• Re: Dubnyk

    by  • October 5, 2013 • Hockey • 8 Comments

    Dear People,

    This is a list of goalies who’ve played in at least 100 games since 2010-11, sorted by save percentage.

    See where Devan Dubnyk is? Right in the middle? Three years on a brutal team with people who seemed to be actively trying to light defensive zone fires and he’s right in the middle. Does he let in some goals that look bad at times? Absolutely. Here’s the thing though: as a guy who’s been doing this stats stuff for a decade or so, I’ve learned a few things. Here’s two of them: 1) All goals count the same on the scoreboard. Picassos or that guy who paints pictures of Jesus out of poop, it doesn’t matter. 2) Two games tells you nothing about a goalie.

    Let me say this clearly: if you think Dubnyk’s a crappy goaltender based on the last three years, you are wrong. He stops pucks at a pretty league average rate for starting goalies. That is the job – it’s nothing to do with style points. He’s done that behind a poor defensive team – I’m not a believer in big score effects but I do believe they can be worth a few points of save percentage either way. He hasn’t had one of the league’s easy jobs.

    By eye, a bunch of the crappy goals Dubnyk’s let in through the first have been tipped or had screens. There are times when a team fails because an honest to goodness weakness manifests itself. There are other times when teams fail because players are having a rough couple of games. Based on the last three years with Dubnyk, this is the latter, not the former.

    Email Tyler Dellow at tyler@mc79hockey.com


    8 Responses to Re: Dubnyk

    1. Kris Sparrow
      October 6, 2013 at

      Unlike most of the other goalies on that list Dubnyk’s save percentage appears to be 92% from almost everywhere inside his own blue line.

      Shot from the blue line: 92%
      Shot from the boards, below the face off circle: 92%
      Prime chance from the low slot: 92%

      His average save percentage looks great but because it’s much easier to take shots from outside the slot, he costs his team a lot of games.

      I suspect that most of the goaltenders on that list have situational save percentages more like this:

      Untipped shot from the blue line: 97%
      Shot from the boards, below the face off circle: 99%
      Prime chance from the low slot: 85 – 92%

      This is all just a hypothesis at the moment but it would explain the variance between Dubnyk’s “seen it good” analysis and the save percentage numbers he posts. Dubnyk seems to be a rare case and if we are to properly judge his performance we may need a better metric.

      Regardless the Oilers lost to the Canucks last night because they were dominated in every aspect of the game. Not because the goaltender let in two soft goals.

    2. Tyler Dellow
      October 6, 2013 at

      Unlike most of the other goalies on that list Dubnyk’s save percentage appears to be 92% from almost everywhere inside his own blue line.

      Is there data on this? Also, even if his distribution was different, it doesn’t matter unlss the Oilers are giving up lower quality shots such that we’d expect a goalie to be above .920. That’s not the Oilers team I’ve watched for three years.

    3. darin
      October 6, 2013 at

      Yes. Data is required. I think I saw data on this once. I think it was Bryzgalov’s agent on Stauffer’s show quoting a source that tracks sv pct on high quality vs low quality shots. I’d love to see it to shut my Vancouver friends up.

      Having said that, I still maintain that we are lucky when Dubey is our only barrier to success. Will mean we’re only one player away!

    4. Bank Shot
      October 6, 2013 at

      Dubnyk has been consistently slightly below average for sure.

      So what’s the point? He’s a keeper? If he wants a raise after this season if he continues to put up slightly below average numbers then he can take a walk.

      We could get another slightly below average goalie for cheaper. I hear Theodore needs work.

      • Alex Hemsky
        October 7, 2013 at

        You are looking at is a list of goalies who were good enough to start in 100 + games. The ones who weren’t good enough to start regularly are filtered out.

        League average over the last few years is about 0.912%.

    5. Tyler Dellow
      October 6, 2013 at

      Actually two games ago, he was at about a .917, something like 14th in this group. There’s a group of goalies in the murky middle for whom a good or bad couple games bump them around. You can’t really say one’s any better or worse than the other.

      Would I pay him big bucks? Nope. I thought Tambo screwed up when Dubnyk took them to arb not offering him $7.5 over three and telling him that if he didn’t take it, they’d look around up until the arbitraion and if they found something more to their price point liking, they’d take it. That said, $3.5MM is reasonably cheap for a goalie with his credentials.

    6. Arvind
      October 6, 2013 at

      Look at it sorted by GAA. Dubnyk is quite high up, as is Reimer, another good goalie that gets pounded on by the media. Obviously, we know GAA is a bad stat, but playing for bad defensive teams means you let in more goals, so people see you with a red light in the background more often.

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