Ramblings: Some words on Saros, Pionk, Sergachev, Schenn, Buchnevich, and Forsberg – April 16

Michael Clifford

2020-04-16

Looking back on the 2019-20 season, there are a lot of stories that have been hashed and re-hashed: the emergence of the all-star rookie defencemen, McDavid/Draisaitl dominance, Hellebuyck carrying Winnipeg, the playoff race in the Metro, Bryan Rust throwing up monster points out of nowhere, the slow establishment of Tampa Bay's dominance, and on we can go. I want to dig into a few things that may have not been discussed as thoroughly and they'll be through a fantasy hockey lens.

As such, I want to go through a handful of fantasy-related stories that we may have overlooked or outright forgotten (honestly, the hockey season feels like a lifetime ago). These are in no particular order and have no particular relevance other than I think they're interesting.

 

Juuse Saros

After a couple of seasons with real strong showings as a backup goalie in 2016-17 and 2017-18 (he had a .924 save percentage across 47 appearances), he fell off in 2018-19 (.915 save percentage) and was about the same in 2019-20 (.914). But it's how he got to the .914 that is important.

Through Saros's first 20 appearances in 2019-20, which stretched until New Year's Eve, he had just an .890 save percentage. It's not as if Pekka Rinne was doing much better, though, as in that same time frame, he posted an .894 save percentage. The net was, effectively, wide open for either goalie to take the reigns of the starting gig in the second half of the season, and Saros did just that.

From New Year's Eve onward, Saros had 20 more appearances and managed a .934 save percentage in that span. By contrast, Rinne had just 13 appearances and an .898 save percentage, with just five appearances from the first of February to when the season was shutdown. Saros had taken over the net, and he was playing spectacularly.

Over the last three years, Saros's goals saved above average per 60 minutes tie him with