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Top 20 Careers By Goaltending Point Shares

Today I continue my look at Justin Kubatko’s point share system.  I will look at the top careers by goaltending point shares.  I have already listed the top seasons by offensive point shares and the top seasons by defensive point shares.  This is the final piece and the only piece that evaluates goaltending.

The point share system is an attempt to give credit to individual team wins to individual players.  The goaltending portion attempts to give a share of the calculated goals prevented by the team to a goalie.  It is at best an approximate measure.  This ranking will attempt to measure how approximate it is.

Top 20 Careers By Goaltending Point Shares
Goalie Pt Shrs
1Patrick Roy


2Martin Brodeur


3Terry Sawchuk


4Tony Esposito


5Glenn Hall


6Jacques Plante


7Curtis Joseph


8Ed Belfour


9Dominik Hasek


10John Vanbiesbrouck


11Roberto Luongo


12Rogie Vachon


13Sean Burke


14Harry Lumley


15Gump Worsley


16Tomas Vokoun


17Grant Fuhr


18Tom Barrasso


19Bernie Parent


20Billy Smith


For a large part this system tends to select goaltenders who play lengthy careers.  This list contains the top 14 goalies by games played.  Merely surviving long enough to play a long career will get you on this list.  A player like Sean Burke who is 12th all time in games played ranks 13th in goaltender point shares.  This ranking is too high for his talent level.  It shows that merely playing a lot of games gets you highly ranked.

Top goalies who didn’t play as many games but were very instrumental to their team’s success do not get enough credit.  Dominik Hasek is the best example and he ranks ninth.  This is an improvement from his ranking of 20th in goaltender games played.  He should be higher ranked but too much of success in this system comes from playing a lot of games.

The exception to that rule comes from the more modern goalies.  If a goalie played in the era when shots are recorded and faced a lot more shots than most goalies in the list he will get more highly ranked.  The examples of this are Roberto Luongo and Tomas Vokoun, who both spent significant time in the Florida Panther system. 

The goaltender’s portion of the point share system is somewhat like the defensive portion.  If you play a lot of games you will get a large portion of the share of goals prevented.  Goal prevention is an inherently team based skill and it is shared between all players involved in this system.  It doesn’t properly credit a player if he is the key to a team’s goal prevention and this underrates top goalies such as Dominik Hasek.

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Since this is a counting stat, doesn’t it make sense that games played would correlate strongly with a good ranking on a career list? The longer you play, the more opportunities you have to contribute “points” to your team over the course of your career (unless, of course, you’re starting to accumulate negative point shares by the end of your career).

I apologize for kicking up a lot of dust here, since I generally agree with your premise that GPS are a fairly weak approximation, and can give too much credit to competent-but-unspectacular guys like Burke.

But I’m going to run with this a bit. Take your Hasek example. I think he’s the best goalie to come along in at least the last several decades, and maybe the best goalie of all time.

But while I do think ninth place is a little low, I don’t think it’s an unreasonable approximation for this sort of list. Hasek is 20th all time in games played. He is 11th all-time in wins. His ranking on this list suggests that his cumulative total of “points won” based individual play exceeds what one would expect from his raw win total, and is exceptionally high for a goalie with as few games played. Consider that many of the players in Hasek’s neighborhood on this list required 100+ games more than Hasek to “win” a similar amount of points for their respective teams as he did.

The fact that Hasek is ninth on this list, even though most would agree that he’s much better than the ninth-best goalie of all time, does not prove the system failed. Bottom line, just like with wins and shutouts, Hasek didn’t play enough NHL games to acquire more point shares over the course of his career. So it goes.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 09/12/11 at 03:47 AM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

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