Monday, September 20, 2010

Thought For The Week

Goalie Wins

If you've read this site before chances are you have at some time stumbled across a debate about goaltending proficiency. A lot of the time, the issue of goaltender wins as a statistic comes up.

Lately, it seems the prevailing attitude is that wins have nothing to do with goaltending. The argument is well made and the logic sound.

So imagine my surprise when I was (goodness knows why) listening to Robert Mayer's interview from Habs Inside/Out and they asked him about his definiton of a successful season:
Question: "What would be a good season for you, for the next year?"

Mayer (without hesitation): "A good season for me? You know what, a good season for me would be if I had more wins than losses..."
No mention of other statistics, no mention of save percentgae or even strength save percentage, or games won where he outperformed his expected save percentage based on average shot quality. No, it was wins. Wins are his primary stat for evaluating a season. More wins than losses = good. All wins = perfect.

I find that interesting. I suspect he's not alone among his bretheren.

While I completely agree that it is oversimplistic to look at wins as a main crux of an argument for goaltender proficiency, I have often also wondered at the oversimplicity of just discarding the stat altogether given its likely influence on how the goalie plays (drives his motivation).

I think I'll remember Mayer's words when I look at seasons past come June.

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