Save percentage, style of play, and Tommy Salo ...
Save percentage, style of play, and Tommy Salo ... trying to make sense of it all. Tricky stuff, this Save% thing. A lot of anomalies.
One thing I think most can agree on is that the style of play affects it. If your D are pinching a lot you are going to create high-quality scoring chances if it works ... and the goalies you play against, over the course of the year ... they aren't going to have a great save% against you.
The flip side of that is that when your D pinch ... if they miss the pass there is a real risk of a high-quality scoring chance coming the other way. And your goalie's save percentage will suffer.
Same goes for how aggressively your checking line plays. MGM usually gave up more goals than any checking line in the league ... they also scored more than any checking line in the league. And ended up are evens in EV+/-.
So style of play clearly affects save% ... but how much?
If you look at the Oilers over the past 4 seasons that Salo has been the number 1 stopper:
In a nutshell: When the Oilers play a higher-risk game ... the shooting percentage goes up, and the save% drops about the same amount.
The Oilers make a good study, because they've changed their style, the number of risks they take ... quite a bit. Especially '01-'02 when the D NEVER pinched, MGM ALWAYS had the third forward high (if not both the 2nd and 3rd forward high).
Anyhoo, this trend makes more sense to me. Salo peaked in '00-'01 ... his second full season as a bonafide NHL #1. The revisionists would look at his Save% this year and say he was crap, that all of us that watched the games that year and remember Salo being very good ... that we are brainwashed fools. :wink: I find this extremely unlikely.
But looking at it this new way ... '00-'01 was his best year. In fact he was outstanding, and VERY good the year before. And he's been in decline since.
The Olympic year, the year of the 'boring Oilers' ... he put up good numbers ... but perhaps not as good as he should have. (A brutal stretch after the Olympics certainly didn't help).
And last year was his first where he lagged behind his opposition goaltenders in terms of Save%. Not by much ... but Tommy had set the expectations pretty high around here by his past play ... so he had a long way to fall.
And this year, though its early ... the Oilers opposing goalies are well below .900 against them. So you can't reasonably expect Oiler goaltending to be leading the league in Save% by the end of the year. But Salo ... well we've all seen the games ... he's been terrible.
Anyhoo, that's my two cents. Does that make any sense at all?
Or, wording it another way ... add up Salo's save percentage and the Oilers shooting percentage ... anything over 1.0 should indicate your goaltending might have been better than your opponents.[/FONT]