Best Clutch Goalies

Discussion in 'By The Numbers' started by Hockey Outsider, Mar 12, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
View Users: View Users
  1. Hockey Outsider

    Hockey Outsider Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,661
    Likes Received:
    662
    Trophy Points:
    139
    Who are the greatest clutch goalies in the NHL? Names like Fuhr, Roy and Brodeur immediately come to mind. I wanted to see if their reputations are justified, and I also wanted to come up with a list of the best and worst clutch goalies in history.

    In order to see who "money" goalies are, I compared each goalie's regular season save percentage to his playoff save percentage. Clutch goalies should have a higher playoff sv%, meaning that they personally play better when it counts the most. There are potentially other factors to look at, but this is a good place to start. Here's the list:

    Goalie, Regular Season Sv%, Playoff Sv%, Difference
    Ken Wregget 0.885 0.911 0.026
    Olaf Kolzig
    0.909 0.927 0.019
    Cesare Maniago
    0.899 0.916 0.017
    John Vanbiesbrouck
    0.898 0.915 0.016
    Nikolai Khabibulin
    0.910 0.926 0.016
    Ed Belfour
    0.908 0.920 0.012
    Grant Fuhr
    0.887 0.898 0.011
    Tom Barrasso
    0.892 0.902 0.010
    Bill Ranford
    0.888 0.897 0.009
    Martin Brodeur
    0.912 0.921 0.009
    Curtis Joseph
    0.908 0.916 0.008
    Patrick Roy
    0.910 0.918 0.008
    Billy Smith
    0.897 0.905 0.008
    Mike Vernon
    0.889 0.896 0.006
    Johnny Bower
    0.917 0.923 0.006
    Bernie Parent
    0.911 0.917 0.006
    Greg Millen
    0.879 0.885 0.006
    Mike Richter
    0.904 0.909 0.005
    Terry Sawchuk
    0.910 0.914 0.004
    Felix Potvin
    0.905 0.909 0.004
    Jacques Plante
    0.919 0.922 0.004
    Rogie Vachon
    0.903 0.907 0.003
    Chris Osgood
    0.907 0.910 0.003
    Dominik Hasek
    0.924 0.927 0.003
    Mike Liut
    0.886 0.888 0.002
    Ron Hextall
    0.894 0.896 0.002
    Roger Crozier
    0.900 0.902 0.001
    Gilles Meloche
    0.891 0.891 0.000
    Don Beaupre
    0.886 0.885 0.000
    Gump Worsley
    0.912 0.911 -0.001
    Kelly Hrudey
    0.893 0.891 -0.002
    Andy Moog
    0.891 0.890 -0.002
    Tony Esposito
    0.905 0.903 -0.002
    Glenn Hall
    0.916 0.913 -0.003
    Gerry Cheevers
    0.905 0.902 -0.004
    Edward Giacomin
    0.903 0.898 -0.005
    Ken Dryden
    0.921 0.915 -0.006
    Glenn Healy
    0.887 0.881 -0.006
    Pete Peeters
    0.890 0.880 -0.010
    Sean Burke
    0.902 0.888 -0.014
    Daniel Bouchard
    0.896 0.880 -0.016
    Arturs Irbe
    0.899 0.882 -0.017

    There are a lot of big names at the top of the list. Turns out that goalies like Fuhr, Smith, Brodeur, Roy and Belfour, who all have reputations of being great clutch goalies, actually DO perform better when it really counts. So their reputations seem to be justified.

    There are a few great goalies like Hasek, Dryden and Hall who are average or worse. This doesn't mean they're bad goalies; it means that they don't elevate their play in the playoffs. This makes sense because Hasek, Dryden, etc., were already so good in the regular season it would be almost impossible to improve their play in the postseason.

    Last but not least, Joseph comes in 11th place. He's always criticized for "never taking his team to the next level"; but the data here suggests that he's a great clutch goalie on par with Brodeur and Roy for elevating his game when it counts. Is it Joseph's fault that he played on mediocre teams most of his career?

    Hopefully this raises some interesting discussions.
     
  2. WVP

    WVP Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    13,399
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    84
    I swear, Frank Pietrangelo gets no credit on these boards.
     
  3. Ronnie Bass

    Ronnie Bass elite pissy upside

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2003
    Messages:
    21,792
    Likes Received:
    728
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Occupation:
    Hedge Fund administrating
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Awards:
    Billy Smith was the best I ever saw.
     
  4. Mike Richter
     
  5. Mike Palmateer usually overachieved in the playoffs.
     
  6. Giguere: + .031 in the playoffs.
     
  7. 12# Peter Bondra

    12# Peter Bondra Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Messages:
    8,688
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The thing is, he has been only in 1 playoffs (If Im right). That COULD be considered a fluke. Lets wait and see if he performs the same way in his next playoffs.
     
  8. NYIsles1*

    NYIsles1* Guest

    I have seen more consistent goalies over 82 games statistically but to me Billy Smith was the greatest money goalie in NHL history. Four straight cups, five finals in a row and nineteen playoff series wins in a row. Isles ot record during that run was remarkable also.
     
  9. #66

    #66 Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    11,585
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Home Page:
    I have to agree with Billy Smith. Just a question for you Isles fans, aside from a minor scare from the Pens were the Islanders ever really threatened during their run? I remember them being so dominating that they didn't even let other teams think about a series win.
     
  10. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    29,232
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Marketing Executive
    Location:
    San Diego
    Home Page:
    Well, the Pens' scare (spring '82) was far from "minor", the Isles were minutes away from elimination! Otherwise, you had the Finals against the Flyers in '80. The sixth game of that series was no doubt controversial, but ultimately, in hindsight, especially in light of the three championships that immediately followed, the Isles were clearly the better team and deserving of the Cup.

    Every spring from 1981-85 ('85 being the year the Isles surrendered the Cup in the Finals to the Oilers), the Isles matched up against NYR. Each were GREAT, ultra-intense series. NYI was clearly the best team in each series (and won each one) but they were the East Coast equivalent of the Flames-Oilers playoff series later in the decade, if lacking only in the number of fisticuffs.

    In actuality, as is the mark of any great championship team in any sport, the later the Isles got into the playoffs each spring, the more dominating they became. As evidence, its fair to say that the team essentially walked through their Finals opponent in 1981-83.

    Kind of frightening for this fan to consider that all of that took place a quarter of a century ago. Time flies. :(

    PS - When it comes to clutch goalies, it's Billy Smith and Patrick Roy in that order. And, at least for this poster, the conversation ends there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2005
  11. NeoCanuck

    NeoCanuck "No, I don't want to see your pog collection!"

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,063
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Stepdad of HFCanucks
    Location:
    North Vancouver B.C.
    Hello! Why isn't Dan Cloutier on that list?
     
  12. Hockey Outsider

    Hockey Outsider Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,661
    Likes Received:
    662
    Trophy Points:
    139
    I only included the goalies that played the most games, and a few more that I found interesting.

    Anyway, Cloutier's regular season save percentage is a medicore 90.3%. His playoff save percentage is 87.2%. So his save percentage drops 3.1% during the playoffs! According to this data, Cloutier is by far the worst "money" goalie in the history of the NHL (that we have data for). I don't think this statement is too controversial.
     
  13. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    22,416
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Home Page:
    The Isles weren't clearly the better team that season. The next three years absolutely.
     
  14. #66

    #66 Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    11,585
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Home Page:
    Thanks for the memories. I remember not even being that mad about the Isles win over the Pens. Being a Pens fan in NJ, I wasn't able to see the Pens alot in those days. So I would watch alot of Islander games and had a great respect for that team.

    P.S. With all the great Isles moments during that time, the Billy Smith Conn Smyth acceptance speech in 83 was my favorite.
     
  15. monkey_00*

    monkey_00* Guest

    ...................Alan Bester
     
  16. Steelhead16

    Steelhead16 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,607
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    94
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    I've been a Flyers fan for their entire existance and as much as all this Billy Smith talk brings back painful memories, I have to agree. But I still hate Bob Nystrom!!
     
  17. wedge

    wedge Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,027
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Occupation:
    teacher
    Location:
    victoriaville
    PAtrick Roy was always amazing in the playoffs when he was with the habs. I've never liked him, but I have to admit he always gave us the chance to upset the other team in the playoffs
     
  18. acr*

    acr* Guest

    With the exception of the first two ames this year, Jose Theodore seems to turn it up about 3 notches and become damn impossible to score on in the playoffs.
     
  19. KOVALEV10*

    KOVALEV10* Guest

    Nice list but one thing I dont get is that you're saying Hasek didnt elevate his play in the playoffs when he has the highest save percentage on your list of goalies. IMO you need to leave the regular season stats out and look at the stats of the playoffs alone to see who performed well. And if you do that Hasek is the man.

    Roy was a great clutch goalie too as well as Billy Smith and Grant Fuhr. So yeah those 4 guys were the best I ever saw.
     
  20. wedge

    wedge Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,027
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Occupation:
    teacher
    Location:
    victoriaville
    He was good in the final two games vs the Bruins, and was the principal reason for the three losses. And vs Tampa, the Canadiens could have won two games if not for Theodore's so-so play. He never over-played Khabibulin. And he over-played Raycroft only once.

    And three years ago, he was GREAT and SPECTACULAR in the regular season. and same thing in the playoffs. He struggled early vs the Bruins and was so-so vs Carolina.

    I'm not impressed by Theodore's playoffs so far
     
  21. Poochie_D

    Poochie_D Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Messages:
    2,803
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    Theodore hasn't been SOOO bad in the playoffs... obivously just like u i feel he could do better but two second round exits isn't the worst we've seen.
     
  22. Habsfan 32

    Habsfan 32 Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Messages:
    6,316
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Way up north...
    I'd take Roy before any other goalie except maybe Plante.
     
  23. Hockey Outsider

    Hockey Outsider Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,661
    Likes Received:
    662
    Trophy Points:
    139
    Good point, and I agree. But there's a difference between 1) being the best playoff goalie and 2) being a goalie who raises their level of play the most. Hasek is probably the best at #1, but not necessarily the best at 2.

    While I agree that Hasek looked superb in the playoffs we can't just compare save percentage because they've changed so much over the past 2 decades. I would really like to see a list of adjusted for era playoff sv%, but I don't have data for that.
     
  24. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    22,416
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Home Page:
    One Bernard Marcel Parent, and his back-to-back Conn Smythe's certainly deserves a mention.
     
  25. acr*

    acr* Guest

    The idea of being good-clutch doesn't make sense to me, because if you're playing at a much higher level, you had to have been dragging yourself and playing under your potential in the regular season. Now bad-clutch, or choking, makes perfect sense, because the pressure does get to some guys and does make them make mistakes. I don't believe in a force that makes people better come playoff time.

    Now hockey is a strange case, because it does seem like everyone turns it up a notch or two in the playoffs, but that should say more about their effort in the season than their clutch ability. For the last few years it has looked like the NHL players were dragging it in the final weeks of the season, unless they were crawling and scratching for home-ice or the final seed
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"