FanPost

On Goalies and Defense

Given the great statistical work that gmh and others have done, I went back and watched all the goals scored against us in our last 8 game trip. I watched the highlight videos, and I think I got all my notes right. (It's late so I might have missed something.) While this is a small sampling, I found some interesting trends.

27 goals were scored against us.

8 were scored on either odd-man rushes or the PP.

14 goals were scored by men left uncovered or who were closer to our goal than our own defender. (And that's not counting the 8 above.)

8 goals were from rebounds or goal-mouth scrambles. (4 from each goalie.)

4 turnovers in our own end resulted in goals.

3 goals were scored when the goalie was totally screened.

 

Looking at this list, it's hard to blame the goalies for much of anything, unless you want to complain about the rebounds (and that's valid, to a point). You might also make an argument about positioning, though almost all the goals came from rushes, not set plays, so the goalie was scrambling most of the time. The big stat is the 14 goals scored by guys that were alone or had beaten our man to the net. That's a defensive problem, not goaltending. There were also a few redirections that you can't hold against the goalie.

Another interesting thing was to see how many VERY good saves our goalies made (Huet stopping a breakaway, Niemi making two saves on a 2-on-none chance).

While this isn't a scientific study, and it doesn't take into account game situations (a point some folks like to make where a "big" save might have changed the game (like Ottawa's goalie did to Hossa)), and it is only 8 games--it still makes me quite confident in our netminders moving forward toward April, May, and (!!!) June.

Let the arguments continue.



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