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Has it Become Difficult to Evaluate Goaltenders?

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01-20-2013, 06:53 PM
  #1
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Has it Become Difficult to Evaluate Goaltenders?

It seems like every year there is always a new list of 'top' goaltenders in the NHL, and some guys just seem to come out of nowhere. Goalies seem to constantly be moving up/down the list of the rankings. Is this because so much of goalie stats really depends on the team, or is just the nature of goaltending that makes it hard to really judge how good a goaltender is?

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01-20-2013, 07:00 PM
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I think it has more to do with the performance of the teams fluctuating than the actual performance of the goalies themselves. IMO when a team has average to poor defence like TO last year no goalie will be able to perform well. But stick a goalie behind the Blues wall and they will thrive. People will always rate goalies on numbers, which is completely idiotic in my opinion.

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01-20-2013, 07:00 PM
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01-20-2013, 07:11 PM
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Never been easy to do. It's actually probably harder now just to tell between a good and bad goalie because every goalie is almost a carbon copy of each others playing style (especially with the young guys in junior). Back when the equipment was smaller, it was a lot easier to tell who was actually really good at saving the puck, more so then now where it's just a matter of getting in the way of the puck

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01-20-2013, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by molsonmuscle360 View Post
Never been easy to do. It's actually probably harder now just to tell between a good and bad goalie because every goalie is almost a carbon copy of each others playing style (especially with the young guys in junior). Back when the equipment was smaller, it was a lot easier to tell who was actually really good at saving the puck, more so then now where it's just a matter of getting in the way of the puck
That's how I feel, it seems like I'm watching the same goaltender every game I watch.

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01-20-2013, 07:53 PM
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Harder, especially if more teams start playing like St. Louis.

Yesterday's 14-shot shutout by Halak could've been replicated by almost any goalie in the league.

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01-20-2013, 07:54 PM
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Yep. Goaltender numbers are almost a "system" stat more than a player stat now.

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01-20-2013, 07:55 PM
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You need to, you know, actually WATCH them play

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01-20-2013, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by billybudd View Post
Yep. Goaltender numbers are almost a "system" stat more than a player stat now.

huh?



Anyways, goalies are streaky. Any goalie can become hot at any time and what separates elite goalies from good goalies is them proving they are elite year after year. There is only a handful of elite goalies in the league, IMO.

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01-20-2013, 08:01 PM
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With goalies it all comes down to consistency and confidence. Every goalie is the best goalie in the world once in a while, and every goalie collapses some of the time. That's why you get some goalies who become superstars after one career season and then fall back to Earth. It all comes down to how well they maintain their confidence; in goaltending that's everything. The most consistent goalies are always the most self-assured and confident personalities.

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01-20-2013, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Newfie9 View Post
huh?
Save percentage and GAA tells you more about the coach's strategy (and its effectiveness in execution) than how good the goalie is. What are you not understanding.

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01-20-2013, 08:36 PM
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The "Coyote Effect". Coincidence, I think not.

It's always been tough. Todays defensive systems make it pretty difficult.

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01-20-2013, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDoubleDion87 View Post


The "Coyote Effect". Coincidence, I think not.

It's always been tough. Todays defensive systems make it pretty difficult.
That's a good example..in general, it seems like goalies have a much better chance to improve in the stats department if they move to the West. No coincidence that the West is considered to be more of a defensive conference whereas the East is a bit more wide open.

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01-20-2013, 08:55 PM
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Ewan McGregor
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If you're basing it of off 2 games, it's pretty difficult

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01-20-2013, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDoubleDion87 View Post


The "Coyote Effect". Coincidence, I think not.

It's always been tough. Todays defensive systems make it pretty difficult.
Yeah, you can even see some of this during and after Tippett in Dallas. Also seem to see a huge bump in Hitchcock's tenders.

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01-20-2013, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
You need to, you know, actually WATCH them play
This is the key right here.

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01-20-2013, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sharks9 View Post
Harder, especially if more teams start playing like St. Louis.

Yesterday's 14-shot shutout by Halak could've been replicated by almost any goalie in the league.
Agreed. I love Halak, and I think he'd be a number 1 on a lot of teams, but he didn't have to work too terribly hard last night. There were a couple of points where he just looked bored. I think Steve Mason could have completed the shutout.

Pekka Rinne is a beast and has made me more mad than just about any goalie could with that 'stinky left mitt.' While he is great, is he also a product of having Shea Weber and Suter in front of him for so long?

I've always wished there was a stat that could be created to differentiate in difficulty of shots, or shots faced when certain defenseman are on ice. It could be used to tell if a goalie is a product of a system or if they are a just genuinely a great goalie. Shots would be rated on a 1-10 scale. So two goalies could have an average shot difficulty rating of 6.5, but one goalie would have a 2.80 GAA while another would have a 2.05 GAA so it would be fairly decent in describing goalies. Then again this would be almost impossible to implement. If I ever won the lottery and never had to work again, I'd probably give it a shot to watch all offensive shots and rate them accordingly and call it my day job.

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01-20-2013, 09:19 PM
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Yup goaltendings success is based largely on the defensive system in front of them. I've always said there need to be a stat which tracks save percentage on scoring chances.

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01-20-2013, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by billybudd View Post
Yeah, you can even see some of this during and after Tippett in Dallas. Also seem to see a huge bump in Hitchcock's tenders.
Good point. The Tippet effect would probably be a better name for it. Too lazy too look it up but I believe Breezy's numbers didn't jump to all-star calibre until Tippet replace Gretzky as Yotes coach.

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01-20-2013, 09:23 PM
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Yup goaltendings success is based largely on the defensive system in front of them. I've always said there need to be a stat which tracks save percentage on scoring chances.
Impossible to objectively decide what is or isn't a scoring chance. Technically all shots are scoring chances. I do agree with you though, I'm sure there'd be one if it were possible.

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01-20-2013, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by NightBlazer View Post
With goalies it all comes down to consistency and confidence. Every goalie is the best goalie in the world once in a while, and every goalie collapses some of the time. That's why you get some goalies who become superstars after one career season and then fall back to Earth. It all comes down to how well they maintain their confidence; in goaltending that's everything. The most consistent goalies are always the most self-assured and confident personalities.
I like this reasoning the most. All goalies are so technically sound these days that the difference between them year-to-year is consistency and confidence. The mental game is huge in the NHL for goalies an is by far the most important trait to succeed. Goaltending today has become less of an art or talent, and more about angles, odds, and mental toughness.

So in answer to the OP, yes I think it is very hard to judge goalies today because you have to be good at reading their mental games. Obviously there are more factors at play, but I think this is the biggest.

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01-20-2013, 09:36 PM
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has it ever been easy?

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01-20-2013, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sharks9 View Post
Yesterday's 14-shot shutout by Halak could've been replicated by almost any goalie in the league.
As a Hawks fan I can definitely say that's not true.

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01-20-2013, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
You need to, you know, actually WATCH them play
Lazy cop out answer. If you can't put your thoughts into words, what good does watching them do?

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01-20-2013, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDoubleDion87 View Post
Impossible to objectively decide what is or isn't a scoring chance. Technically all shots are scoring chances. I do agree with you though, I'm sure there'd be one if it were possible.
But this where I think a system rating the shots would be affective. All shots start equal with a zero rating. Deflection would be a +1 to a +3 depending on how much the puck changes direction. Speed of shot could add a +2 if it is a blast. Traffic in front of the net could add anywhere between a +1 and a +3 depending on how many players are screening the keeper. Different areas of the offensive zone would also be rated to add difficulty to the area of the shot. Elite Defenseman on ice could possibly affect the ratings of all shots taken by making them a -1, whereas Defenseman who are known to be an defensive liability could be a +1. For every two great defensive forwards on ice would be a -1, and two defensive liability forwards would be a +1. Shots taken at different parts of the net would rate differently. Powerplays as well as breakaways and 2 on 1 shots would have a mulitplier to show the increase of shot difficulty.

Granted, so much of this is subjective to whoever is watching the shots, you could create enough of a physical meter for the shots that I feel two people watching the same shot could come within a point of difficulty of each other. But I feel that if the amount of people who play sabrematicians for baseball existed in the world of hockey, a stat like this might already exist.

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