Only when ranking goalies does 25=74 and 15 is in the middle of 1-47
Why is it that we can understand when a skater puts up 25pts in 25gms it isn't the same as a skater putting up 74pts in 74gms. We intuitively grasp that its much harder to produce a point per game over 74gms than 25gms. Yet that same distinction is never applied to goalies.
Its nuts how the NHL ranks goalies in GAA and save %. It never really tries to account for the huge gaps in games played. 25 games is all thats needed to be listed at the end of the year. Thats why a backup like Schneider with 25gms (only 22 starts) was listed at # 3 in save% and Varlamov was 6th playing in only 27gms (25 starts). Right behind him at 7-9 were Price (72gms/70 starts), Lundquist (68gms/67 starts) and Ward (74gms/74 starts).
Its asburd that Schneider/Varlamov are even in the discussion with Price/Lundy/Ward. The gap in games played between those two groups is 40+. Its FAR more difficult to do what Price/Lundy/Ward did. Thats not even up for debate.
Since Roy was tied for 13th in points per game last year. Using the logic applied to goalies would mean Derek Roy was the 13th most productive forward in the NHL last year. Having played in just 35gms wouldn't matter, hell its 10 more than Schneider played in.
Also if a goalie is ranked 15th in save % in the NHL at the end of the year. They ARE NOT in the middle of the pack. They are 15th out of however many goalies played in 25 games or more (since 25gms is the cutoff). Last two years that would have been 47 goalies. I'm no math wiz but 15 is not in the middle of 1-47. There were also a total of 83 and 87 goalies respectively that played in the NHL those two years.
This has been bugging the crap out of me reading the debates about were various goalies rank in the league etc. Poster need to stop just looking at the save% rankings and look at the overall picture with a goalie. Last year Ward started in all 74gms he played in and had a .923 save%. Yet he is ranked behind Schneider and his .924 in 25gms with 22 starts. I hope posters realize how ridiculous it is to lump these two together. As if those two seasons are even remotely comparable accomplishments. Yet its done repeatedly when posters cite the save% rankings from last season (or any year prior really)
…I'm a fan of citing SV% as a true measure of a goalie's performance. If ranking leaguewide, you'd want to take only the goalies with 55+ appearances - and even that total is modestly low in terms of a proper threshold.
I see what you're getting at, and I pretty much agree. But I don't think too many are guilty of incorrectly using the stats to prove points around here.
I think its pretty safe to say that stats are only the beginning when trying to evaluate goaltenders. I definitely factor in the number of games as well as the number of shots faced per game.
Even if a goaltender plays 50 games and the backup plays 30 that's a lot fewer back to back games than say a guy who plays close to 70 with a backup playing closer to 10. This is only compounded when looking at guys who play 25 games.
In addition more shots generally means more scoring chances. I know it isn't always perfect because there are nights where there are a lot of shots from bad angles and from the perimeter, but I think on average the more shots faced the better that goaltender has to be to maintain the same level of play.
The other problem in evaluating goalies is that people look at ranking goaltenders the wrong way. Just about any starting goaltender has been a top ten goalie at one point or another in his career; otherwise he wouldn't be a starter. What makes a goalie great is not individual performance in a given year it's consistency over a longer span.
It is for that reason that even though Miller for example probably hovers between the 5 and 10th best goaltenders in a given year that he is actually better than that. While guys like Price, Anderson, Backstrom, Hiller, Quick, Kiprusoff, insert most of the league's goalies here etc, etc., etc. have had big ups and downs Miller generally performs at about the same level. It is consistency that makes a goalie great in todays game.
Oh and for anyone who thinks it was easier to determine who was elite in decades past I encourage you to go back and look at Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur's stats. They would suck too if we're just ranking goalies based on save percentage of guys who played 25+ games.