by PuckStopsHere on 09/11/10 at 02:03 AM ET
Yesterday, I posted the top 20 scorers by shootout goals versus threshold. In order to complete looking at shootouts in the goals versus threshold system, I will look at goaltender success in this system. Tom Awad developed the goals versus threshold system in an attempt to measure how much value a player has above a replacement player.
Here are the top twenty goalies by shutout goals versus threshold in the 2009/10 season:
Shootout Goals Allowed
These stats were compiled by behind the net.
Goalies face several shooters in a shootout, whereas a shooter only has one shot in a given shootout. Thus many of these goalies have far more shots faced in the shootout than the top shooters have shots taken. That doesn’t stop players from making this top 20 list with little shootout chances. Kari Lehtinen is the extreme example. He was in one shootout and stopped all four shots he faced and makes 19th spot in the list. Clearly, there are not enough shots faced to show that this result is repeatable and not merely a fluke result from limited trials.
The top four goalies in Antti Niemi, Pekka Rinne, Evgeni Nabokov and Ilya Bryzgalov have sufficient shots faced that their shootout ability is probably real. In 2008/09, Rinne and Nabokov were among the top shootout goalies, Bryzgalov did not have the same success (he only stopped half of the shots he faced) and Niemi was not in the NHL.
The shootout can be extremely important in the valuation of these players. Antti Niemi was worth 11 goals versus threshold last year in the regular season and over 30% of them came on the shootout. This shows that the shootout is far too important in the NHL results. It is a skills competition that is often essentially a coin toss that largely serves to keep the standings random and help ensure a false parity in the NHL.
A couple goalies have enough shots faced to show that they are strong in the shootout. Evgeni Nabokov and Pekka Rinne are the two goalies who have the best case to show they are strong shootout goalies. It turns out that wasn’t enough keep Nabokov in the NHL.
The shootout is relatively simple to analyze statistically and i have little doubt that Tom Awad has got it right in this portion of his goals versus threshold system. The remaining question is in the repeatability of shootout results, given how few trials are involved in a season.
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