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Where Does Bill Ranford Rank All Time?

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Old
12-22-2010, 02:42 PM
  #51
TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by arrbez View Post
Save Percentage isn't perfect, but neither is any stat. It needs to be put into context, no different than GAA, wins, or Allstar Votes. As far as a pure statistic goes though, sv% is generally pretty good.

As usual, I suspect your biggest issue with it is that it doesn't work in your Greatness Algorithm because it's only been officially recorded for the past 25 years.
It's pretty good, yes, and you'd be a fool to say that it doesn't tell you anything important about goaltenders. And yes, it even tells you something important when taken out of context (which GAA and wins don't really do). But there is no way that recorded save % says as much about individual performance as goals, assists, or points do for forwards.

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12-22-2010, 02:47 PM
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
It's pretty good, yes, and you'd be a fool to say that it doesn't tell you anything important about goaltenders. And yes, it even tells you something important when taken out of context (which GAA and wins don't really do). But there is no way that recorded save % says as much about individual performance as goals, assists, or points do for forwards.
For sure, but I'm saying it's the best we have for goalies.

Since 1984 when sv% was first officially recorded (using players who played 45+ games):

-17 of the 26 Vezina winners have had the best sv% in the league
-21 of the 26 have been top-5 in sv%
-Of the 5 goalies who weren't top-5, 4 of them led the league in wins, and 1 was second

Being that Vanbiesbrouck was 6th in his Vezina year, the only true outliers are Brodeur in 04 and 03, Carey in 96, and Fuhr in 88, who all finished between 12th and 15th in sv%. In each of these cases, these guys had very impressive showings in other stat categories. Brodeur led the league in wins both years, had a GAA right at 2, and played his usual impressive 70+ games, and led the league in shutouts both years. Carey was second in wins (to the goalie playing on a 131 point team), but led the league in shutouts by a mile in a pretty terrible year for goaltending (and was the first goalie since Dryden to approach 10 SO's in a season). Fuhr set an NHL record for games played in 1988, and won 40 games and led the league in shutouts.

I guess my point is, no goalie has ever won the Vezina with mediocre statistics across the board, and I don't think that's coincidence. On the rare occasion that a Vezina winner isn't among the elite in sv%, he's had a dominant season in terms of win/GP/shutouts.

So either:

A) statistics (most notably sv%) are a decent reflection of a goalie's play, and they reflect Vezina voting accordingly

or

B) they aren't a good reflection but the voters put a lot of weight on them anyways, and the Vezina voting reflects them accordingly


Either way, there's no way to improve the system short of watching every single NHL game


Last edited by arrbez: 12-22-2010 at 03:26 PM.
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12-22-2010, 02:54 PM
  #53
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For sure, but I'm saying it's the best we have for goalies.
It is the best, but I do have a problem when people look at save % in a vacuum, like that's something meaningful. Such as the early post that ranked Kelly Hrudey over Bill Ranford.

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12-22-2010, 03:49 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
He didn't crack the top-60 goaltenders (720 player picks) in the 2010 All-Time Draft. He was the 69th goalie selected, 769th overall, the 9th goalie taken in the minor league draft:


http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=785235
those are popularity contests, I would personally rank him way ahead of Kirk McLean

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12-22-2010, 04:30 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Little Bunny Foo Foo View Post
those are popularity contests, I would personally rank him way ahead of Kirk McLean
Say what you will about the voting process and fesults, but a lot of knowledgeable GMs made those picks with the intention of earning votes and winning the draft. It is an accurate representation of Ranford's place in the pecking order.

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12-22-2010, 05:31 PM
  #56
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Broduer is an example of a goalie who faced less shots, because everyone tries to pick the corner on him. His rebound control was so good, that people rarely shot for a rebound.

To me, wins are a really important barometer. When comparing the elite guys, who gets it done when the games matter the most?

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12-22-2010, 05:38 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by superroyain10 View Post
Broduer is an example of a goalie who faced less shots, because everyone tries to pick the corner on him. His rebound control was so good, that people rarely shot for a rebound.

To me, wins are a really important barometer. When comparing the elite guys, who gets it done when the games matter the most?
"Wins" definitely tell you something about a goalie - it tells you that he was durable enough to play lots of games and that a winning team trusted him enough to make him their starter for a lot of games, and he did his part to help his team win the game (and the psychological aspect of a team trusting their goaltender is an important consideration that isn't often addressed here). Basically, I see wins as a measure of goaltender reliability more than elite or peak performance (which save % roughly shows, as do some more advanced stats). But reliability is definitely one important thing you want in your goalie.

When evaluating goaltenders, I like to look at all their stats plus a healthy amount of observing them during big games (generally the playoffs).

All-Star voting is a really good source of information on how a goalie performed in the regular season, at least pre-1967 when the voters got a chance to watch every goalie play a significant number of games per season. The more teams, the less "accurate" awards voting becomes, I think.

Edit: I'm not sure I agree that Brodeur made shooters pick corners more than a goalie with a better save %. Though his superior ability with his stick likely encouraged shooters to rush their shots more than your average goaltender, so maybe there is some truth to that.


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12-23-2010, 12:41 AM
  #58
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
You guys really think save percentage by itself tells as much about a goaltender as points do about a skater? Seriously?
The comparison fits in that they're the most meaningful hockey card stats for players and goaltenders, assuming the goaltender played a reasonable number of games.

But points are obviously more meaningful. Partly because playing time is built into points, and better players get more playing time. Also, from a historical perspective, save percentage absolutely must be adjusted to compare across eras - a great number in one era is a terrible number in another era. Points can be superficially compared across eras without adjusting, so they are more usable in a historical sense.

But it's really an unfair comparison. Of course points are more meaningful than save percentage, because everything is more meaningful about skaters than goaltenders. Goalies are hard to evaluate, whether by the eye test or by statistics. You could pick out Mario Lemieux as the best skater by watching one shift. How long would it take to identify Dominik Hasek as the best goaltender? Ask Mike Keenan. Nobody knows anything about goaltenders, compared to skaters.

From a statistical point of view, save percentage is the best measure of individual performance. But it includes a ton of random variation and some amount of team performance (depending on the level of play and parity in the league). By the time you have enough data to draw conclusions on a goalie, his career might be over. And I don't think most NHL coaches or decision makers know anything more about goalies than the results/stats. Certainly nobody in the Ottawa Senators organization ever has.

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12-23-2010, 03:37 AM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
"Wins" definitely tell you something about a goalie - it tells you that he was durable enough to play lots of games and that a winning team trusted him enough to make him their starter for a lot of games
A winning team trusted him enough to make him the starter? Couldn't also mean that he was a completely average goalie who played on a team who only needed an average goalie to get lots of wins? That he was the goalie they had, and the goalie that was available, and he was competent, so they went with him? Like, Osgood in Det, for example? I think wins tell you a hell of a lot more about the team than they do about the goalie.

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12-23-2010, 07:15 AM
  #60
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Always liked Ranford but would never put him on a top 50 list for all-time goalies.

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12-23-2010, 08:13 AM
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bunny Foo Foo View Post
those are popularity contests, I would personally rank him way ahead of Kirk McLean
Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Say what you will about the voting process and fesults, but a lot of knowledgeable GMs made those picks with the intention of earning votes and winning the draft. It is an accurate representation of Ranford's place in the pecking order.
I dunno if we're talking career value I could easily see people taking McLean ahead of him too. (I don't participate in the ATD at all)

They have similar career stats but McLean has a better GAA and more wins in less games regular season.

They both have a couple of defining moments though:

Ranford was a very deserving Conn Smythe winner in his cup run and was very strong in his Canada Cup too.

McLean had an amazing finals run and was actually better in his than Ranford was when he won it all. (in my opinion)

I don't think they are far off each other at all but McLean could easily be taken ahead of Ranford. I could see a case either way though.

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12-23-2010, 09:27 AM
  #62
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
I dunno if we're talking career value I could easily see people taking McLean ahead of him too. (I don't participate in the ATD at all)

They have similar career stats but McLean has a better GAA and more wins in less games regular season.

They both have a couple of defining moments though:

Ranford was a very deserving Conn Smythe winner in his cup run and was very strong in his Canada Cup too.

McLean had an amazing finals run and was actually better in his than Ranford was when he won it all. (in my opinion)

I don't think they are far off each other at all but McLean could easily be taken ahead of Ranford. I could see a case either way though.
It is really amazing how closely their careers mirror eachother. They entered the league the same year, played around the same amount of games in the 80s, both had late career journeyman phases as pretty marginal backups in the dead puck era. McLean generally is a bit better in wins ratio and GAA while Ranford has a better career SV%, by the slimmest of margins.

Ranford's lower wins ratio and GAA can largely be explained by one fact -- during the Oilers mid-90s era of terribleness, he was starting upwards of 70 games a season. When the Canucks went through their similar stretch of terribleness, McLean generally split duties, playing around 40 games a year.

Those extra 20-30 crappy starts a year on repugnant teams over 4 year windows of "badness" could account for a lot of the differences between them. Both goalies were posting GAA's in the high 3's during those phases, as opposed to career averages in the low 3's.

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12-23-2010, 09:53 AM
  #63
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Originally Posted by Injektilo View Post
A winning team trusted him enough to make him the starter? Couldn't also mean that he was a completely average goalie who played on a team who only needed an average goalie to get lots of wins? That he was the goalie they had, and the goalie that was available, and he was competent, so they went with him? Like, Osgood in Det, for example? I think wins tell you a hell of a lot more about the team than they do about the goalie.
One of the most important aspects of being a goaltender is consistency - in other words, not blowing games for your team.

Being consistently "average" for a long period of time is a great accomplishment for a goaltender, given the hot and cold nature of the position.

And I never denied that "wins" was a team stat overall. All goalie stats are team-dependent, none moreso than wins (for obvious reasons). But that doesn't mean that wins tells us nothing about a goaltender.

(Note I am specifically talking about accumulated wins, and not winning percentage).

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12-23-2010, 09:54 AM
  #64
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Originally Posted by WilliamRanford View Post
It is really amazing how closely their careers mirror eachother. They entered the league the same year, played around the same amount of games in the 80s, both had late career journeyman phases as pretty marginal backups in the dead puck era. McLean generally is a bit better in wins ratio and GAA while Ranford has a better career SV%, by the slimmest of margins.

Ranford's lower wins ratio and GAA can largely be explained by one fact -- during the Oilers mid-90s era of terribleness, he was starting upwards of 70 games a season. When the Canucks went through their similar stretch of terribleness, McLean generally split duties, playing around 40 games a year.

Those extra 20-30 crappy starts a year on repugnant teams over 4 year windows of "badness" could account for a lot of the differences between them. Both goalies were posting GAA's in the high 3's during those phases, as opposed to career averages in the low 3's.
Just a few saves in 1999 playoffs would have been nice. But while Osgood was out hurt he couldn't stop a beachball.

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12-23-2010, 10:13 AM
  #65
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Originally Posted by CC Chiefs View Post
Just a few saves in 1999 playoffs would have been nice. But while Osgood was out hurt he couldn't stop a beachball.
By 1999, both Ranford and McLean were incredibly outclassed and not good goalies. With the way the game was changing, I was surprised they were still finding work. They were both still posting SV% in the .885 range, when .900 was considered the absolute baseline.

In the era vs era thread, we talk about how the better players from the 80s managed to excel no matter which era they were in. With goaltenders, I think it might be a different story, in that they fundamentally learn how to play the game a certain way and may have problems adapting that style to new advances in techniques/coaching/etc. Ranford and McLean would be exhibits A and B in that analysis. Muscle memory may just be too strong to overcome.

Imagine Ranford playing the percentages in a wide butterfly on a 2 on 1, rather than flying across with a pad stack? It was just never going to happen, that's who he was. Hell, he played that way in the 2003 Heritage Classic too.

Edit: Just looked it up, their placements on the all-time wins list is one after the other. Do two goaltenders have more parallel careers than this??

46. Kirk McLean 245
47. Bill Ranford 240


Last edited by WilliamRanford: 12-23-2010 at 11:40 AM.
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12-23-2010, 11:19 AM
  #66
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TDMM is making very good posts in this thread.

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12-23-2010, 11:39 AM
  #67
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I think Bill Ranford probably deserved a better fate in terms of the quality of team that he had in front of him. From 1990-92 he proved he could take good or decent teams and make them better (Conn Smythe in 1990, Conference Finals in 1992) and largely the mid-90's Oilers weren't bad teams because of goaltending. This is more hypothetical, but I think if he played on a contender, or at least playoff teams during his prime he would have had more stats to back his career. At the very least he would have kept his status as an elite goaltender (top 10) for a longer period during his playing days, but it probably doesn't effect his position in the all-time great goaltender's list.

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