Saturday, February 16, 2008

NYT: Southeast's problem is bad goaltending

I thought this was interesting on the NYTimes Slap Shot blog.

Ever wonder why some of those Southeast Division teams are so bad? ... With such great scoring stars, why do these teams have so much trouble winning?

Simple answer: bad goaltending. It doesn’t matter how many goals you score if you have a sieve at your own end of the ice.

There are 44 goalies who have played at least 1200 minutes so far this season, and of the five men who have the league’s lowest save percentages, three of them are Southeast regulars. Here’s that bottom five:

rank goalie, team mins sv pctg
40 Johan Hedberg, Atl 1,492 .896
41 Fredrik Norrena, Clm 1,384 .896
42 Ray Emery, Ott 1,297 .892
43 Johan Holmqvist, TB 2,288 .890
44 Olaf Kolzig, Wsh 2,591 .887

Luckily for Atlanta, they have a better goaltender than Hedberg. But Tampa and Washington are in trouble if those numbers continue.


Johnny Sideburns said...

You can't rely on the New York Times for good reporting on ANY subject these days, apparently. Seriously, that's just lazy journalism.

Moose Hedberg is a back-up goalie. He's a back-up goalie who gets considerably more play than MOST back-up goalies, that's true...but he has a better record as far as winning percentage is concerned despite playing fewer games. As of this morning his GAA is more than half a goal worse than Kari's and his save percentage is some 20 points less.

If anything Moose's record seems to indicate that the Thrashers play better (or at least harder) when he's in net for them because he seems to get the benefit of goal support where Kari gets...well, Kari gets the effort they put out against the Islanders this past weekend.

Goalie is one position the Thrashers do pretty well with, in my opinion...maybe now they'll stop drafting so many of them.

Holly Gunning said...

I don't think the fact that Hedberg is a backup is lost on the NYT, what they are saying is how did the teams get to this point? Hedberg played a lot of minutes while Lehtonen was out -- thus their record.

Something I've learned by playing recreational hockey that people might not realize -- teams play their best defense when they have their worst goalie -- BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY HAVE TO. It seems to me they get lazy when Lehtonen is in net, maybe they think he's got it all under control back there. They aren't so sure about Moose.