Eastern Edge: Goaltender Trade Targets

Cam Metz



The DobberHockey Midseason guide drops this week, reserve your copy now.  In the guide Dobber and the gang look through all 31 teams and provide you on the estimated points that players will score in the second half, quick hits on team developments, goalie analysis, and more.  This is the tool you need, so let the experts dig in and you can turn their analysis into a championship(s) this spring.


Perusing Twitter this morning I saw this bit from @SteveBurtch on save percentage randomness with goalies:

First off if you’re not following Steve on Twitter, he is an absolute must follow. Unfortunately I don’t have a paper to support this statement, but in theory it makes perfect sense. 

For reference LDsv% stands for low danger save percentage – a save from a shot generated from the point for example would classify as a low danger. Whereas HDsv% would refer to a shot in the crease or slow area.

For the most part shots from the point are only going to go in on goalies by sheer luck.  It’s the reason so many teams have shifted their shot generation away from the point. 

I personally was worried about Burns coming into this season for this very fact, that predicting goals from long distance shots is hard.   On a side note this clearly was the wrong thing to worry about, because Burns continues to be an absolute beast on the blueline.

The last part of the second tweet “Let this be a reminder people can’t get a sense of what matters easily JUST from watching,” was especially enjoyable.  As fantasy hockey enthusiasts most of us recognize quite quickly that there is always more than meets the eye for skaters and goalies.   With the motivation to look a little more into predicting goalie success provided by Mr. Burtch, I wanted to look at the goalies in the East who are most likely to see an increase in their play due to some bad luck on low danger save percentage (LDSV%).


Last season the average was LDsv% 0.973 in all situations for all goalies playing at least 500 minutes.  The top three performers were Braden Holtby, Charlie Lindgren, and Philipp Grubauer; the average save percentage of these three goalies was 0.989.  The bottom three performers were Matt Murray, Joonas Korpisalo, and Anders Nilsson. The most interesting name on both lists is Holtby, by most accounts he had a very mediocre regular season.  The fact that his LDsv% was tops in the league further suggests the point driven home by Burtch that goalie performance is best looked at in the MDsv% and HDsv% areas.


This season I pulled the data for LDsv% in all situations for all goalies playing at least 300 minutes.  The results of all of t