Which Goalies Got Crapped On: Statistically Smacking the Stick on the Ice

Ben Wendorf
May 28 2012 01:40PM



Anybody who has played goaltender (anywhere, ice hockey, ball hockey, rod hockey) will tell you: it blows to play behind a crappy team. They'll also tell you it sucks to play behind a team that takes too many penalties, pretty much guaranteeing you see more puck than a goaltender for Mongolia.  

We spend a lot of time slicing and dicing goaltending statistics, trying to isolate variables and determine talent, but we don't always look at what kind of team is playing in front of them. There's a reason for that; lest I be guilty of bearing the lede, Fenwick Close had zero correlation with 5v5 save percentage this last year, and in fact has had a slight negative correlation with 5v5 save percentage over the last five seasons.  

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NHLNumbers Logo Contest Entries

Kent Wilson
May 28 2012 11:55AM



Just over a week ago we announced a contest to design a new NHLNumbers logo. And aside from those designers who castigated us for soliciting spec work or something, the response was fairly positive. We received a number of excellent entries which we have been poring over with serious minds and profound thoughts.

It's too difficult a decision for us, I think, so we'd like reader impressions as well. We'll forgo the easily skew-able web poll in favor of yays or nays in the comments. Share your thoughts and we'll pick the winner from the finalists by the end of the day.

Thanks again to to everyone who participated.

First up we have what was obviously the strongest submission -

Luckily it was from Nations Network owner Wanye Gretz who was therefore ineligible to enter. Nevertheless, he clearly set a pretty high bar.

Following in no particular order are the true potentials:

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Dominik Hasek wants to play in the NHL again

Jonathan Willis
May 27 2012 08:09PM

It’s hard to believe, but a 47-year old Dominik Hasek is once again pursuing a job as an NHL goaltender.

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The impact of a goaltender's puckhandling skills

Eric T.
May 27 2012 04:30PM

Photo by slgckgc via Wikimedia Commons

Bruce McCurdy had an excellent piece recently in which he tracked every time Ilya Bryzgalov and Martin Brodeur touched the puck during the Devils-Flyers series to show what a big difference there can be in puck-handling skills.

The difference was enormous -- Brodeur had 90 good passes and 8 bad ones to Bryzgalov's 15 and 10. When there was no safe pass, Brodeur cleared the puck away from the forecheckers 32 times to Bryzgalov's 13. There could be no question that Brodeur was playing the puck much more effectively than Bryzgalov.

Yet what was missing from the article was an assessment of how much that mattered. How much value does all of that skilled puck-handling add?

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Kings vs. Coyotes Scoring Chance Recap

Corey S.
May 27 2012 12:38PM

Photo by Nichole Gaze via Wikimedia Commons

It has been a year since I first started tracking scoring chances and I have yet to see a team run over their opponent like the Los Angeles Kings did to the Phoenix Coyotes in the Western Conference Finals. It may have taken them five games to win the series, but this could have easily been done in four because Phoenix was completely outmatched both at even strength and on special teams. They were outchanced by 41 overall and by 30 during five-on-five play alone. The Coyotes have made a habit out of riding the Mike Smith train to victory this season but not even Henrik Lundqvist can carry his team through a series when the team in front of him is getting destroyed.

It's been a nice run for the Coyotes but it was evident in Game One that they were on life support and didn't have the talent up front or on defense to compete with a team like the Kings in a series.

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