FanPost

What's a soft goal?

Goaltending play is among the most, if not the most, difficult to evaluate in the NHL.  I've said before, and I stand by it, that the normal stats, even ESSV%, are not the best way to evaluate a goalie.  I've always said that soft goals are the most important factor, followed by huge saves.  Every thing else, including percentages, is a distant third.

But those things have never been tracked, and are very subjective.  I'm going to start tracking soft goals so that, at least for the Caps, we have a basis for discussing goaltender quality outside the normal stats.  What I'm asking for is your opinion on what constitutes a soft goal.  I'll distill a formula from the comments and we'll have something that is at least consistent.  I'll provide my spreadsheet with the results so you can see check your standards against mine, if you want.

The basic issue is simplicity versus accuracy.  The more specific you get, the more prone you are to complete subjectivity.  I'd like a relatively broad set of rules that can be applied by anyone, but my subjectivity will trump yours.

My initial definitions for a soft goal include unscreened, undeflected shots from outside the tops of the circles and shots from along the goal line (or otherwise poor angles) that didn't require lateral movement (i.e. pucks that get fired off the end boards and around the other side of the net) that beat the goalie.  

So where do we go from here?

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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