Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Goalie Splits

If I asked you which NHL goaltender has the best numbers on the road, would you have guessed St.Louis' Ty Conklin? (pictured above with his Village People 'stache) Neither would I. I like looking at road numbers for goalies as it generally gives a truer sense of which are the top 'tenders in the league. Most have goalies have superior stats at home, but it's on the road where the real tests occur and the moxy is tested. Conklin, mind you has played only 17 games away from home, but among goalies with at least 15 away games, he has far and away the best numbers. Click chart below to enlarge...

Lots of the usual suspects that are at the top of the overall goalie leaders, but Conklin really does stand out like a sore thumb. A few other oddities; Jose Theodore jumps from 33rd place in overall Goals Against Avg. up to 13th in Road GAA. Perhaps this reinforces the expectations of a long Washington playoff run. Evgeni Nabokov drops from 10th in GAA and 7th in Save Pct to 19th and 21st respectively on the road.
Nashville's Pekka Rinne falls from 15th in overall GAA to 27th on the road, and even worse, Roberto Luongo plummets from 17th in GAA and 18th in Save Pct to 34th in GAA and 33rd in Save Pct on the road. These should be real alarming numbers heading into the playoffs for any Canuck fan.

Looking closer at the above mentioned playoff-bound Western Conference goalies, Nabokov, Rinne and Luongo; it would seem the Canucks should indeed be somewhat concerned. Below are the leaders among goalies versus the Western Conference teams.

Marty Turco ranks a surprising second in Save Pct against the Western Conference. He has been torched to the tune of 3.62 GAA and .884 SPct vs. the East. Mathieu Garon of Columbus has an overall GAA of 2.81 but a nice 2.48 avg against the tougher West. Bryzgalov and Phoenix certainly should be believed as contenders one of these days, the numbers don't lie.
Among the eight playoff-bound goalies, Bobby Lu ranks last in GAA and second last in Save Pct versus only western teams. Do I smell a first round upset of the Canucks?

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