Aebischer Saves!


Aebischer_medium

David Aebischer. Photo by Getty Images

 

Yesterday, Geoff Detweiler at Broad Street Hockey provided a spreadsheet a user had put together that listed every goalie since 1998 and their save percentages at even strength, shorthanded (PP Sv%) and on the powerplay (SH SV%). I thought it might be fun to take that data and see how it breaks down for Avalanche goalies.That is, until I got to the end, and found some very alarming trends. We'll get there, but first, let's see the numbers. Again, this is just from '98 on, and only includes seasons with the Avalanche, except in cases where a player was traded midseason, in which case it includes both.

The first thing I did was rank the players by even strength save percentage.

 

 

Year Name Team GP GS ES SV% PP SV% SH SV% Total SV%
2008 Tyler Weiman  COL  1 0 1.000 1.000 1.000
2004 David Aebischer  COL  62 61 0.937 0.877 0.896 0.924
2010 Peter Budaj  COL  15 11 0.935 0.800 1.000 0.917
2002 Patrick Roy  COL  63 63 0.934 0.896 0.900 0.925
2003 Patrick Roy  COL  63 63 0.933 0.881 0.902 0.920
1998 Craig Billington  COL  23 19 0.932 0.912 0.833 0.923
1999 Patrick Roy  COL  61 61 0.930 0.875 0.923 0.917
2002 David Aebischer  COL  21 19 0.928 0.928 1.000 0.931
2003 David Aebischer  COL  22 19 0.928 0.872 0.923 0.916
2010 Craig Anderson  COL  71 71 0.926 0.879 0.905 0.917
2001 David Aebischer  COL  26 22 0.925 0.819 0.850 0.903
2001 Patrick Roy  COL  62 60 0.925 0.863 0.917 0.913
1999 Marc Denis  COL  4 3 0.924 0.889 1.000 0.918
2000 Marc Denis  COL  23 20 0.924 0.887 0.941 0.917
2000 Patrick Roy  COL  63 61 0.923 0.878 0.909 0.914
1998 Patrick Roy  COL  65 63 0.920 0.903 0.925 0.916
2004 Philippe Sauve  COL  17 16 0.920 0.843 0.667 0.896
2008 Peter Budaj  COL  35 30 0.919 0.828 0.964 0.903
2008 Jose Theodore  COL  53 52 0.917 0.873 0.943 0.910
2011 Craig Anderson  COL  29 28 0.916 0.855 0.818 0.903
2007 Peter Budaj  COL  57 53 0.914 0.856 0.932 0.905
2006 Peter Budaj  COL  34 29 0.913 0.855 0.975 0.900
2004 Tommy Salo  EDM, COL  49 46 0.913 0.841 0.877 0.897
2011 Peter Budaj  COL  25 22 0.912 0.809 0.889 0.894
2009 Peter Budaj  COL  56 55 0.908 0.858 0.923 0.899
2007 Jose Theodore  COL  33 29 0.906 0.841 0.882 0.891
2009 Andrew Raycroft  COL  31 27 0.905 0.832 0.864 0.892
1999 Craig Billington  COL  21 18 0.905 0.869 0.828 0.894
2006 David Aebischer  COL, MTL  50 49 0.905 0.885 0.877 0.899
2006 Vitaly Kolesnik  COL  8 7 0.894 0.854 1.000 0.888
2006 Jose Theodore  MTL, COL  43 41 0.893 0.839 0.902 0.882
2000 Richard Tabaracci  ATL, COL  3 2 0.846 1.000 1.000 0.880

 

 

Of course, the best season here belonged to Patrick Roy...woah, hold on. Actually, it wasn't. That honor went to David Aebischer, the first season after Roy retired. Did not see that one coming. Then again, one of the worst seasons by a goalie was put in by Aebischer as well, two seasons later. That was the year he was traded...for a guy who actually did have the worst season on the list (apologies to Rick Tabaracci, wherever he is).

If we dump the scrubs (10 games or less) and sort by overall save percentage, you get the following:

 

Year Name Team GP GS ES SV% PP SV% SH SV% Total SV%
2002 David Aebischer  COL  21 19 0.928 0.928 1.000 0.931
2002 Patrick Roy  COL  63 63 0.934 0.896 0.900 0.925
2004 David Aebischer  COL  62 61 0.937 0.877 0.896 0.924
1998 Craig Billington  COL  23 19 0.932 0.912 0.833 0.923
2003 Patrick Roy  COL  63 63 0.933 0.881 0.902 0.920
2010 Peter Budaj  COL  15 11 0.935 0.800 1.000 0.917
1999 Patrick Roy  COL  61 61 0.930 0.875 0.923 0.917
2010 Craig Anderson  COL  71 71 0.926 0.879 0.905 0.917
2000 Marc Denis  COL  23 20 0.924 0.887 0.941 0.917
2003 David Aebischer  COL  22 19 0.928 0.872 0.923 0.916
1998 Patrick Roy  COL  65 63 0.920 0.903 0.925 0.916
2000 Patrick Roy  COL  63 61 0.923 0.878 0.909 0.914
2001 Patrick Roy  COL  62 60 0.925 0.863 0.917 0.913
2008 Jose Theodore  COL  53 52 0.917 0.873 0.943 0.910
2007 Peter Budaj  COL  57 53 0.914 0.856 0.932 0.905
2001 David Aebischer  COL  26 22 0.925 0.819 0.850 0.903
2008 Peter Budaj  COL  35 30 0.919 0.828 0.964 0.903
2011 Craig Anderson  COL  29 28 0.916 0.855 0.818 0.903
2006 Peter Budaj  COL  34 29 0.913 0.855 0.975 0.900
2009 Peter Budaj  COL  56 55 0.908 0.858 0.923 0.899
2006 David Aebischer  COL, MTL  50 49 0.905 0.885 0.877 0.899
2004 Tommy Salo  EDM, COL  49 46 0.913 0.841 0.877 0.897
2004 Philippe Sauve  COL  17 16 0.920 0.843 0.667 0.896
2011 Peter Budaj  COL  25 22 0.912 0.809 0.889 0.894
1999 Craig Billington  COL  21 18 0.905 0.869 0.828 0.894
2009 Andrew Raycroft  COL  31 27 0.905 0.832 0.864 0.892
2007 Jose Theodore  COL  33 29 0.906 0.841 0.882 0.891
2006 Jose Theodore  MTL, COL  43 41 0.893 0.839 0.902 0.882

 

Again, Abby is all over the place as is Peter Budaj. Theodore had some very poor seasons in Denver and Patrick Roy is freaking awesome. Oh, and the current season by Craig Anderson and Peter Budaj are not very good. Raise your hand if you didn't already know that!

Finally, I totaled everyone up to see how everyone compares. Again, Abby & Theodore include some numbers from their '06 season with Montreal, and Roy's stats are from '98 on only

 

Name GP GS ES SV% PP SV% SH SV% Total SV%
Patrick Roy 377 371 0.928 0.883 0.914 0.918
Marc Denis  27 23 0.924 0.887 0.952 0.918
David Aebischer  181 170 0.924 0.879 0.896 0.914
Craig Anderson  100 99 0.923 0.872 0.885 0.913
Craig Billington  44 37 0.920 0.895 0.830 0.911
Peter Budaj 222 200 0.914 0.844 0.945 0.902
Jose Theodore  129 122 0.906 0.850 0.908 0.895
Andrew Raycroft  31 27 0.905 0.832 0.864 0.892

 

The first thing that came to mind: Jose Theodore wanted how much money to stay here?

The second thing? Peter Budaj has terrible numbers shorthanded (PP SV% = save percentage against the other team's powerplay). His .844 total save percentage is lousy (at least compared to other Avalanche goalies). His best season against the PP was 2009, when he managed .858 - still far below the pace. And his two worst seasons? Last season (.800) and this season (.809).

Conversely, Budaj's numbers against the other team's penalty kill are outstanding. He's allowed just 10 SH goals in his Avalanche career (183 shots against). Craig Anderson has allowed 11 (12, really) in one and a half seasons and just 96 shots. I'm sure jibbles is just screaming "small sample size" right now, but it might not be a bad idea to sub in Anderson any time the Avs are shorthanded, and make sure Budaj is between the pipes when the Avs have the PP.

Most interesting, though, would be the strikingly similar numbers shared by Craig Anderson and David Aebischer. The similarities don't stop with the numbers above, though. Both goalies were mid-round picks (3rd for Andy, 6th for Abby) and spent several years as a rock-solid backup before finally getting a shot to start. Both excelled when given the chance - Aebischer won 32 games for the Avalanche in 2003-2004 while sporting a .924 save percentage and 2.09 GAA. Andy, of course, had a similar breakout year in his first season as a starter, winning 38 games while notching a .917 save percentage and 2.64 GAA.

And here's where the worrisome part comes in, especially if your name rhymes with Haig Flanderson. The following season, Aebischer struggled (.900 save percentage, 2.98 GAA) and was traded at the deadline to the Canadiens. He never really regained his form and was out of the NHL just 40 games later (he's currently playing in the Swiss league). Anderson is also struggling mightily this year (.903 save percentage, 3.12 GAA). A year ago, Anderson appeared to have a stranglehold on the starting goaltending position for years in Colorado, much like Aebischer did in the summer of 2004. Could Anderson be moving elsewhere at the deadline? It's not a move without precedent.

Finally, it's worth noting that Aebischer played in 214 NHL games, with a .912 save percentage, 2.52 GAA and 13 shutouts. Anderson? 209 games, .912 save percentage, 2.82 GAA and 14 shutouts. Hmm, do they have ice girls in Switzerland?

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