|Ok so I was going to avoid adding anything to this but Lipps asked for my nickel ontop of my two cents so here goes. While I generally like using the save % as a good barometer of a goalies effectiveness the problem I have with Lundqvists save % is this, when teams play the Rangers they play them with the Rangers have the big time identity if a premier shot blocking team. So with this in mind I believe that two things occur from this that skew both Hanks save % as well as the actual number of shots blocked by the Rangers. The Rangers have had this identity and reputation for quite some time now, so what often happens is with this in mind opposing teams will game plan to avoid the Rangers very skilled shot blocking system by taking different shot routes such many poor percentage shots from the outer perimeter and often from poor angles as they loo to avoid the shooting lanes the Rangers always have blocked so well. What this does is give us a great deal of easy saves made from shots from far out and from poor angles which are both very easy for any average goaltender to stop.
Posted: 5/23/2014 4:30:47 PM
Case in point game 2 of this rangers/habs series. While Lundqvist played well I do not think it was a performance that was equal to that of a usual 40 save performance you would see from goaltenders on most nights. In additions the habs attempted just under 60 shots towards the rangers net in game 2. Now I think we can all agree that after the initial flurry of the habs in the first 10 minutes of the game, the habs in no way shape or form ever looked like a dangerous hockey team again that night. Yet they had almost 60 shot attempts and 41 shots on net. The stats from that night make Hank look absolutely incredible, but in fact the large majority of those shots were garbage shots from the perimeter and from poor angles and many soft as the habs players tried to take any shot they could that they thought could avoid the rangers very skilled shot blockers, and solid defensive play. In the 3rd period that night the habs attempted 27 shots at the rangers net and had 19 shots and I am sorry but the habs almost never looked dangerous in the 3rd period that night and almost none of those 19 shots were very dangerous or difficult to stop.
That above is what happens on most nights with the rangers when it comes to their opposition and this badly skews the statistics in Lundqvists favour.
Playing behind a very good and responsible defensive structure, I do not think Lundqvists deals with many breakaways, odd man rushes, glaring giveaways in his own zone or in the neutral area by his defencemen or many prime scoring chances, because the team in front of him plays a very solid defensive style of hockey and their main focus is defensive responsibility first and offence a distant second.
Conversely Leaf, Panther and Sabres goalies deal with all of the stuff routinely that Hanks almost never has to deal with. So one guy stops ten non dangerous shots from the perimeter and wow look at those amazing numbers. Meanwhile Bernier or Reimer ouit of the same ten shots will probably deal with about seven prime scoring opportunities. Phaneuf alone will hand the puck to an opposing forward every night or so creating an odd man rush and incredible scoring chance. That one save to me is harder and bigger than sevent to ten of those routine shots that are guided around rangers defenceman that as almost always are in perfect position.
Then there is the second and third chance opportunities which a team like the Rangers do a great job at clearing away from in front of their net while the leafs, panthers and sabres, ya not so much.
I am not saying he is garbage but I certainly do not think he is at all what he is made out to be.
Look at Ilya Bryzgalov behind a defensive system like the Coyotes and now Wild...Olympic and all star goalie and up for the vezina...great right? Look at the same goalie behind a team that plays wide open hockey like the Flyers or Oilers...castoff and a joke...crap right?
Mike Smith is lost....Then he replaces Bryzgalov behind the Coyotes system and whoa, guess who is on Team Canada and at the Olympics and an all star and in line for the vezina...sound familiar.
I use numbers too and they do mean something but we have to keep in mind what is behind those numbers and what is lending it's hand to them.
I used Crawfords numbers the other day, because unlike many after keith and seabrook I do not think the hawks defence is as amazing as people make it out to be, I think there is a big drop off after those two all stars.
When Chris Pronger was with my Flyers running the defence, Boucher and Leighton were both stars and almost won a stanley cup both had a part in. That is no coincidence.
Probably more than you bargained for Lipps LOL and sorry of there are errors, I am sure there are, but I am not proof reading this.