Varlamov is Very

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 28: Goalie Semyon Varlamov #1 of the Colorado Avalanche gives up a goal on a shot by Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings at the Pepsi Center on September 28, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Kings defeated the Avlanche 6-0. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Show of hands, please: who knew that poem was written by Longfellow? If you did, congratulations. You win the home version of the game, which is probably a good thing as I'm guessing you never, ever leave the house anyway. So, while you beam about your fancy book-learnin', I'm going to move on and embrace a different sort of nerdiness: number crunching.

I don't think I'm surprising anyone when I postulate that Semyon Varlamov has been very reminiscent of the girl with a curl - he's either been really, really good or really, really..."horrid" is too strong a word, so let's go with really, really not-very-good. I remain a believer in the long-term outlook for Varly, but thought it would be fun (in a stick hot pokers in your eye sense) to compare Varly's swings with his peers. The ever-valuable hockey-rerefence.com compiles a number of useful splits, including a goalie's performance in wins and losses. To keep this somewhat manageable, I grabbed splits for all Western Conference goalies who have played in 20 games this year plus Craig Anderson just for kicks.

As expect, all goalies play really well in games that they win. In fact, they haven't lost a single one this year (rimshot)

GP W L T Sv%
Mason Win 7 7 0 0 0.968
Backstrom Win 15 15 0 0 0.960
Elliott Win 20 20 0 0 0.959
Quick Win 24 24 0 0 0.954
Khabibulin Win 12 12 0 0 0.954
Smith Win 25 25 0 0 0.952
Kiprusoff Win 27 27 0 0 0.947
Schneider Win 14 13 0 0 0.946
Hiller Win 23 22 0 0 0.946
Harding Win 11 9 0 0 0.944
Rinne Win 33 32 0 0 0.942
Lehtonen Win 21 21 0 0 0.941
Niemi Win 24 23 0 0 0.941
Dubnyk Win 10 10 0 0 0.941
Howard Win 32 32 0 0 0.941
Giguere Win 14 14 0 0 0.940
Halak Win 17 16 0 0 0.940
Sanford Win 11 10 0 0 0.939
Luongo Win 25 25 0 0 0.939
Anderson Win 27 27 0 0 0.938
Varlamov Win 15 15 0 0 0.937
Emery Win 11 11 0 0 0.930
Crawford Win 21 21 0 0 0.926

To me, that data isn't all that interesting, although I had thought Varly would be a little higher on this list as my perception is that he plays lights out in Avalanche wins. More interesting to me is the stats of a goalie in losses (sorry, I borked the GAA numbers somehow so you'll just have to pretend they are there)

GP W L T Sv%
Quick Loss 26 0 16 10 0.914
Halak Loss 15 0 10 5 0.906
Giguere Loss 14 0 9 2 0.903
Sanford Loss 18 0 13 4 0.901
Elliott Loss 9 0 6 2 0.900
Harding Loss 13 0 9 3 0.900
Smith Loss 21 0 14 7 0.897
Backstrom Loss 22 0 15 6 0.896
Kiprusoff Loss 24 0 17 5 0.895
Luongo Loss 16 0 10 6 0.892
Khabibulin Loss 22 0 16 5 0.891
Rinne Loss 20 0 13 6 0.891
Schneider Loss 8 0 5 0 0.888
Lehtonen Loss 19 0 15 3 0.888
Hiller Loss 30 0 19 10 0.883
Niemi Loss 20 0 14 6 0.882
Anderson Loss 27 0 19 6 0.879
Crawford Loss 21 0 14 5 0.877
Dubnyk Loss 19 0 14 1 0.876
Howard Loss 12 0 11 1 0.870
Varlamov Loss 20 0 18 2 0.869
Emery Loss 12 0 7 2 0.864
Mason Loss 25 0 21 3 0.859

An interesting list, although I'd say it really speaks as much to goal support as anything else - the first 9 goalies on the list play for the 10 lowest scoring teams in the league (suck it, Luongo). No, what I'm really interested here is the swing: the difference in stats between when a goalie wins and when he loses. Basically, I'm just showing the difference between save percentage in winning games and save percentage in losing games. The lower the number, the more consistent a goalie has been. While I am sure I am doing the math in a decidedly no-Corsi-approved method, it's good enough for me.

Sv% (W) Sv% (L) Sv%Dif
Halak 0.940 0.906 0.034
Giguere 0.940 0.903 0.037
Sanford 0.939 0.901 0.038
Quick 0.954 0.914 0.040
Harding 0.944 0.900 0.044
Luongo 0.939 0.892 0.047
Crawford 0.926 0.877 0.049
Rinne 0.942 0.891 0.051
Kiprusoff 0.947 0.895 0.052
Lehtonen 0.941 0.888 0.053
Smith 0.952 0.897 0.055
Schneider 0.946 0.888 0.058
Anderson 0.938 0.879 0.059
Elliott 0.959 0.900 0.059
Niemi 0.941 0.882 0.059
Hiller 0.946 0.883 0.063
Khabibulin 0.954 0.891 0.063
Backstrom 0.960 0.896 0.064
Dubnyk 0.941 0.876 0.065
Emery 0.930 0.864 0.066
Varlamov 0.937 0.869 0.068
Howard 0.941 0.870 0.071
Mason 0.968 0.859 0.109

The numbers are very much in line with what I suspected. J.S. Giguere has been extremely consistent all year from game to game. On the other hand, Varlamov has shown inconsistency of some significance. And that really is the heart of what's been the problem this year. When he's been good, he's been good enough to help the Avalanche win. But, when he's been bad...ugh, it has not been pretty. I don't know if Longfellow was a hockey fan or not, but his description of the little girl with a curl certainly works here.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Mile High Hockey

You must be a member of Mile High Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Hockey. You should read them.

Join Mile High Hockey

You must be a member of Mile High Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Hockey. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker