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Rookie Goalie Of The Year

At season’s end, I picked Jimmy Howard as the Calder Trophy winner, wich Tuukka Rask also a nominee.  The NHL chose to overlook Rask in the actual nominations because despite his leading Boston in goaltender games played and despite his leading the NHL in both goals against average and in saves percentage, he hadn’t played in enough games.  Despite the fact Howard had a better rookie season, largely due to more games played, I think it is a safe bet that Tuukka Rask will be the better goalie.

Rask is about three years younger and is thus further along in his development at a common age.  Rask put up better numbers at 22/23 than Howard did at 25/26 (although with fewer games) and is continuing to be the better of the two in the playoffs.

There often is a disconnect in Calder Trophy voting between picking the best player in his rookie season and the rookie who looks most likely to be a bigger star in the future.  Younger players are more likely to develop further than older rookies. 

The best rookie of last year’s crop was Steve Mason.  He won the Calder Trophy.  However, I think it is clear that Steve Stamkos will have the best career of last year’s rookie crop.  That was reasonably predictable last year as a younger Stamkos finished the season well after a slow start.  This year, many people favor Tyler Myers as rookie of the year (though I pick Howard).  There is a good chance that Myers could have the best career of this year’s rookie crop (but do not count out John Tavares).  Among the goalies, Jimmy Howard definitely had a better rookie season than Tuukka Rask, but it is a good bet that Rask has the better career.

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Comments

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Despite the fact Howard had a better rookie season, largely due to more games played, I think it is a safe bet that Tuukka Rask will be the better goalie.

are you seriously unaware of how many goalies came out of the gate playing very well, looked like they were going to be great, and then flamed out?  it happens all the time.

basing a prediction of who will be the better goalie long term, based upon their rookie season, is ridiculous.  anybody who actually WATCHES the games knows this.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/04/10 at 01:50 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

At this point, it is a far better guess that Rask will have the better career.

Anyone who watches and UNDERSTANDS the game knows this.  (I can say stupid petty inflamatory things as well as you can).

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 05/04/10 at 02:44 PM ET

Steve Strowbridge's avatar

Andrew Raycroft looked pretty good after his rookie year too. It’s tough to tell with goalies.

Posted by Steve Strowbridge from St. John's, NL, CA on 05/04/10 at 03:18 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

At this point, it is a far better guess that Rask will have the better career.

based upon what?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/04/10 at 03:54 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Paul by reading the article you would have some reasons:

1) Rask is younger
2) Rask has a better saves percentage to date
3) Rask has a better GAA to date
4) Rask has had a better playoff to date

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 05/04/10 at 03:56 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Paul by reading the article you would have some reasons:

1) Rask is younger
2) Rask has a better saves percentage to date
3) Rask has a better GAA to date
4) Rask has had a better playoff to date

careers are long.  does the team a goalie plays for matter?  what if Rask ends up in Edmonton?  how good a career will he have?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/04/10 at 04:12 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

The best bet right now is Rask will have a better career than Howard.  You cannot seem to accept that.  Is it possible that it won’t work out that way?  Of course it is.  That doesn’t change the fact that probably Rask has a better career.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 05/04/10 at 04:14 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

The best bet right now is Rask will have a better career than Howard.  You cannot seem to accept that.  Is it possible that it won’t work out that way?  Of course it is.  That doesn’t change the fact that probably Rask has a better career.

*facepalm*

this is an absurd prediction to make.  it is entirely based on opinion.  there is no way to predict a player’s future, especially for a goalie.  there are more goalies who had good rookie seasons and didn’t have brilliant careers than there are who did have brilliant careers.  the odds (based on statistics, which you love) are actually against EITHER of them having great careers.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/04/10 at 04:20 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Of course you can predict the future of players.  To deny it is to stick your head in the sand because you do not like the obvious prediction in this case.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 05/04/10 at 04:22 PM ET

stayouttamalibu's avatar

That doesn’t change the fact that probably Rask has a better career.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 05/04/10 at 02:14 PM ET

I think you need to look up the difference between “fact” and “opinion”.  The only FACT is that it is totally unknown who will have the better career.  You seem to be insistent on saying that it is “obvious” and it’s “the best bet”.  That is literally your opinion, as there is nothing whatsoever that exists to make those statements fact.  The list of reasons you gave could have all been said about Steve Mason last year, and look where he is this year.  You need to learn to be able to separate your opinion from actual facts.

Posted by stayouttamalibu from California on 05/04/10 at 06:10 PM ET

Avatar

This has to be the most ridiculous blog I’ve seen in weeks.  Seriously, comparing the future careers of two rookie goaltenders based on one year of stats?  There are so many variables that come in to play during a career that it’s impossible to tell what the future holds.  Yet you say it’s a “good bet” that Rask has a better career.  Remember Jonathan Cheechoo?  He had a fantastic campaign a few years back and everyone said he finally had come in to his own and was going to be a major star.  Guess what?  I just watched him play a real solid AHL game 2 months ago.  Anyone who thinks they can predict the future career of a player based on one year should have their right to blog taken away.

Posted by Anthony Fuller from New York on 05/04/10 at 08:43 PM ET

Avatar

Wow, people get up in arms much? The fact is, he never stated it as a certainty. He said “the fact that probably Rask has a better career.” Rask led the league in GAA and SV%. Yes, in his rookie season. Yes, there are flops. I may not have the numbers in front of me, but I would be willing to bet that, statistically, a goalie who leads the league in SV% and GAA in his rookie season is more likely to have a strong career than one who does not. Sure there’s a high level of volatility, but there still has to be some statistical correlation between past performance and future performance.

So long as he’s stating that his fact is that there are probabilities that exist and indicate this, then he is being accurate. It is a fact, and not his opinion, that based on the other facts presented in this article (lower GAA, higher SV%, at a younger age), Rask is more likely to be a stronger goaltender in the future. He never guaranteed he will. If I have a dice that has 6 sides, with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 1 again, then the fact is that on the next roll 1 is more probable than 2, 3, 4, or 5. Rather than everyone going off about the definition of a ‘fact,’ I think people need to learn the definition of ‘probably.’

Posted by Brock from Waterloo on 05/05/10 at 01:42 PM 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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