Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's a Shame About Ray

Raycroft currently has a .901 save percentage, which puts him 27th in the NHL among goalies who've started 10 games or more.

Here's a look at Raycroft's save percentage on a game by game basis. Raycroft Save Percentage
In the 12 games that he has posted a .900% save percentage or better the Leafs are 10-1-1.

In the 10 games Raycroft's been below .900, the Leafs are 1-7-2.

I know you can't win without putting the puck in the other teams net, but that's a pretty damning stat.

A note about the chart: The squiggly red line is the trend line, sadly pointing a bit south at the moment... Red bars are losses, blue bars are wins and dark blue bars are games decided by a shoot-out. The horizontal yellow marker is a Mendoza line of sorts - it marks the .900 save percentage point - a mark all starting goalies should be able to stay above. (There has to be a goalie we could name it after to give it a bit of a hockey flavour - any suggestions?)


  1. Anonymous12:59 pm

    How about the Racicot line. Although technically it should probably be at the .800 mark (or .850), as if you cant keep above that you dont belong in the league, similar to batting .200 in baseball.

  2. Anonymous1:30 pm

    How about the Ing line? Set it at .869, his last season in the NHL with the Oilers, and obviously not good enough to stay in the league. .800 is far too low.

    On an interesting, my-how-things-have-changed, note Grant Fuhr's career save percentage with the Oilers was .883. That would put him 40th in the NHL today. He never hit .900 in the regular season, his best season being in 1981-82 when he hit .898. In the 1987-88 playoffs, when Edmonton won the Cup and he had all 16 wins, his save percentage was only .883. Pelle Lindbergh won the Vezina in 1984-85 with a .899 save percentage. Billy Smith won the Vezina in 1981-82 with a .900 save percentage. Belfour won the Vezina in 1992-93 with a .906 mark. Now the top ten goalies are over .920. Goalies clearly have become much better over time. Or NHL shooters have seriously regressed.

    Raycroft has looked extraordinary on some nights and then less than ordinary others. Even worse, this type of inconsistency seems to crop up during games, playing great one period, bad the next. Pretty much mirroring the team as a whole.

    He blew Koivu's first goal in Saturday's game when Koivu came from behind the goal line and slipped it through his pads. He was originally in the proper position, snug against the post and paddle down but then inexplicably changed position leaving an opening between the legs.

    The Leafs better hope that Pogge ends up being better than Rask or that deal will acquire an odour.

  3. I'm surprised that more noise hasn't been made about Peca's play on Montreal's second goal. Koivu was his man and he let him get by right off the draw. Of course it didn't help that Raycroft opened the wickets and suddenly the comeback was on.

    As for naming rights, what about the Bester line, set it at .870 and see if the NHL can't line up some big pharma company to sponsor it.

  4. Anonymous3:11 pm

    I would definitely champion the Bester Line as hockey's answer to the Mendoza line.

  5. PPPWhen are you going to post the next round of your results comparison? CP had a story on how the Leafs are doing v. last year and I thought you'd be all over it with a fresh post. Speaking of which, shouldn't you be cross-posting your stuff at BoO to your site?

    What about the Healy Line? Career SV% of .888 (which is a good 10 points higher than I would have guessed)

  6. Anonymous4:16 pm

    Good point about the BoO stuff. I have had to do that very quickly because of work commitments.

    I've been supremely busy but I set aside tonight to finish it up and get the 20 game mark up (and the 30 game mark soon after).

    I think that the Healy line could be even better if we can get some traction behind it since he is on TSN. Bester is very sentimental but it'd be fun to see the Healy Line get picked up.

  7. Anonymous4:20 pm

    Healy won a Cup, though. The moniker should refer to someone that was right on the cusp of being sent down or staying in the league during their entire career and never did anything of note. Healy was a half-decent backup for most of his career.

    How about the Bernhardt line, .866 with the Leafs? Or the Tellqvist line, .895? There's a guy that's always going to be right on the bubble no matter where he plays.

  8. Good point about Healy and the cup (although he did win it as a back-up).

    How about the John Garret line? HockeyDB doesn't have stats for a few of his seasons, but based on what they do have puts his career SV% at a cool .867

  9. Anonymous5:04 pm

    Hmm, Telly would be a good one if his career continues on the same arc.

    Healy has a Stanley Cup ring but I might as well have one for all the good the two of us did during that run. If it has to be someone on the verge of being sent to the minors it's hard to pick Healy because he always had a backup job.

    Garret is a good pick, what about someone like Millen or Pang?

  10. Anonymous11:50 pm

    Still, a Cup is a Cup.

    The Mendoza line is used in baseball terms to delineate a definite minor leaguer from a bottom of the rung major leaguer, so I think the goalie line has to have the same kind of connotation.

    Pang was .865 for his career, Millen was .876. The great thing about Millen is that he played for 6 different NHL teams, including 3 in the 1989-90 season alone. If there was ever a guy that seemed always on the bubble with whatever team he was with, it would probably be him.

    Last season, the lowest save percentage in the league was Raycroft at .879. In 2003-04 it was Caron at .883. In 2002-03 it was Irbe at .878. In 2001-02 it was Fernandez at .892. Realistically, I can't see a goalie staying in the league now with a save percentage of under .876, so the Millen line might be a good one to go with.


    As for Raycroft's performance tonight, I thought overall he looked good. Not much chance on any of Atlanta's goals and was victimized by turnovers by the rest of the team and poor coverage in the defensive zone. His save percentage was only about .806 but I don't think that stat is truly indicative of his play tonight.

  11. Anonymous9:21 am

    The Millen Line it is then!

    The Leafs live by the saying 'a 2 goal lead is the most dangerous in sports' and last night was a good example. That game, despite all of the turnovers, was in the Leafs hands until they stopped playing in the third.

    Also, the results comparison for 20 game mark is up. 30 is already around the corner.

  12. Anonymous11:15 am

    Hold on, it can't be Millen, it was never in doubt that he would stay in the league, he played way too many games and too many years to be considered on the bubble.

    Listen i know this is a Leaf blog and i hate the Habs as much as anyone but I still have to state the case for Racicot. He was on the bubble for three season as the back up, he had a great nickname for a goalie "red-light" and his save percentage in the 1993-94 and final season which caused him to finally be let go? .850

    Plus since then he has played for team named the Basingstoke Bison and the Monroe Moccasins. Perfect for a guy to name a cut-off line for bad goalies after.

    You can't beat the "Red-light Racicot line". Think of it as making fun of the Habs for having stuck behind such a bad goalie for as long as they did.

    If not him i like Ing as a candidate although the "Ing Line" doesnt really flow.

    What about that bum Ottawa thought was decent goalie until the Leafs shredded him in the playoffs? Went to St. Louis and is now out of the league? What was his name again?

  13. Oh it could definitely be Millen.


    He was hardly a consensus first choice on the Hartford teams that he played on or even in St. Louis. He sported a losing record in most seasons and for most of his career, especially at the end, it was more a case of 'there is no one else' than 'yeah let's get Millen' that kept him in the league.

    Having said that, I threw my support behind Healy. Either one will make me happy. Racicot was just too terrible for too short of a time to be rewarded with this sort of fame.

  14. Anonymous5:15 pm

    While I love his nickname, we can't let a Hab be immortalized like this. I still get pissed that the goal scoring title is named after Richard and not Gretzky, let's not give the Habs another undeserved piece of hockey lore.