Trotz vs. Rinne

Dobber Sports



If you're anything like me, sometimes you think about stuff.   At times I think it's important to keep those thoughts to myself – like the time I pondered "exactly how in the heck in the world DO giraffes survive that six foot fall when they're born?"  One thing I can share, though, is the completely stable consideration of "just who is a better goaltender, Pekka Rinne or Barry Trotz?"


Based on such physical attributes as body size and cranial structure, the obvious answer would be "not Barry Trotz".  Not so fast.   Pekka Rinne is a massive man, and an equally good goaltender; but is he the best Nashville has ever had?  My interest is piqued by the great stats Nashville goaltenders have posted in the last five or six years, yet the turnover rate is extremely high.  Until the Rinn-Era, Nashville has been a goalie-graveyard of sorts, if you were step outside the box and compare a goalie replacement program to death.  How much better Rinne really is than other notable Nashville 'tenders, and how much of their successes can be likened to the style of hockey Barry Trotz employs?



Above are career numbers.  Take into consideration that Mason has been in the NHL twice as long as the other two, and Vokoun has played more the double the games Mason has.  One standout category is shutouts.  Rinne has one less shutout than Mason, with 109 less games played and 8 more than Ellis with only 22 more games.  While it's arguable that a shutout is evidence of a better goaltender, it represents an ability to win games without much team support.  Both Rinne's save percentage and goals-against average are at an elite level, while Mason's and Ellis' are average.  It's clear that Rinne will surpass Mason's wins and shutouts, save any unforeseen issue, and that his career numbers are on a trajectory to widen the gap by a fair margin.  It's going to take some work for Rinne to catch Vokoun, but at 28 he's got lots of time left.


The following table compares the average of recorded goalie stats from years played in Nashville to years played on any other team in the NHL (combined).  All averages are taken from regular season play, playoff stats are not included.


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