Kukla's Korner

Kipper’s run for 50 wins? Who cares?

Goaltender wins are a bad statistic to get excited about already, since wins and losses are a result of an entire team’s effort, not just the goalie.  Taken as a specific example, the “Nabokov for Vezina” campaign last year was a joke, as even the most mediocre of NHL goalies would rack up impressive numbers behind that San Jose lineup!  Today in the Toronto Sun, Gary Loewen points out another absurdity about celebrating goaltender win totals:

In 2006-07, Martin Brodeur had 48 “wins” for the New Jersey Devils, one more than the record-holder, Bernie Parent of the 1973-74 Philadelphia Flyers.

Never mind that 13 of the Devils’ wins came in OT/SO ... 13 games that would have been ties in Parent’s day.

Brodeur had 35 wins in regulation, not even close to Parent’s record of 47.

Next up: Miikka Kiprusoff’s run at 50 wins for the Calgary Flames.

There are really two issues here, shootout wins and overtime wins.  Since Kipper has only 1 shootout victory so far this year (Henrik Lundqvist leads the NHL with 7), that point undercuts Loewen’s argument to some extent; and truly, if you’re going to compare post-lockout performances to historical records, one should treat shootout victories as ties.  Since the 5-minute overtime was introduced in the early 80’s, that introduces it’s own difficulty as well; some of Parent’s ties would likely have resulted in OT victories, but of course it’s impossible to predict how many.

It’s an unfortunate result of the NHL’s constant fiddling with the rule book that historical comparisons get muddled like this…

Filed in: NHL Statistical Analysis, | On the Forecheck | Permalink


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