relief, in a losing effort. This is more likely to happen against better teams.

(This also happens in the regular season, but because the schedule varies more in the regular season, coaches can also spot start the backup against lesser opponents if he chooses to do so. That can't happen in the playoffs.)

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01-18-2013, 02:35 PM
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Once I have a few more years in the hopper, I'm looking forward to looking at this by head coach - do certain coaches start weaker goaltenders against lesser opponents more often? Younger goaltenders? Start them at home, and the veteran on the road? (Anecdotally, we know that this is "true" - but it should be seen here if so. And do the perceived evidence line up with the data?).

I think that there's a lot of mining potential here.

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01-18-2013, 07:39 PM
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Interesting to see Rask and Schneider having among the easiest schedules in each of '11 & '12, since many are expecting quite a lot from them in the near future.

It probably doesn't make much difference, but are Shootout goals factored out of team goal differential? As someone already mentioned, team GF might be another relevant metric for difficulty of schedule for goaltenders. GF/GA ratio would be a third metric (although it wouldn't vary that much from differential). I guess arguments could be made for each of the three metrics.

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01-19-2013, 12:14 AM
  #22
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I like the goals scored by opponents angle; I could estimate how many more goals a team scored than would be expected by their schedule.

I was getting caught up in trying to figure out what needed to iterate/converge, but I realize now that convergence isn't necessary.

I'll try and work something up tomorrow - thanks!

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01-20-2013, 02:47 AM
  #23
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If I understand this correctly, you're using a team's goal differential to calculate their strength?

If the endgame is to use this result to help understand the results a goalie posts against a certain competition level, wouldn't it be better to only look at the offensive strength of the teams they are facing, and not the overall strength (half of which is based on their defensive strength, which does not affect the goalie they're going up against)?

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01-20-2013, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
If I understand this correctly, you're using a team's goal differential to calculate their strength?

If the endgame is to use this result to help understand the results a goalie posts against a certain competition level, wouldn't it be better to only look at the offensive strength of the teams they are facing, and not the overall strength (half of which is based on their defensive strength, which does not affect the goalie they're going up against)?
I would tend to agree that offense of the opponent is the greatest obstacle faced by a goaltender. Getting wins against top teams is important, but stopping shots against top offenses is also important. Almost need to "hybridize" those two elements to get an idea of how tough the schedule of a goalie (specifically) was, imo.

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01-20-2013, 10:57 AM
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Chalupa Batman
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There are two different things that I think would be interesting to know:

Do some goaltenders play a disproportionate share of their games against better opponents (through coaching or random fluctuation)?

Do some goaltenders face stronger shooters than other goaltenders?

The first would require an overall opponent strength (as I've calculated), and the other would require an offensive opponent strength (such as normalized goals scored, or normalized shooting percentage).

I'm working on a technique for the second, although I spent most of my page time yesterday trying to catch up on this year's AHL game logs. Fun Saturday.

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