FanPost

Goaltender Save Percentage In The Shootout

Khabibulin_shame_medium
Khabibulin feels shootout shame. Photo by Lisa McRitchie, All Rights Reserved

No, this is not another exasperated plea for Tom Renney to start using he of the 50% career success rate. That is obvious and has been beaten to death and rightfully so.

What I'd like to talk about is the fact that television analysts and production staff continue to ignore such a crucial part of the shootout. It is completely baffling but I'd wager that it has not even crossed the minds of the majority of people watching a shootout that crucial information is being withheld from them for some inexplicable reason. Try to see if you can guess what it is before you take the jump. Hint...It's something obvious.

Goalie career save percentage!!! *pausing while the people who couldn't figure it out smack themselves in the head and while the people who did figure it out pat themselves on the back*

Why do they only show the shooter career success rate in shootouts? Has it occurred to anyone that perhaps the goalies save rate might be a useful stat for the viewer at home to know? It's probably a much more significant stat since the goalie is apt to have more at bats. Riddle me this...is it more interesting to know that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is 1 for 3 lifetime or that Nikolai Khabibulin has a .633 (81 for 128) save percentage? Or that Devan Dubnyk is very similar .625 (30 for 48)? The lack of the stat on the televised coverage has also probably lead to most fans being oblivious to what a good success rate is for a goalie in the shootout. Take a minute to guess what the average for all the current active goalies in the NHL is...

***WAITING***

The answer is .676

There are only 5 starting goaltenders with worse shootout save percentages than Khabibulin.

Ilya Bryzgalov .632

Miikka Kiprusoff .609

Cam Ward .604

Ondrej Pavelec .600

Niklas Backstrom .561

If I'm the Minnesota Wild coach, I would consider taking a page out of the Gordon Bombay playbook and sticking Josh Harding (.690) in for every shootout. Unfortunately for the Oilers, the numbers say both of our options are equally miserable.

What does this mean in the big picture? The league average for team shootout games per year is around 6. If we were to swap Khabibulin's pitiful .633 for Henrik Lundqvist gaudy .764 how many shootout Ls would swing to Ws in a year? 1-2...at most?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this FanPost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of the staff.

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