I originally posted this data in the Wednesday Caps Clips, and it was suggested I turn it into a FanPost. I've never done one of these before, so here goes nothing.
I went back and looked at the stats for both Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth over their past 20 COMPLETE games. This goes back through the game on Nov 28 for Varly, and the game on Dec 11 for Neuvy. Each player had a couple of partial games during that time period that I omitted in order to keep the overall data as consistent as possible. What I found was that, aside from goal support and record, their stats are nearly identical during that 20 game period. Details after the jump.
Neuvirth vs. Varlamov, Last 20 Complete Games
Some things that really jump out at me:
- identical goals against, GAA, and Save Percentage
- Big edge to Neuvy in goal support
- Better "Shots For" support for Varlamov, despite having significantly worse goal support
If you limit this to just the last 10 complete games for each goalie, the same trends continue to hold true, and the "shots for" support margin becomes even more pronounced:
Neuvirth vs. Varlamov, Last 10 Complete Games
I originally undertook this exercise expecting to demonstrate that the team generates more offense (in the form of shots) when playing in front of Neuvirth versus Varlamov. As it turns out, that is not the case; in fact, in recent games (last 10 starts), we see that Varlamov actually enjoys significantly more shot support (4.5 more shots per game).
I was starting to lean towards Neuvy in the "starting playoff goalie" debate due to the fact that the team appears to play better in front of him, but these stats failed to back up that position. So, let the debate rage on I guess.