I've said it before and I'll stress it again. Great athletes aren't just the ones with great skills. The true measure of an athleme, IMHO, is consistency. And no more is that quality needed than in goal.
If your superstart Defensemen or Offensive players are in a slum, at least you have other guys that can bail you out. The goalie, though, you're stuck with. All you can do is pull a goalie if he's laying an egg (and I don't mean the big goose ones). But by then, you're already screwed. If you're down by 3 goals, you know, as a caps fan, that can change really quick. Even if you're down by two goals with a minute left, with the team we have, we can pull it off.
But nothing will screw over the momentum of a comeback game then letting the wining team score a few more on ya'. In that respect, consistency is way more important for a goalie than other positions.
There's been a lot of talk about which goalies are better, Neuvy or Varly. So lets look at overall consistency of their games last season. Granted there isn't TOO much to work with here but lets just look at some trends.
Left = Save percentage for each game. bottom axis is just the # of games played. Each line DOESN'T correlate to the other lines in any way. I just put them all on the same graph so we could have the lines on the same scale.
If I had to make a choice, i'd say Varly was the most consistent. It's totally hard to say because those really nasty bottom-outs for Neuvy's and Jose's lines are due to them being pulled. So their sv% may have gotten better as the games went on, but I kept them in just so you could see that they both had major brain farts at some point during the season.
Jose's line: Despite some ugly-ass games he did finish the season with a respectable sv%, .911. Consistency, nope. But he seemed to be the only goalie that had an upward trend as the season went on
Varly's line: Probably the most consistent, althrough he finished the season with the lowest sv% of the three: .909. Still, not bad. The average league wide this season, I believe, was .910. He had some bad games, but none extramely terrible, at least not enough to get pulled. The line does get a little shaky at the end. That one ugly sv% there is .786 and that was the first game back after his injury so many we can't totally fault him for it. And even though, as you can see, he started getting his game back at the end.
Neuvy: if you actually toss out the two back to back games where he got pulled, his line would be the most consistent. As a matter of fact, the two back to back games he got pulled, he had the EXACT same save % facing the same # of shots (and same goals against on those shots). So if you think about it.. that's pretty damn consistent too :)
So.. draw your own conclusions. I didn't include playoff status but if you're interested, Varly played 6 games vs montreal with the following respective sv%'s (shots against and goals against in parenthesis)
.864 (22/3), .963(27/1), .923(39/3),.929(28/2), .857(21/3),.875(16/2) : he finished with a .908% (not that bad)
There's good in bad in there. As you can see his BEST games were the ones with the MOST shots against. And his worst games were the ones with the least shots against. Now they say that the goalie can be judged not so much by sv% but by making the big saves at the right times. That might be true, but that doesn't excuse a game where he faces 10 shots and lets 2 of them in.
The only real conclusion I can draw is that you really can't figure out which goalie next season is a worthy starter. Everyone who claims Varly or Neuvy is better I think has no idea what they're taling about.
Varly shows consistency during the regular season more than anyone else, but he has yet to prove himself as consistent in the post season. When he gets i a groove, he sticks with it. Neuvy on the other hand doesn't seem quite as consistent, but his bad luck seems to run in streaks. When he's hot he's hot.