Why the Caps Need to Sign Huet

Before we get started w/ the stats, a remedial math course… as it relates to hockey goaltenders.

Goals Against Average (GAA) is calculated like this:
You take the total minutes that the goalie played in the season (including the playoffs, if desired) and divide that by 60, since there are 60 minutes in a regular NHL game (not including overtime or the shootout). That gives you the number of games played by the goalie (not always a whole number). I can only imagine that overtime or shootout minutes are not included in that goalie’s total-minutes-played stat because these are not “regular” periods; they only happen when necessary. Then, you take the total number of goals scored against that goalie (empty-net goals are not included, since he wasn’t on the ice at the time) and divide that by the number of games (figured previously). That gives you the average number of goals scored against that goalie in 60 minutes (or, per game). That’s your goals-against-average, or GAA.

So it’s:
TOTAL MINUTES / 60 = GAMES PLAYED
… then:
TOTAL GOALS ALLOWED / GAMES PLAYED = GAA

Mathematical shorthand is:
(GOALS ALLOWED x 60) / TOTAL MINUTES = GAA

The lower the GAA number, the better the goaltender’s performance.

Save Percent (SV%) is calculated like this:
You take the total number of shots that a goalie faced all season (including the playoffs, if desired), and subtract the total number of goals scored against him. That gives you the total number of “saves” he had… or the number of shots he didn’t let into the net. You then take that number of saves, and divide it by the total number of shots (from before), and that gives you the percentage of shots he didn’t let into the net. That’s your save percent, or SV%.

So it’s:
(TOTAL SHOTS – TOTAL GOALS) / TOTAL SHOTS = SV%

The higher the SV%, the better the goaltender’s performance.

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the situation in D.C. over the course of the 2007-2008 regular season and playoffs: Olaf Kolzig was the starting goaltender for the majority of the season; Brent Johnson was the backup all season (while not injured, and before Huet came along), and Cristobal Huet was acquired at the trade deadline for the Caps’ playoff run, effectively supplanting Kolzig as the starter for the end of the regular season, and throughout the Caps’ 7-game playoff series (relegating Olie to the backup position).

Long story longer… here’s what’s up:

Kolzig let in a total of 153 goals in 3,154 minutes on the ice. That gives him a GAA of 2.91.
Kolzig faced 1,423 total shots, and you know 153 of them went in. That gives him a SV% of 0.892.

Johnson let in a total of 46 goals in 1,032 minutes on the ice. That gives him a GAA of 2.67.
Johnon faced 500 total shots, and you know 46 of them went in. That gives him a SV% of 0.908.

That brings us to Huet. The following stats include playoff games, since he was the only Caps goalie to play during all 7 games; Kolzig and Johnson never made it to the ice.

Huet let in a total of 43 goals in 1,222 minutes on the ice. That gives him a GAA of 2.11.
Huet faced 571 total shots, and you know 43 of them went in. That gives him a SV% of 0.925.

Upshot?

Kolzig’s performance was the worst on the team. Johnson was better, given his meager minutes.

In only 20 games, Huet kicked the shit out of them both.

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