Indicators of Success: Goalies (West 2011)

Ryan Ma




There are a couple of key indicators to look for in terms of predicting success for a goaltender. There's your basic goals against average (GAA), save percentage (SP) along with overall win/loss record. Of the three mentioned, GAA and overall record could be directly influenced by the skill of the team in front of them. For example, if a team is highly offensive (Washington, Detroit, or San Jose), their goalie is going to pick up more wins than a team that struggles offensively (Minnesota or Columbus). On a similar scale, GAA could also be affected by the team's selected style of play (St. Louis, Phoenix, or Nashville), versus the run-and-gun style of Washington/Tampa Bay. One true indicator to determine how well a goalie is playing is to examine their save percentage. If a goalie stops nine shots in every 10, he owns a .900 save percentage. If he stops 27 in every 30 he also maintains a .900 save percentage. In the end, save percentage rarely lies about how well a goalie is playing.


I generally like to draw an arbitrary line at .905. If they are above that line they're generally helping your fantasy team, if they're below it they're a detriment. However, looking at just the three stats mentioned above won't reveal the entire story. Another vital, and possibly the most important indicator, that isn't as well known to the general public, is how defensively a team plays in front of their goalie. The easiest way to examine that indicator is by looking at the amount of shots a team allows to the opposition per contest. Obviously, the lower the amount of shots the team allows to the opposition, then the lower the chance a team is going to be fishing the puck out of the back of their own net. The opposite is also true, the more shots they allow their opponents, the higher the chance of puck going in. With these four indicators, it should paint you a pretty clear picture to give you a better outlook at all of the fantasy worthy goalies from the Western Conference.


NOTE: These ramblings are based on one-year leagues, and not meant for keeper/dynasty leagues.