June 16, 2008

How to Measure a Goalie: The not-so All Star

Night in night out Ilya Bryzgalov and Tomas Vokoun faced a barrage of shots on teams that were never going to make the playoffs and what thanks did they get at the end of the season?

I don’t think the league was wrong to give the Vezina award to Martin Brodeur, posting a save percentage of 92%, he had the highest save percentage of any goaltender who played in more than 60 games, appearing in 77.What I do find mistifying is that Evgeni Nabokov was voted into 2007-08’ NHL all star first team.Posting a 91% save percentage, Nabokov finished the season with 46 wins, 2 more than Brodeur, but was rarely called upon to pull a game out of the fire in front of an experienced blueline, when compared to the youth of New Jersey.What is even more amazing is that neither Tomas Vokoun (Florida) or Ilya Bryzgalov (Phoenix) earned a single vote from the GM’s in the Vezina 1st 2nd 3rd voting system, whilst Vokoun posted a 91.9% save percentage and Bryzgalov 92%, facing a ludicrous amount of rubber for consistantly poor teams.Sure there is no accounting for the types of shot faced, whilst Vokoun only managed 30 wins and Bryzgalov 28, but they wore their heart on their sleeves for deadend franchises without a single vote of recognition. What made things even worse is that one GM gave Kiprusoff a first place vote when he struggled all season to remain above .900.Surely there should be an award that denotes save percentage, for me a much clearer indication of how a goaltender is doing as opposed to the team unit, in the case of Goals Against Average and wins, but then again there is no insurance that you are playing for the “right” team or getting the kind of coverage your league wide colleagues are. Basically if your team isn’t winning and your playing out in the NHL sticks it is clear you are being forgotten, anybody remember Di Pietro?

No comments: