On Sunday, Mirtle took a look at how a goalie's play at five-on-five impacts a skater's plus-minus and questions whether or not there's enough evidence to establish that the relationship is a two-way street (i.e. skaters' poor defense leading to higher quality shots and thus poorer numbers for the goaltender). Tyler at mc79hockey goes a little deeper into the analysis, and the two come to the conclusion that it's too early to read too much into the numbers, as they're largely somewhat random - a big save or two here or a soft goal there and the list changes dramatically.
Nevertheless, it's interesting to look at the numbers, especially when you're just comparing players on the same team. So, without further ado, the five-on-five goals against averages, save percentages and (gasp!) plus-minuses for every Cap skater who has played in at least seven games (stats through Saturday night):
So what do these numbers tell us? For one, Sami Lepisto had been, through Saturday at least, the beneficiary of the best five-on-five goaltending on the team... luckily for him. On the flipside of that coin, Tom Poti, Tyler Sloan and Brooks Laich have good plus/minuses, despite not getting much of a bailout from their netminders, not to mention (in the blueliners' cases) being on the ice for a ton of defensive zone draws, which no doubt lead to better scoring opportunities and worse goalie numbers.
To that last point, though, it's interesting that Michael Nylander and Boyd Gordon have taken 212 and 211 even strength faceoffs on the season, respectively, but Nylander's goalie numbers are far worse despite probably taking as few defensive zone draws as Gordon has taken offensive zone faceoffs.
Another point - and this gets back to the question of randomness versus correlation and causation - goalies are performing very well behind John Erskine. Is he the reason for this (perhaps he's keeping the crease clear and shots to the outside) or is it dumb luck? I'm not sure what the answer is, but I do know that I'd rather have him in the lineup than Bryan Helmer or Sean Collins.
What do you think? Does anything there jump out at you?
Update: Further to DMG's comment, Rage sent along the following graph that plots 5-on-5 GAA against Quality of Competition:
Basically, Karl Alzner = teh awesome (though the sample size is small) - he is playing against the toughest competition of anyone on the team at five-on-five andhas the third-lowest GAA.