Yesterday we looked at the league’s most consistent and most inconsistent goalies, picking at the extremes of an oft-discussed but rarely looked at issue. With those players out of the way, it’s time to consider the whole picture: every goalie in the league (minimum 25 games played) ranked by game-to-game save percentage standard deviation (the length of that phrase is why I just use the word “consistency).
For those without a stats background, standard deviation is just the area on a graph where 34.1% of results fall. A goaltender with a low standard deviation plays most of his games near his average level of performance, while a goalie with a high standard deviation jumps higher or lower than the average.
|Player||SV%||Avg. SV%||Std. Dev. (102)|
A few things stand out to me here:
- Martin Brodeur’s place on this list isn’t surprising to someone who has followed his season to date, but it certainly isn’t a spot I would have expected him to occupy at the start of the year. He’s been Mr. Consistent from season to season, but he hasn’t been this year.
- There is some definite correlation between consistency and ability; there are some exceptions (Luongo, Hedberg and Brodeur, for instance) but for the most part the good goaltenders have very few off games and bad goaltenders vary more. This isn’t surprising, but it’s nice to see some firm evidence.
- For young goalies with bad numbers, I’d suggest that sitting near the bottom of this list is a good thing; not because inconsistency is a virtue but because it’s much better to be bad with flashes of brilliance than consistently awful.