Enter the Goalie

So we started talking in the OT thread about SV% and how 88-89 saw the beginning of a shift in the way hockey is played. Someone mentioned how if you had a sv% of .900 in the 80's then you were practically the Vez cup winner and how goals were much more frequent. So I got intrigued and compiled some #'s to (a) satisfy my curiosity and (b) redeem myself for all the umm... sub-par.. posts I've been cluttering the board with. So take a look at these numbers. I double checked all my stats and I pray to God that I didn't make any mistakes.


  vez winner vez sv% cup goalie cup sv % avg sv % shots/g gpg wgpg mgpg Events
81-82 Smith 0.900 Smith       4.01 1.15    
82-83 Peters 0.904 Smith       3.86 0.88    
83-84 Barrasso 0.893 Fuhr 0.910 0.873 30.59 3.95 1.17    
84-85 Lindbergh 0.899 Fuhr 0.895 0.874 30.49 3.88 0.91 0.58  
85-86 V'brouck 0.887 Roy 0.923 0.874 31.03 3.96 0.65 0.60  
86-87 Hextall 0.894 Fuhr 0.908 0.880 30.00 3.67 0.78 0.85  
87-88 Fuhr 0.881 Fuhr 0.883 0.879 30.44 3.71 0.62 0.90 Crosby is born, Mario dips him in
the River Styx.
88-89 Roy 0.908 Vernon 0.905 0.879 30.37 3.73 0.69 1.11 Gretzky to LA
89-90 Roy 0.912 Ranford 0.912 0.881 30.26 3.68 0.54 0.76 Mogilny defects, starts a trend
90-91 Belfour 0.910 Barrasso 0.919 0.886 29.74 3.45 0.52 0.73 Ovie loses first baby tooth
eats it for breakfast
91-92 Roy 0.914 Barrasso 0.907 0.888 30.43 3.43 0.41 0.68 league expands
92-93 Belfour 0.906 Roy 0.929 0.884 30.91 3.63 0.35 1.15 league expands,# games goes
from 80 to 84
93-94 Hasek 0.930 Richter 0.921 0.895 30.22 3.23 0.46 0.77 league expends yet again
94-95 Hasek 0.930 Brodeur 0.927 0.900 29.26 2.97 0.22   Short season, D-minded
Devils sweep Wings
95-96 Carey 0.906 Roy 0.921 0.898 30.18 3.14 0.28 0.98 # games shortened to 82
96-97 Hasek 0.930 Vernon 0.927 0.904 29.72 2.91 0.30 0.65 Gretsky to NYR
97-98 Hasek 0.932 Osgood 0.918 0.906 27.25 2.63 0.28   NHL players in Olympics
98-99 Hasek 0.937 Belfour 0.930 0.907 27.79 2.63 0.12    
99-00 Kolzig 0.917 Brodeur 0.927 0.904 27.89 2.74     league expansion
00-01 Hasek 0.921 Roy 0.934 0.903 27.62 2.75   0.81 league expansion
08-09 Thomas 0.933 Fleury 0.908 0.908 30.11 2.91      


vez sv% = Vezina winner's regular season sv %

cup sv % = Playoff sv % for the winning team's primary goalie

avg sv%= regular season sv % for the entire league (total shots fired the entire season / total saves made the entire season for all goalies)

shots/g = regular season average number of shots per game (total shots fired the entire season / (# games in regular season  * # teams))

gpg =  regular season avg # of goals scored per game by a single team

wgpg and mpgp = Just for fun, and to have another measuring stick I threw in Gretzky's and Lemeiux's regular season goals per game

Events = Anything significant that might have contributed to the way the game is played

All decimals are truncated, not rounded.



So take it in.. this is mostly just for fun BUT... two questions come to my mind:

1) What the heck happened? How did the game start changing so much from an offensive game to a defensive game? Were the goalies just THAT crappy back in the 80's or were the offensive stars just THAT good back then... or did players change the way they shot the puck in the early 90's? Around 1989 did people realize that there was much more of an art form to goal tending? It's not like the players had more chances. Of all these numbers the only one that has been consistent is the # of shots per game.

2) What does this mean for the Caps? These are  just my opinions.. which are usually WRONG. I'm curious as to what you guys might think about this.

a) I think we should stick with Theodore for the playoffs. Look at Ed Belfour. The man won the Vezina with (what was then) a solid sv %, and then his sv% over his career stagnated to just barely above league averages for a few years. Maybe he was just getting adjusted to a new team but he eventually found the right chemistry at the right time his second season with Dallas. I think Jose is ripe to recreate that scenario. "American lives don't have second acts" .. but Theodore is Canadian, damn it..

b) The caps are scoring 3.95 goals per game. There have been times that teams have reached that mark before but the overall league average hasn't been like that since 85-86. If we can play an old school offense maybe we can win with a save % that isn't the best.. as long as it's consistent throughout the playoff stretch.

c)  M.A. Fluery 2009 playoffs .. I rest my case.


Two more random questions?

* How the hell did Jim Carey get the Vezina in 96?

* When did the goalie mask switch to the cage style? I'm assuming more protection against the neck and face would make a goalie less nervous and would make their save % increase.

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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