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)
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)
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|
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.