by PuckStopsHere on 08/17/12 at 07:40 PM ET
A few days ago I posted the top 20 players in 2011/12 by goals versus threshold. Today I will look at the flip side. These are the worst 20 players by this method. Goals versus threshold was developed by Tom Awad as a quick and dirty method to give one numerical rank to any given player. Its strength is its relative simplicity. Its weakness is that it is not well calibrated between different positions. Goaltenders are easiest to evaluate using their saves percentage, thus goaltenders tend to dominate both top player and worst player lists. Position players who make these lists make them largely because of their offensive ability or lack of it. Defence is tough to evaluate sabermetrically and is the weakest portion of this method.
Here are the 20 worst players in 2011/12 by goals versus threshold:
This list has 18 goalies and 2 forwards. Obviously goalies are over-represented. Some goalies on this list barely played in the NHL at all last season. Marty Turco and Brad Thiessen played five games each. Rick DiPietro only played 8 games. They did not play well in those games but are singled out largely because it is easier to locate a goalie with a poor saves percentage than a poor position player.
There are two players who are significant leaders on this worst list in Dwayne Roloson and Steve Mason. Both had poor years in goal and played a lot of games. Roloson’s career is likely over now and Mason will have a tough time getting as many games played in the future, though it is alarming that his apparent replacement in Sergei Bobrovsky is ninth on this list.
The two non-goalies on this list are Nino Niederreiter and Tim Jackman who played significant numbers of games and didn’t score much. They were both one goal scorers at forward.
Goals versus threshold is a good quick and dirty method to rank individual players. It over selects goaltenders. This is especially true on this worst player list. It defies logic to claim that 18 of the 20 worst players in the NHL were all goalies last season.
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