Better or worse: Goaltending

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It’s been a busy summer for the Calgary Flames. They’ve made key additions via both the trade route and free agency while also taking care of some crucial in-house matters. With training camp on the horizon, I thought it would be a good time to truly evaluate how much better (or worse) the Flames have made themselves since May. We’ll start by looking at an area that has seen the least change this summer: goaltending.

Later on this week, we’ll focus in on Calgary’s blueline and group of forwards, because there’s been far more movement there. But just because the Flames haven’t made any massive changes to their goaltending tandem (trio?) doesn’t mean there’s not a lot to delve into. At each position we’ll take a look at how Calgary has gotten potentially better and potentially worse, and make a final verdict at the end.

For Better

Continuity. The Flames have made precisely zero changes to their NHL group of goaltenders, as Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo, and Joni Ortio are all under contract once again for the 2015-2016 season. Since Miikka Kiprusoff, that really hasn’t been the case, as we’ve seen a revolving door at the position. We’ve seen Joey MacDonald, Reto Berra, Leland Irving, and Danny Taylor all come and go. I’m not saying retaining any of those gents was the way to go, but there is something to be said for a little continuity.

Calgary enters a season with the same goaltending group as the year prior for the first time since the fall of 2011. That year it was Kiprusoff and Henrik Karlsson, but for the case of this argument, it doesn’t matter much who the goalies are. The fact the Flames have the same group this year provides familiarity and comfort, so I think it can be considered a positive.

Competition. I think it’s pretty clear Calgary is going to push for an open competition between all three of their goalies with pro experience. While Hiller probably has the edge as the night one starter, that’s not going to be declared at any point during camp or the preseason. And I can’t imagine that mindset changing through the regular season, much like it was last year.

Where this enters the “potentially better” category, though, is the addition of Orito to the mix during camp. Ortio wasn’t really a threat to take a job prior to last year, but he did pick up some much needed victories for the team in January. That raises his stock heading into this year’s camp, and the theory would suggest all that competition pushes each individual in this trio.

Potential. You could make the argument that two of these goalies still have a ceiling to reach at the NHL level. Now, having a potential ceiling and actually attaining that height or different things, but it’s better than being someone like me who’s always out kicking his coverage. I still think both Ramo and Ortio have more that can be shown, but whether or not we see that is a different story.

At 29, Ramo is by no means young, but he gives us glimpses of really outstanding stuff. This will be just his third year back in the NHL after four years away, so the hope would be his consistency level rises with his comfort level. Ortio, on the other hand, has potential because of his age and experience level. Ortio is still only 24 and he’s not that far removed from a sparkling 2013-2014 AHL season where he posted a 0.926 save percentage in 37 appearances.

For Worse

No number one. Bob Hartley was steadfast in his defiance in naming a number one goaltender last year. For the most part, that worked out, as Hartley had a pretty good knack for knowing when to stick with the hot hand and when to make a change. That said, I think lots would agree that having a true number one guy is the way to go.

Finding an elite goalie of the Price or Lundqvist level is hard, and you have to be lucky to do so. But the majority of the high end teams have a guy they can at least count on for number one minutes. Corey Crawford and Ben Bishop aren’t in the elite class of their position, but Chicago and Tampa, respectively can count on them for around 60 starts a year. The Flames don’t have that, and the hope would be they will in the not-so-distant future.

Regression. You’re going to see this one at least one more time in these evaluations. Applying it goaltending this time focuses in directly on Hiller. I know there were many who were critical of Hiller throughout the season for allowing early goals, but the truth is, he was Calgary’s most consistent tender. With a 0.918 save percentage (0.927 at even strength), Hiller gave the Flames their best chance to win in the long run. There is a worry, though.

Hiller’s year last year was his best in quite some time. His prior three years with the Ducks were average at best, which is why they let him walk in free agency when his contract comes to an end. Prior to his spell with vertigo, Hiller was in the NHL’s elite class of goaltenders, but hasn’t been able to return there since. Last year was a pretty decent year, but it was Hiller’s first in four. It’s fair to ask, then, whether that was the norm or the exception.

Average ability (so far). The last blurb focused on Hiller, while this one applies to Ortio and Ramo. While we already talked about the potential both goalies have, there’s also the matter of their NHL resumes to date. The fact is, neither resume reads like a must hire.

Ramo’s 0.912 save percentage last season is the highest he’s ever posted in the NHL. With more consistency, sure I could see that number being much higher. But being a consistent goalie at the highest level is perhaps the hardest thing there is, and it’s not necessarily something you just “find”. It’s what separates tandem goalies from number ones. Ramo has been an inconsistent NHL goaltender, regardless of what might happen down the road.

As for Ortio, I can’t say I’ve been floored by his limited body of NHL work. I know his win-loss record is pretty decent and there was a lot of excitement during his four game win streak in January. However, from what I’ve seen, and certainly from what the numbers say, there’s a lot of work still to be done. In 15 games, Ortio’s career save percentage is 0.899. Despite it being a very small body of work, it’s rather unimpressive.

Early Verdict

Likely unchanged. I know going with this final verdict isn’t what you’d call controversial, but it’s the honest truth. Calgary’s goaltending for the coming season could be slightly better if Ortio and Ramo take a step forward. It could be slightly worse if Hiller’s form comes back closer to what it was the prior three years. But if what usually happens occurs, things will balance out this group will probably a middle of the pack unit once again.

It’s my belief the Flames will need to have a true number one emerge for them to take the final step to being a Stanley Cup contender. The good news is they have young goalies in the system and they have a few years for this to happen. In the short term, though, I can see Calgary returning to the playoffs this season with the group they have between the pipes.

  • KACaribou

    Goalie stats virtually rely solely on the team in front of them. Save percentage is BS.

    Patrick Roy only played on good teams. When Monteral sucked he quit. He knew he wasn’t going to the HOF on that crap team. The only goalie I can remember making any difference on a bad team was Hasek, and perhaps Kipper for a couple of seasons. The rest are interchangeable.

    Put Price on Edmonton just as an experiment. Would he really be leading the league in save percentage? Don’t bloody think so! Yet I hear those radio guys talking like he is the greatest goalie ever based on his stats. RIGHT! What happened when Dubnick went from Edmonton to a vg team? Suddenly he’s one of the best goalies in the league. Duh

    Ramo and Hiller have different save percentages on Calgary only because they have both played a finite amount of games. In another 100, I bet the stats even out the other way.

    I think we have three good goalies. We only need two, so one will likely be packaged. It doesn’t matter. The Flames’ net will improve as does the team, I guarantee it.

    • I don’t know if it’s possible for me to disagree with you more.

      First off, the assertion that “save percentage is BS” is, well, BS in and of itself. It is by far the best, and really only, way to truly evaluate a goaltender statistically. Does it depend on the team? Yeah, maybe a little, but a good goalie will make saves on any team…Cory Schneider last year on a horrid New Jersey team is a perfect example. In fact, that flies in the face of your “bad goalies are bad on bad teams”. Nope, Schneider was superb on a bad team. And there are numerous other examples of just that every single year.

      Hiller was a more consistent goaltender than Ramo last year. He made more saves that Ramo did. You can’t argue that, because the facts are iron clad.

      • KACaribou

        I know you disagree, I listen to your opinion regularly. That doesn’t mean my opinion is wrong. Save percentage is not by far the best, in that it will fluctuate greatly between teams the goalie plays on. If it was an extremely relevant stat as you claim, it would be consistent from team to team like if a .300 hitter in baseball went from the Jays to your beloved Expos (back in the day). That stat remains consistent so it is relevant. Save % does not so it can’t be what you claim.

        Finding one sample to fit into your theory doesn’t make a theory correct. Find a theory all samples fit into and then you know you have something.

        Hiller plays a safer game, that’s all. I don’t personally care for his style. It’s safe but unsensational. The peak isn’t as high as Ramo’s can be. It may be what you like in a goalie, but I would contest that Hasek didn’t play a very safe game but his peak was the highest ever.

        • But I would contest that it does carry over. The truly good, number one goalies don’t fluctuate like you suggest. Schneider was good in Vancouver and New Jersey. Hasek is a great example by you, because I agree…the best ever. But he was incredible on fairly mediocre Buffalo teams.

          Of course a team influences the number. Chris Osgood is a good example historically. But how is that different from a hitter having a better average on a more stacked lineup where there are less options for opposing pitchers? If you’ve got elite talent around you, yeah, it helps. But Mike Trout is Mike Trout anywhere.

          That’s why even strength save percentage is the best indicator. Much like batting average can be influenced, so can overall save percentage. But far more often than not, a goalie’s even strength number carries over regardless of team situation. Of course there are exceptions, like your Dubnyk example earlier. But they are exceptions to the norm.

          It’s not a BS stat. It’s as accurate as you can get for a goalie. And it’s far more relevant than you’re giving it credit for, IMO.

          • KACaribou

            I like your well-thought-out argument Pat.

            I am saying it is weird how all the good teams seem to have good goalies. If your stat was correct, I would say the bottom teams’ goalies would have higher save percentages than the goalies on the top teams probably 1/2 the time.

            Some bottom teams have excellent defense or great forwards but lack elsewhere. So it figures many bottom teams would also have great goalies.

            Osgood proves that great teams don’t necessarily have to have great goalies, just good ones.

            Every goalie in the NHL is good. Why then do all the top teams seems to have goalies with better save percentages than bottom teams? Why does Dubnyk go from a terrible percentage to near the top in the league just by changing to a top team?

            There are also other factors. Was it my imagination or did Hiller give up a soft first goal a lot? There are times in a game where a goalie can be lax, like when the team is up 6-1. So what if he gives up two more at that point?! Only his save percentage suffers, nothing important like winning and losing. I hate when a goalie gives up a bad first goal to put the team behind.

            You know who was a great example of this was our beloved Mike Vernon. If the Flames were up 6-1 look out. Vernie seemed to be looking into the crowd or figuring out his next TD Waterhouse self directed mutual fund deposit. But if the game was tight, or Vernie was being plastered with shots – the guy was a stud.

            Also you ignored my finite comment. If you roll dice 100 times and a 2 comes up 47 times, it means nothing. After 666 rolls, each number would be very close to 111. Numbers have a way of evening out over time.

            Other reasons why I think the save percentage is BS.

            (I know you are married to advanced stats though, but if it makes you feel better I liked the Expos better than the Jays too. And I agree with your baseball analogy, though intangibles like personalities on a team have just as big an impact as much of what you said. Besides Donaldson’s bat, his personality has elevated the Jays this year too. Getting rid of the attitudes like Rasmus has helped. That’s why the Cards got rid of the guy, so that should have been the first tip for the Jays).

          • I’ll respond to a few things here.

            I am saying it is weird how all the good teams seem to have good goalies. If your stat was correct, I would say the bottom teams’ goalies would have higher save percentages than the goalies on the top teams probably 1/2 the time.

            I’m not sure it’s true that good teams have great goalies. St. Louis, at times Chicago, and a few other teams have won in recent years despite average goaltending. That’s where the even strength save percentage number really comes into play.

            Also you ignored my finite comment. If you roll dice 100 times and a 2 comes up 47 times, it means nothing. After 666 rolls, each number would be very close to 111. Numbers have a way of evening out over time.

            This isn’t true though if you’re using different sets of dice. Henrik Lundqvist and Ben Scrivens won’t correlate even if you roll the dice 2000 times, because one pair of dice is fundamentally better than the other. Hiller to Ramo is less extreme, however, Hiller’s career is superior to Ramo’s…as are his numbers.

            Finally, I don’t discount the importance of “intangibles” to a team. However, skill and ability will always win out to me.

          • Joe Flames

            I see both sides of this discussion. Save percentage does not take into account the quality of shots. Goalies with good teams in front of them see more low percentage shots from outside, while goalies on bad teams see more shots from the slot and are hung out to dry more often.
            I grew up in the 70s when Ken Dryden almost never had to make a second save, nobody every got to a rebound with that defence in front of him.

            On the other hand, save percentage may be flawed, but it is the best stat we have for comparing goalies.

            Someone needs to find another way to compare them, maybe by combining different stats like they do with OPS in baseball?

          • KACaribou

            OMG Joe, thanks for pointing out quality of shots. So important, I am embarrassed I forgot to mention it in my argument.

            Maybe an evaluation of quality shots would be appropriate. SOG mean so little. Quality SOG means way more. What are goalies’ save percentages from quality shots on goal?

            Thanks for a great point of view.

          • KACaribou

            Hey bro, no insult taken. I think it is another of a stat that does not give the full details. Hiller did let in a lot of early weak goals. I watched the games! No, not ever game and I am sure his average is fine, but it doesn’t mean he didn’t still do so. The amount of first period goals has nothing to do with the amount of shit goals he let in early in a game that put the team behind.

            As for Hiller, yes he plays the safe game. No doubt. I just prefer a more adventurous, athletic goalie like Romo personally. Give it another 100 games and I bet the odds even out. A person can’t just believe a finite number like what is presented. Romo hasn’t had a long NHL career comparatively.

            You were heading in the right direction though. I like your thinking.

        • You typically don’t joke, so I’m going to take this as a serious comment.

          As a team, the Devils were quite bad in front of Schneider. Allowed more than 30 shots per game last season which put them 24th in the NHL. Averaged 24.5 shots for per game, which was 29th.

          I actually quite like their top four on the blueline. I wouldn’t put them in the “excellent” category last year, but I certainly think they’re going in a decent direction in that area. However, as a team, the Devils were bad, and Schneider’s job was among the most difficult in the NHL last year.

        • KACaribou

          So true, what Pat’s stats miss out on is that a “terrible team” comes in many ways. Some have great D and bad O as you pointed out. Some are the opposite like our “beloved” Oilers. Haha. Good point. Well done.

    • DestroDertell

      I generally believe goalies are extremely overrated in difference but there’s no real indication Hiller is not a good starter, let alone better than Ramo.

      Hiller’s adjusted sv% has always been above average (93%+) outside of one fluke year (2011-12). Ramo, meanwhile, has never reached 93% adjusted in his career. Pretty sure sample size isn’t the issue.

      FOr all this talk about Hiller allowing lots of goals early in the game, he only allowed 0.83 goals per 20 min in the first period last year which is not bad at all. You guys make narratives out of thin air.

      EDIT: Didn’t mean to reply to KACaribou specifically, sorry.

      • KACaribou

        Hey bro, no insult taken. I think it is another of a stat that does not give the full details. Hiller did let in a lot of early weak goals. I watched the games! No, not ever game and I am sure his average is fine, but it doesn’t mean he didn’t still do so. The amount of first period goals has nothing to do with the amount of shit goals he let in early in a game that put the team behind.

        As for Hiller, yes he plays the safe game. No doubt. I just prefer a more adventurous, athletic goalie like Romo personally. Give it another 100 games and I bet the odds even out. A person can’t just believe a finite number like what is presented. Romo hasn’t had a long NHL career comparatively.

        You were heading in the right direction though. I like your thinking.

      • KACaribou

        Hey bro, no insult taken. I think it is another of a stat that does not give the full details. Hiller did let in a lot of early weak goals. I watched the games! No, not ever game and I am sure his average is fine, but it doesn’t mean he didn’t still do so. The amount of first period goals has nothing to do with the amount of shit goals he let in early in a game that put the team behind.

        As for Hiller, yes he plays the safe game. No doubt. I just prefer a more adventurous, athletic goalie like Romo personally. Give it another 100 games and I bet the odds even out. A person can’t just believe a finite number like what is presented. Romo hasn’t had a long NHL career comparatively.

        You were heading in the right direction though. I like your thinking.

      • KACaribou

        Hey bro, no insult taken. I think it is another of a stat that does not give the full details. Hiller did let in a lot of early weak goals. I watched the games! No, not ever game and I am sure his average is fine, but it doesn’t mean he didn’t still do so. The amount of first period goals has nothing to do with the amount of shit goals he let in early in a game that put the team behind.

        As for Hiller, yes he plays the safe game. No doubt. I just prefer a more adventurous, athletic goalie like Romo personally. Give it another 100 games and I bet the odds even out. A person can’t just believe a finite number like what is presented. Romo hasn’t had a long NHL career comparatively.

        You were heading in the right direction though. I like your thinking.

      • KACaribou

        Hey bro, no insult taken. I think it is another of a stat that does not give the full details. Hiller did let in a lot of early weak goals. I watched the games! No, not ever game and I am sure his average is fine, but it doesn’t mean he didn’t still do so. The amount of first period goals has nothing to do with the amount of shit goals he let in early in a game that put the team behind.

        As for Hiller, yes he plays the safe game. No doubt. I just prefer a more adventurous, athletic goalie like Romo personally. Give it another 100 games and I bet the odds even out. A person can’t just believe a finite number like what is presented. Romo hasn’t had a long NHL career comparatively.

        You were heading in the right direction though. I like your thinking.

  • KACaribou

    I don’t understand the obsession of articles on this website talking about having a “number one goalie.” I’ve seen it mentioned quite a few times here over the past year. I don’t think that Calgary needs a number one goalie at this point in time.

    I think that tandems are becoming more popular. Look at St. Louis over the past couple years with Elliot and Allen. They more or less split the net like Hiller and Ramo (Hiller had 58% of Flames minutes last year). Dallas went out and acquired Niemi this off season, probably due to the fact that Dallas went 7-14-0 (0.333 wpct) without Lehtonen in net. There were only 17 goalies that started 55 or more games last season (Hiller started 44).

    Now, let’s look at number one goalies with poor backups. Here are some stats from last season:

    Goalie, (WPCT in net), (WPCT sitting on bench)
    Bishop 0.73 , 0.48
    Rinne 0.69 , 0.44
    Holtby 0.65 , 0.41
    Lehtonen 0.64 , 0.33

    Look at the amount of risk these teams face if their number one goalie were to go down: they could risk not making the playoffs. Having two good goalies reduces the impact of goaltender injuries.

    Lastly, there is no correlation between goalie minutes and team win percentage. I looked at some data from last year in a scatter plot diagram, and this was clearly the case. Maybe win percentage is more correlated to defence, something maybe worth investigating another time. Aside: That would explain Scrivens, Lindback and Bryzgalov’s performance after changing teams. It’s also encouraging that Calgary increased the depth on the blue line.

    In conclusion, I don’t think Calgary needs a number one goalie at this point in time. Having a tandem works for St. Louis and we reduce our risk of starting a terrible backup if one goalie goes down. It doesn’t cost us any assets to stand pat on the goalie situation. I have no idea what Treliving is going to down with the three goalies, but I have faith in his plans. And obviously, Treliving should have his ear to the ground to see if there are worth-while upgrades in net (and every aspect of the team) available, since that is his job.

    • I don’t understand the obsession of articles on this website talking about having a “number one goalie.” I’ve seen it mentioned quite a few times here over the past year. I don’t think that Calgary needs a number one goalie at this point in time.

      Slightly frustrating that you’d totally ignore the fact that I said exactly what you just said…that Calgary doesn’t need a number one goalie at this time. They don’t and it’s not something that they need to immediately address.

      However, for them to take the step from a team that makes the playoffs to a team that wins titles, well, that’s when I start to disagree. Your example of St. Louis is fundamentally flawed, as they have had next to no success when it actually matters.

      So yes, the Flames could absolutely make the playoffs this year without a true number one goalie. But is being St. Louis what they should aspire to? A good regular season team who continually soils the sheets in the postseason?

      Name me a Stanley Cup winning team in the last five years who has had a tandem in net. Name me a Cup runner up who has. The last time it happened was 2010…five straight years is a fairly solid sample size, wouldn’t you think?

  • KACaribou

    Everyone chill…. no one here (including Pat) is saying that save % is the perfect and the be all end all.

    The Goalie position is the hardest to truly evaluate. Save % is the best we have.

    • KACaribou

      No, I believe Pat was saying so… read his comments thoroughly. If he wasn’t I wouldn’t have wasted my time with this blog. But he got my Swedish dander up!

    • By no means do I believe it’s the be all and end all, exactly. It’s the best measure we have for a position that is still somewhat of a mystery even to people employed to build NHL teams.

      Over a large sample size, save percentage is a useful stat and really the only one that I subscribe to for goalies. Until we have something better, it’s how we can empirically evaluate someone.

      For me to write an article based solely on my eye and say “Hiller lets in bad goals and Ramo is more exciting” would be baseless and without any backing.

      • KACaribou

        Nobody said Hiller lets in bad goals compared to Ramo. I said I thought Hiller let in easy first goals quite often. I thought maybe you had a stat on that somewhere.

    • You take save % with your own eyeball and you have basically all that’s required in condensed form . No need to over analyze and further complicate things . Take the Oilers .888 save percentage with your eyeball evaluation and you realize if they had all the best defenseman and forwards in the league they would still be losing most games with that poor of goaltending stats . Your goalie is your focal point and last line of defense , and often first start of possession ( re-establshing possession) if he makes the save . Just like Colorado road Varlamov’s high % two years ago to top of central division despite a poor defence . Oilers might do same this year if Talbot keeps his save % up over .920 . Oilers had only 27 shots more against them all year than Rangers , yet Oilers ranked 30th and Rangers ranked 3rd best overall in league . That should show you the value of high % save numbers of your goalies and how it effects entire team and most important positive results .

      • KACaribou

        I am saying if the Oilers had the best defense and forwards in the league as you hypothenize, they would not be allowing as many quality scoring chances and thus their present goalies would not have an .888 save percentage but something much higher.

        However the Oilers’ D and poor back-checking forards allow far too many good scoring opportunities per game followed by extra goals of course.

        Therefore team defense = more goals against and a lower save percentage regardless of who is in goal. (eg. Dubnyk’s save percentage went along with the Oilers’ team save percentage, then escallated to nearly a league high when he went to the Wild and was surrounded by solid team D.

  • KACaribou

    My greatest humble apologies. Mostly to Rob Kerr.

    I was thinking Pat Steinberg was actually Rob Kerr. Pat you should have pointed out that I was thinking of the wrong person when I kept complimenting your taste in the Expos. You don’t even know who the Expos are!

    Rob loves the s’pos!

    Now it dawned on me why these advance stats are so important to Steinberg not Kerr. Steinberg not Kerr has never actually seen a hockey game while Kerr not Steinberg has a thousand gross games in his back pocket.

    Also I wondered why Kerr not Steinberg took the time to argue with my point of view. Isn’t this blog for readers’ points of view?

    Then when it occurred to me that I had Kerr mixed up with Spreadsheet Steinberg I finally realized that I was dealing with a “man” who must always be right. A “man” who has no idea how to visually analyze a game. A man who relies on some team stats guy’s analytics – right or wrongly recorded – to dissect a game he should have watched and formed an opinion on himself.

    Kerr not Steinberg, you are a good man.

    • KACaribou

      Just when I thought we had an honest, (and good) debate going on, you go and get immature. If you actually listened to the Fan every day you would now that both, Pat and Rob, are avid students of the game. They both emplore intelligent opinions and educated direction on EVERY move the Flames make, both in game and out. To say that Steinberg is mearly a stat geek and never watches games, is an insult. Pull your giant head out of your ass, and show some respect for someone who cares more about this game than you ever will.

        • Tomas Oppolzer

          “I finally realized that I was dealing with a “man” who must always be right. A “man” who has no idea how to visually analyze a game”

          That was taken directly from your comment bud. Nice try though

          • KACaribou

            Hey Bud – Spreadsheet said: “So to clarify…you like Rob and not me? The highly relevant manhood comments make it unclear.” I am assuming this was sarcasm towards me.

            “A man who must always be right, and a man who has no idea how to visually analyze a game” – ARE NOT DEROGATORY COMMENTS ABOUT HIS MANHOOD!

            If you are Spreadsheet’s little brother I apologize. If not – NICE TRY THOUGH…

          • Tomas Oppolzer

            It was you that had the quotations around MAN in your original comment. I didn’t add those. So, no, you didn’t just say “A man who must always be right, and a man who has no idea how to visually analyze a game” The quotations you have change the tone of your comment completely you idiot. It’s okay though. I imagine you have the same relative intelligence as your namesake.

    • Craig

      Tha escalated quickly from argument to insult.

      I’m of the thought that s tandem can be effective for right now, but once we become a contender we will need a goalie to go to in the playoffs. Just look at what happened between the Canucks series and Ducks. Hiller was great against Vancouver, until game six, so Ramo had to come in. It wasn’t a recipe for success. I don’t think goaltending is the reason we lost to the ducks, but certainly was part of the problem.

      • KACaribou

        I remember the series as being Flames’ forwards being man-handled by the Ducks’ Getzlaf line not as a goaltending problem. If the Flames created as many quality scoring chances as the Ducks we would have likely had a 7 game series. The way it went however, I doubt seriously that if the teams changed goaltenders suddenly the Flames would have won or even made it close. That’s all I am saying.

  • Derzie

    Goalie stats need to include shot quality and game circumstance to be useful. To steal a baseball idea, errors are handed out for plays that should be routine that are missed. Same should apply to goalies. A non-scoring chance should be saved. No credit given but an error if missed. If that same shot is measured as ‘obstructed view’ then it counts as a type of scoring chance. Save percentage should be relative to scoring chances, including those obscured view point shots.With stats, nothing is perfect but calling every shot equal in save percentage is silly. And don’t get me started on crediting goalies with a ‘win’ stat. Most pointless stat ever.

    • KACaribou

      Brilliantly said. I wish you were able to chime in earlier when Spreadsheet Steinberg was refuting my statement that save percentages are BS.

      I agree fully. Love the error idea. I have never been able to figure out why there isn’t an error stat in football either. Receivers who miss balls thrown right to them, create a black mark on their QB’s stats!?!

      It ticks me off when the advanced stats gurus put so much acclaim on shooting percentages and save percentages, and follow it up by calling the Flames lucky because they get outshot a lot. I bet in shot quality, the Flames are better than most teams despite low shot totals.

      Teams should be judged not by shots, but by the amount of scoring chances they create in a game. Players too. And like you said, goalies who make a lot of errors would be graded as such but shots saved would only be counted for them if it were not routine and if it was a scoring chance.