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.
Which is to say, just because your team sucks, doesn’t mean you suck. As a goaltender. I’m sure you’re a nice person normally.
So what I really want to look at is the crapped-upon goaltenders, the guys who fought valiantly (or, half the time, pathetically) in the face of Tambellinian hockey.
Basically, I constructed an index number based on a number of metrics, covering both the team on the ice and the situations it subjects its goaltenders to. The first factor is “5v5 Fenwick/60” or the team in front of the goaltender analyzed by 5v5 Fenwick ratio when the goaltender actually was on the ice.
|Rk||NAME||Tm||GP||Fnwk ON||Rk||NAME||Tm||GP||Fnwk ON|
|1||Josh Harding||MIN||34||44.548||39||Ray Emery||CHI||34||52.324|
|2||Niklas Backstrom||MIN||46||45.200||40||Jonathan Quick||L.A||69||52.897|
|3||Pekka Rinne||NSH||73||45.257||41||Martin Biron||NYR||21||52.933|
|4||Jhonas Enroth||BUF||26||45.652||42||Corey Crawford||CHI||57||52.949|
|5||Miikka Kiprusoff||CGY||70||46.328||43||Jaroslav Halak||STL||46||53.297|
|6||Devan Dubnyk||EDM||47||46.834||44||Marc-Andre Fleury||PIT||67||53.906|
|7||Curtis Sanford||CBJ||36||46.944||45||Chris Mason||WPG||20||54.008|
|8||Tomas Vokoun||WSH||48||46.972||46||Brian Elliott||STL||38||54.222|
|9||Cam Ward||CAR||68||47.311||47||Tuukka Rask||BOS||23||54.500|
|10||Sergei Bobrovsky||PHI||29||47.319||48||Jimmy Howard||DET||57||54.509|
I put the cutoff at 20 games played. Some of these names shouldn’t be surprising, as the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues were among the worst and best Fenwick Close teams this year, respectively. Pekka Rinne’s case being the selection to join Jonathan Quick and Henrik Lundqvist in the Vezina Trophy voting is certainly strengthened here.
Another factor I included was the on-ice shooting percentage for that goaltender’s team (in other words, not the shooting the goaltender faced, but what his team’s offence provided on the other end).
|1||Josh Harding||MIN||34||5.680||39||Jaroslav Halak||STL||46||9.835|
|2||Niklas Backstrom||MIN||46||6.223||40||Ray Emery||CHI||34||9.960|
|3||Curtis Sanford||CBJ||36||6.838||41||Mathieu Garon||T.B||48||10.584|
|4||Jean-Sebastien Giguere||COL||32||6.996||42||Martin Biron||NYR||21||10.655|
|5||Jose Theodore||FLA||53||7.091||43||Corey Crawford||CHI||57||10.895|
|6||Evgeni Nabokov||NYI||42||7.208||44||Tim Thomas||BOS||59||11.232|
|7||Steve Mason||CBJ||46||7.375||45||Chris Mason||WPG||20||11.284|
|8||Cam Ward||CAR||68||7.433||46||Sergei Bobrovsky||PHI||29||11.993|
|9||Nikolai Khabibulin||EDM||40||7.519||47||Marc-Andre Fleury||PIT||67||12.351|
|10||Tomas Vokoun||WSH||48||7.590||48||Jimmy Howard||DET||57||12.358|
Kind of a sweet deal you had there, Jimmy. Also notice Sergei Bobrovsky with the jump from one side to the other. For the next metric, I had to do a little building, taking time on-ice at 5v5, 5v4, and 4v5, then determining what percentage of the total of those times were consumed by 4v5 time.
I gave it the thrilling name “4v5%”.
|1||Cory Schneider||VAN||33||10.953||39||Ray Emery||CHI||34||8.132|
|2||Craig Anderson||OTT||63||10.626||40||Cam Ward||CAR||68||7.840|
|3||Josh Harding||MIN||34||10.547||41||Pekka Rinne||NSH||73||7.767|
|4||Nikolai Khabibulin||EDM||40||10.543||42||Ryan Miller||BUF||61||7.742|
|5||Sergei Bobrovsky||PHI||29||10.514||43||Corey Crawford||CHI||57||7.736|
|6||Kari Lehtonen||DAL||59||10.471||44||Martin Biron||NYR||21||7.587|
|7||Carey Price||MTL||65||10.414||45||Evgeni Nabokov||NYI||42||7.553|
|8||Ilya Bryzgalov||PHI||59||10.171||46||Antti Niemi||S.J||68||7.199|
|9||Jhonas Enroth||BUF||26||10.058||47||Jonas Gustavsson||TOR||42||7.069|
|10||Jonathan Quick||L.A||69||9.956||48||Scott Clemmensen||FLA||30||6.351|
This should call to mind teams that are saddling their goaltenders with tougher minutes (of their total time on-ice) versus teams playing smarter hockey. Cory Schneider’s (and Jonathan Quick’s) seasons seem more impressive by this metric, for instance.
The final measure I added to the equation was “4v5 FA/60”, the “FA” standing for “Fenwick Against.” I could care less about shots-for at 4v5, since it’s a rare event and means little for the goaltender. On the other hand, I wanted to include this to provide a little adjustment for quality penalty kills that reduce shots-against.
|Rk||NAME||Tm||GP||4v5 FA/60||Rk||NAME||Tm||GP||4v5 FA/60|
|1||Dwayne Roloson||T.B||40||82.6||39||Brian Elliott||STL||38||58.6|
|2||Ray Emery||CHI||34||82.5||40||Semyon Varlamov||COL||53||57.2|
|3||Evgeni Nabokov||NYI||42||77.4||41||Devan Dubnyk||EDM||47||56.8|
|4||Scott Clemmensen||FLA||30||75.3||42||Steve Mason||CBJ||46||56.2|
|5||Mike Smith||PHX||67||74.2||43||Jean-Sebastien Giguere||COL||32||55.2|
|6||Cam Ward||CAR||68||72.4||44||Marc-Andre Fleury||PIT||67||53.4|
|7||Kari Lehtonen||DAL||59||69.9||45||Carey Price||MTL||65||53.2|
|8||James Reimer||TOR||34||69.9||46||Al Montoya||NYI||31||53.2|
|9||Pekka Rinne||NSH||73||69.2||47||Martin Brodeur||N.J||59||52.1|
|10||Ondrej Pavelec||WPG||68||68.9||48||Ilya Bryzgalov||PHI||59||51.6|
I guess Scott Clemmensen can be thankful he was given so little 4v5 time.
Now, I wanted to put these all together into a composite ranking system, and to be reflective of the amount of ice time a goaltender sees 5v5 versus 4v5 you really have to weigh the 5v5 metrics about 80-20 to the 4v5 metrics (okay, really it’d be more like about 84-16, but the 4v5 metrics mean a little more than that).
Arbitrarily, the 5v5 Fenwick/60 and 5v5 shooting percentage ranks were counted four times apiece towards the composite rank, and the 4v5% and 4v5 FA/60 once apiece. Intuitively, then, we’ll see a lot of guys who were hurt by Fenwick, but the other factors will provide some adjustments that could be unexpected.
The crapped-upon and whatever the opposite of crapped-upon would be (sorry for the long table; please stick around for the follow-up):
I used the standard deviation for tiebreakers.
As you can see, it was rough to be a Minnesota Wild goaltender this year, and Tambellinian hockey continued to deliver its crappiest goaltending situations. Special attention should go to the players who played well in the tough situations: Jhonas Enroth, Tomas Vokoun, Miikka Kiprusoff, Niklas Backstrom, and Devan Dubnyk all managed 92+ save percentages despite getting crushed by this index. Henrik Lundqvist and Jonathan Quick show up at 22nd and 23rd (right in the middle), while Pekka Rinne and Mike Smith come in 12th and 14th. The St. Louis Blues provided a solid situation for Brian Elliott (35th) and Jaroslav Halak (visible above at 41st).
And really, a lot of the top teams continue to be represented on the right, and it’s only a greater indicator of how the top teams provide support for their goaltenders to increase their team’s success. On the flip side, hopefully this grants a little more recognition for the guys that truly had to fight through tough seasons (and a lot of crap).
If you want to know the results for any other goaltender, let me know in the comments (and remember, it’s for goaltenders over 20 games played).