Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Bucks To Stop Pucks

      
  1. #1
    Xterratu's Avatar
    Status : Xterratu is offline
    Rank : All-Pro
    Join Date : Oct 19, 2009
    Location : Zagreb
    Posts : 4,614
    Threads : 77
    Last Online : Nov-16-2014 @ 07:16 AM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Bucks To Stop Pucks


    I'm one of those guys that believes numbers mean very little. For example, Jonas Hiller this year. He has been stopping most of everything yet when facing 50 shots a night he's bound to lose most of the games. You can read David Backes is not doing it for the Blues this year. But, and I'll be honest here, some of the people writing these articles don't even watch the games. They just check his 3 points and go “Oh look, David Backes is underproducing in St. Louis”. Well if so, why the hell is his coach playing him on the top line? Watch the games people, the coach surely doesn't care if the has 3 or 30 points if his hits, defensive play and effort are getting the wins in the win column. Alex Ovechkin has had 1 point in the last four games and nobody writes anything. Then, when he busts out with a hattrick everyone will be like “Ovechkin is tearing it up yet again”. My point is that stats can be misleading. 3 goals against oh I don't know, Edmonton, doesn't do much for his team against Detroit, Pittsburgh and the Flyers, but it sure looks good in the stats department. It's a bit different as far as goalies are concerned, because let's face it, they really don't do much else (Brodeur not included) than stop pucks, so the measuring categories are quite valid. There are a handful of goaltenders in the NHL that deserve top dollar. [HIGH-LIGHT]Ryan Miller, Martin Brodeur, Henrik Lundqvist, Miikka Kiprusoff[/HIGH-LIGHT] and that's about it. No, not Roberto Luongo. Maybe even Cam Ward. In the future [HIGH-LIGHT]Ilya Bryzgalov, Jaroslav Halak[/HIGH-LIGHT] will surely achieve that status. Maybe even [HIGH-LIGHT]Tuuka Rask[/HIGH-LIGHT]. [HIGH-LIGHT]JS Giguere[/HIGH-LIGHT] is an example of a goalie that was once exactly that but is on a somewhat downward spiral. But for now, let’s just count the four mentioned above. My criterion for making such a list is: their numbers, night to night consistency and games played. A workhorse goaltender that can be solid throughout the season and steal a couple of games is my idea of a guy you should pay top dollar to. But for everything else, there's Mastercard. No really, too many teams are paying their goalies for their potential. Think of [HIGH-LIGHT]Rick DiPietro, Carey Price[/HIGH-LIGHT], even [HIGH-LIGHT]Roberto Luongo[/HIGH-LIGHT]. Sure, he has a fantastic regular season resume, a workhorse who is a beast at times and can outright steal games, but has he ever lived up to the [HIGH-LIGHT]$10,000,000[/HIGH-LIGHT] price tag? No Cup means he hasn’t. Yet.


    The major trend indeed confirms the aforementioned logic. Teams nowadays don’t really want to pay top dollar for goaltenders. The feeling is that if Philadelphia and Chicago could reach the Stanley Cup Finals without having an elite netminder we can do it too. Teams are focusing on building a top blueline, speed and skill being the top requirement. Instead of having a Zdeno Chara, Chris Pronger, guys that can do it all (be it with a lack of speed) most teams elect to pay top dollar to a puck mover and also spending money for getting a solid defensive defenceman, more often even a pair of shutdown guys. Put in another puck mover, with less money and you have yourself a good defense. Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson being the prime examples. That could stem for the fact that players of a Pronger, Weber, Chara skillset are extremely rare, but it’s also an indicator that now, more then ever, defensive depth is what wins championships. To continue with the my main point, it can be argued that a solid goaltender is required, and I would agree, but you can’t afford to pay a goaltender [HIGH-LIGHT]$7,500,000[/HIGH-LIGHT] or [HIGH-LIGHT]$5,500,000[/HIGH-LIGHT] only to have them put in a playoff performance of one Roberto Luongo or Evgeni Nabokov. Those two guys can steal games, any team would be lucky to have them, and we all saw the effect of a hot goalie when Jaroslav Halak carried the Habs to the Conference Finals on his back. That said, my view is that with a good D core, you don’t need your goaltender to steal games most nights and even a really solid goaltender like [HIGH-LIGHT]Antti Niemi, Chris Mason or Craig Anderson[/HIGH-LIGHT] can win you games. Anderson’s performance throughout last season is clearly an indicator of that. He is/was getting paid $1,500,000. Chris Mason signed a deal with the Thrashers worth [HIGH-LIGHT]$3,000,000[/HIGH-LIGHT] per season. With their performances not differing from those of elite goaltenders during the playoffs, my question is, why pay more when the result is the same? That’s the main reason high priced and quality netminders like the aforementioned Nabokov, Marty Turco were out of a job for so long this offseason. Since the lockout, the goaltending discount as I like to call it, has been more and more a factor for NHL teams. That’s what the Sharks are doing now. And if you look at it historically, there weren’t many goaltenders that were paid huge bucks and won a Stanley Cup in recent years. Nikolai Khabibulin is one, and JS Giguere is another. In the meantime, [HIGH-LIGHT]Cam Ward, Marc-Andre Fleury, Chris Osgood and Antti Niemi[/HIGH-LIGHT] all took cups with a discount. Paying the goaltender a smaller amount obviously makes it easier to build a contender. Especially if the effect is about the same. It’s one thing to have a Miller or Roy caliber goaltender and pay him huge bucks, but it’s another to pay Nabokov the same amount. The more I think about it, the more it becomes clear that the notion “goaltending wins championships” has been misinterpreted. I’d call it “bad goaltending loses championships”. Actually, the only “recent” memory of a goaltender that single handedly won the Stanley Cup is Patrick Roy and the Habs in ’93. More often than not, it’s solid goaltending coupled with a really good team plus excellent defense. So if solid is all you need, why not sign, oh I don’t know, [HIGH-LIGHT]Craig Anderson for $1,500,000 or Dan Ellis for $2,000,000[/HIGH-LIGHT], Chris Mason for around $3,000,000 or even Cam Ward for $3,500,000, but why go higher? Why go [HIGH-LIGHT]Roberto Luongo $10,000,000[/HIGH-LIGHT] crazy if he doesn’t guarantee the Cup? And that’s where the Pens negated the recipe that has proven to be a Cup winning one. In the Cup winning off-season, Fleury signed a seven-year, US$35 million contract with the Penguins, on July 3. It included a no-movement clause, and a limited no-trade clause that triggers in the 2010–2011 NHL season. Fleury completed the mentioned playoffs with 3 shutouts – a new team record for one playoff season – and a 14–6 record. His .933 save percentage was also tops in the playoffs. All fantastic stuff, but is it worth 5 mil. dollars in two years, how about 3?


    Now let’s examine Marc-Andre Fleury. Off the top of my head I’d compare him to Carey Price, Jonathan Quick, Jonas Hiller and Kari Lehtonen. All of these goaltenders boast tremendous physical potential (other than Kari Lehtonen who’s a great positional goaltender but is here for another reason), all have great potential and all are viewed as starting NHL goaltenders. Marc-Andre is earning $5,500,000. Lehtonen’s salary is $2,700,000, Quick’s $1,900,000, Price’s $2,500,000 and Jonas Hiller is earning an amount that’s closest to that of Fleury at $4,500,000. But fact remains they all make considerably less money than our goaltender. Since I consider the Price and Hiller comparisons most valid of all, I’ll analyze them in more detail. Carey Price has the physical make up that’s pretty similar to Marc-Andre. A mentally fragile goaltender who boasts similar physical attributes that make Fleury a good goaltender. Price is 23 and while Fleury is 25. Both have been rushed to the NHL and both had awesome years in their NHL past that propelled them to starting roles. Carey Price was selected fifth overall in the 2005 NHL entry draft while Fleury was the first player picked in the 2003 draft. All of those facts make this a really good base for comparing the two goalies. Fleury’s regular season totals include a [HIGH-LIGHT].906 save percentage, a 2.83 goals against average in 307 games played. During that period he won 149 contests, lost 110 games, and 30 in overtime/shootout coupled with 2 draws[/HIGH-LIGHT]. On the other side, Price has a [HIGH-LIGHT].912 save percentage in the regular season, with a 2.70 goals against average. He has played 143 games with 66 wins and 50 losses and 19 overtime/shootout losses[/HIGH-LIGHT]. Pretty similar numbers. And that’s where the money plays a huge difference. Price’s price tag of 3 million less is staggering. Think of that extra 3 mil. as a very good NHL player. Like a David Backes who costs his team only 2.5 million. And if we compare Fleury with a similar goaltender paycheck wise, one Jonas Hiller who has a [HIGH-LIGHT]career 0.919 save percentage, 66 wins, 49 losses plus seven in OT, and a GAA of 2.54[/HIGH-LIGHT] he clearly ends on the wrong side of that comparison and still earns 1 mil. more than Hiller. Granted, what Marc-Andre has, and the others don’t is a Stanley Cup, but when you think about it, so does Antti Niemi. Want to talk playoff numbers? Hiller has [HIGH-LIGHT]13 games, 7 wins 6 losses in his career with a staggering 0.943 save percentage and a 2.23 GAA[/HIGH-LIGHT]. Fleury has a lot more games and has been rather solid in the postseason as far as numbers are concerned. [HIGH-LIGHT]62 games, 38 wins and 24 losses with a 2.52 GAA and a .911 save percentage[/HIGH-LIGHT]. But, for that kind of money, he struggles way too often. His fundamentals are bad but he makes a lot up by having elite quickness and lateral mobility. With a better goaltending coach, let’s say Francois Allaire, he could probably be a much better goaltender but I can’t see him as an elite workhorse goaltender in this league. Grant Fuhr maybe, but not to knock this team down, we’re not Gretzky’s Oilers. Fuhr could survive with just making that big save because, more often than not, the sheer offensive power of the Oil was enough to score one more than the opposition. Fleury doesn’t have that kind of luxury.


    Bottom line is, we’re stuck with him. That necessarily isn’t a bad thing though. Pittsburgh fans are quick to judge a goalie that has been instrumental in their still recent cup win. But, to turn a realistic page on a already statistically filled report. Goaltending is still a position that highly affects games, or loses them. And although Fleury has not been good of late, and although his regular season numbers have not been stellar, the fact that 10GMs (in the least) would drool over a notion of getting him on their roster if he was indeed available is a thing we best keep in mind. If Carey Price can get some extra time to sort everything out, even with Halak dominating that goaltending battle, and eventually be the goaltender of choice for the Habs (regardless what we thing of that) based on his potential and talent alone, then we shouldn’t be so quick to turn our backs from a more talented, Stanley Cup winning goaltender.
    Last edited by Xterratu; Oct-28-2010 at 05:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Kipper's Avatar
    Status : Kipper is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 8, 2009
    Posts : 67,323
    Threads : 1817
    Last Online : Apr-25-2017 @ 08:36 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Bucks To Stop Pucks

    Great stuff X!

    2 things... maybe 3 while I was reading this that really stick out to me or made me think..

    1. When you were throwing out the stats you included Wins and Loses.. I hate that Wins and Loses are still part of stats. I have the same feeling in regards to wins and Loses for a pitcher in Baseball. It's a Stat that everybody and their Grandmother looks at and far too many people use it as an important statistic. same as it is in Baseball with pitchers. The problem though is that it's a Result based on entire team play rather that individual play. sure, most stats carry some sort of reliability various team aspects but Wins and Loses for a Goalie are really un-needed and useless. you gain nothing from that stat whatsoever. Take Brent Johnson against the St.Blues. He didn't get a Win. Luckily he got a OTL but still, he only gave up 1 goal through 3+ periods of play and wasn't rewarded with a win when his play dictated he should've. There's also opposite results where a goalie has a terrible save percentage, their team wins 6-5 and the goalie wasn't much help. He gets a win.

    Ultimate point here is that goalies get credited and evaluated too much based on their record and it gets weighed in for salary concerns when it really shouldn't.

    2. the point about Defense is a very good one. When you don't have a great defense, maybe it's an average one, sometimes it plays to have a more athletic goaltender. Some could make the case that Fleury's stats earlier on are skewed a bit because of the Defense in front of him. We had Penalty Kill's that weren't Average, under Therrien and Edzo we gave up a below average amount of shots against. We look at Save Percentage and it's still a Percentage but a .907% while facing 31-32 shots on goals against is still better and more impressive than a 907% save percentage when facing 26-28 shots on goal against.

    I bring that up because that's about where we are right now and even last year. I made the Article about the importance of MAF ( http://www.pittsburghsportstavern.co...ead.php?t=6618 ) before the season started making a point that our Defense potentially got a bad wrap last season because of MAF's performance. When you are Top 10 in PK, Top 10 in Shots Against, Top 10 in Blocked shots and your goalie is sporting a Save Percentage of .905% it's not the Defense. This season so far we haven't really been at full force Defensively, especially in games that Brent Johnson has played. We've been without Zybenek Michalek since game 2 or 3, Orpik was out for big batch of those games. We've had Engelland, Lovejoy and Hutchinson playing D at times and Brent Johnson has put up incredible stats across the board and has made our Defense look really good. How much better is a defense skating - Letang - Martin - Goligoski - Engelland - Lovejoy - Hutchinson over a defense of - Gonchar - Letang - Goligoski - Eaton - Orpik - Leopold/McKee??

    3. Our defense personnel wise is far better this season when healthy than it was last season. It's also more expensive and won't be getting much cheaper in the future. Can we afford a Goalie making $5 million per season while paying a Defense around $19 million per year? Goligoski is only making $1.8 million and will be up for a contract after next season in which he will be hauling in $2.75 for that season. Letang is making $3.5.

    I'll go a little bit further. Can we afford a a Goalie that for the most part puts up consistent below average GAA and Save percentage stats $5 million with a vastly improved Defense that is Top 10 in blocking shots, PK and shots against when healthy and making $19 million minimum AND you have $21.4 wrapped up in your Top 3 offensive plays (Crosby, Malkin, Staal)? That's is $40.4 million leaving less than $20 million for 10 Forward positions and 2 goalies. Add in Fleury and you have $15 million left over...

    Is Fleury value wise to this team with an improved Defense and needing as much cap space as possible worth $5 million per year? With the smallish amount of shots we allow on goal, how important is a Goaltender? Is he $5 million important or can we fill those needs with someone cheaper. With Ray Shero's defensive overhaul this past offseason would we be able to get the same statistical or better results from someone making less money than marc Andre Fleury? Coul,d Jaroslav Halak for example produce the same or better results as Fleury while be counted as only $3.75 against the cap?
    The Standard Is The Standard and The Pittsburgh Sports Forum Is The Standard


  3. #3
    Xterratu's Avatar
    Status : Xterratu is offline
    Rank : All-Pro
    Join Date : Oct 19, 2009
    Location : Zagreb
    Posts : 4,614
    Threads : 77
    Last Online : Nov-16-2014 @ 07:16 AM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Bucks To Stop Pucks

    I personally feel that the win stat would benefit largely for it to be coupled with shots faced more often. This way a goaltender can be over hyped like Quick was last year (this year he's solid) because of the sheer number of wins which came because LA scored a gazzilion goals. One can argue that ok, you have the GAA but it doesn't tell the whole story, for example 46 saves against 50 shots would indicate that the defense failed, but 17 saves on 19 shots could indicate that the goaltender failed. Still, that's all highly debatable because you never see the quality of shots faced if you only look at the stats.

    One other thing, the SO category is useless. I love it, and think the goaltenders just really want a measuring stick but as a stat it's as useless as they come. I mean what's the difference if one goal gets in and you win 4-1. Would it change so much if it was 4-0? Guided by that logic, there should be a defense SO stat but there isn't one. I see it as a goalie scalp, a trophy but it's completely useless except when handing out awards. What do you think?
    Last edited by Xterratu; Oct-29-2010 at 04:13 PM.

  4. #4
    Palmetto Steel's Avatar
    Status : Palmetto Steel is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 9, 2009
    Posts : 23,379
    Threads : 3263
    Last Online : Nov-30-2015 @ 06:36 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Bucks To Stop Pucks

    Wow!... Between the two of you guys, there's some great stuff in this thread... Great article and great follow-up.

    ... I'll just say that while I have been disappointed in Fleury's efforts/production so far this season, I haven't broken any bones jumping off the bandwagon. Fleury proved extremely valuable for our Cup run a few years ago, and I'm hoping he'll shake this funk off and return to form. If not, I'm feeling much better about Johnson than I was before his latest efforts... Lots of games left and lots of time for him to get his act together. Many teams make the playoffs, it's just what you do there that counts.
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

  5. #5
    (419)BlackNGold's Avatar
    Status : (419)BlackNGold is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 25, 2009
    Location : NW Ohio
    Posts : 18,418
    Threads : 206
    Last Online : Jul-16-2017 @ 01:31 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Bucks To Stop Pucks

    MAF is another Cristobal Huet!!!

  6. #6
    Xterratu's Avatar
    Status : Xterratu is offline
    Rank : All-Pro
    Join Date : Oct 19, 2009
    Location : Zagreb
    Posts : 4,614
    Threads : 77
    Last Online : Nov-16-2014 @ 07:16 AM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Bucks To Stop Pucks

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Wow!... Between the two of you guys, there's some great stuff in this thread... Great article and great follow-up.

    ... I'll just say that while I have been disappointed in Fleury's efforts/production so far this season, I haven't broken any bones jumping off the bandwagon. Fleury proved extremely valuable for our Cup run a few years ago, and I'm hoping he'll shake this funk off and return to form. If not, I'm feeling much better about Johnson than I was before his latest efforts... Lots of games left and lots of time for him to get his act together. Many teams make the playoffs, it's just what you do there that counts.
    Thnx man, yeah, He still has credit from where I'm sitting, that's what a Cup run brings you, but 5 mill. is a lot of money.

    @ Kipper, excellent point about Halak.
    Last edited by Xterratu; Oct-29-2010 at 04:28 PM.

  7. #7
    Kipper's Avatar
    Status : Kipper is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 8, 2009
    Posts : 67,323
    Threads : 1817
    Last Online : Apr-25-2017 @ 08:36 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Bucks To Stop Pucks

    Quote Originally Posted by Xterratu View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I personally feel that the win stat would benefit largely for it to be coupled with shots faced more often. This way a goaltender can be over hyped like Quick was last year (this year he's solid) because of the sheer number of wins which came because LA scored a gazzilion goals. One can argue that ok, you have the GAA but it doesn't tell the whole story, for example 46 saves against 50 shots would indicate that the defense failed, but 17 saves on 19 shots could indicate that the goaltender failed. Still, that's all highly debatable because you never see the quality of shots faced if you only look at the stats.

    One other thing, the SO category is useless. I love it, and think the goaltenders just really want a measuring stick but as a stat it's as useless as they come. I mean what's the difference if one goal gets in and you win 4-1. Would it change so much if it was 4-0? Guided by that logic, there should be a defense SO stat but there isn't one. I see it as a goalie scalp, a trophy but it's completely useless except when handing out awards. What do you think?
    Definitely agree with the GAA stat. It can definitely be skewed. I just hate the win-Loss stat thwe most. I find no use for it for anythying and anytime someone uses it, they overuse it as if we should judge performance on it when it's really one of the lousiest stats to judge performance on.

    Shutout is another stat that can sometimes be the result of the Defense playing great or perhaps the opposing team just having a bad night, maybe missing some key players due to injuries, penalties? A lot of things. It's a nice stat that individuals I'm sure like to have but I don't think it says much for a Goalie. For instance, I'm just not impressed with Marty Brodeur's SO numbers. He played behind for most of his career a team, dedicated to Defense systematically in front of him AND during an era where the Trap and clutch and grab was bringing scoring down and favoring goalies and defense
    The Standard Is The Standard and The Pittsburgh Sports Forum Is The Standard


  8. #8
    Kipper's Avatar
    Status : Kipper is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 8, 2009
    Posts : 67,323
    Threads : 1817
    Last Online : Apr-25-2017 @ 08:36 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Bucks To Stop Pucks

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Wow!... Between the two of you guys, there's some great stuff in this thread... Great article and great follow-up.

    ... I'll just say that while I have been disappointed in Fleury's efforts/production so far this season, I haven't broken any bones jumping off the bandwagon. Fleury proved extremely valuable for our Cup run a few years ago, and I'm hoping he'll shake this funk off and return to form. If not, I'm feeling much better about Johnson than I was before his latest efforts... Lots of games left and lots of time for him to get his act together. Many teams make the playoffs, it's just what you do there that counts.
    That's another thing too... I don't know how comfortable I am long term with Brent Johnson. I'd ride his play right now and wish we would but it would be fair for anyone to question his long term ability or stability
    The Standard Is The Standard and The Pittsburgh Sports Forum Is The Standard


Quick Reply Quick Reply

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •