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Lehner: Mediocre or the Goalie of the Future?

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Poll: Lehner: Mediocre or the Goalie of the Future?

Is Lehner Good Enough?

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#201 SwampD

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 01:52 PM

Hasek is weird because his stats would have gone counter to what he looked like doing them. Hasek was probably hard to watch if you were a goalie coach or scout. He made saves, but it didn't make any sense. 

Lehner makes saves too, and his numbers look really good right now, but I don't think any of this is logic defying like Hasek was. Everything about Lehner at first glance appears to present a good NHL goalie. 

But looking a little closer makes me nervous. Hasek turned out to be surprisingly good. I think Lehner has the potential to become surprisingly bad. 

But if he could fix something that seems so easy to fix, like hugging the post, couldn't he just as easily turn into something surprisingly good?



#202 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 01:55 PM

This is what I was afraid of - that saying Lehner is not as bad as the haters make him out to be is pigeonholing me as a Lehner supporter.

I see his flaws, and hope we can upgrade. I just don’t think the upgrade is as easy as much of Sabrespace makes it out to be. Mork captured my feelings pretty much exactly in the other thread.


For me it's not even hoping to upgrade as much as it is hoping to get similar play for half the cost.

I wonder if this was how Hasek was viewed by most people before he turned into Hasek.

I'm not saying that Lehner is the next Hasek. I just wonder if all of these stats folk were around when Hasek made the scene, would they have been pointing out how bad all of his measurables were, only because they just didn't have a measurable to measure what was great about him yet?

And Hasek, too, was just about as bad as a goalie can be at handling the puck.


I definitely think there's a style bias. People have conceptions of how certain things are supposed to look. But eventually the stopping of the puck should override that.

#203 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 01:57 PM

This is me, except for a small niggling part that wonders if his play the past month is for real.
I guess that’s what the next two months are for.


There's a small part of you that thinks he's Carey Price? Seek help. Immediately. :P

#204 dudacek

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 01:58 PM

For me it's not even hoping to upgrade as much as it is hoping to get similar play for half the cost.


That’s why I’m pinning my hopes on Ullmark.
Because the Elliotts and the Mrazeks are worse, the elite guys aren’t available and getting an incremental upgrade isnt worth the cost to acquire.

#205 Randall Flagg

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:01 PM

Hasek is weird because his stats would have gone counter to what he looked like doing them. Hasek was probably hard to watch if you were a goalie coach or scout. He made saves, but it didn't make any sense. 

Lehner makes saves too, and his numbers look really good right now, but I don't think any of this is logic defying like Hasek was. Everything about Lehner at first glance appears to present a good NHL goalie. 

But looking a little closer makes me nervous. Hasek turned out to be surprisingly good. I think Lehner has the potential to become surprisingly bad. 

This is exactly what I feel like. Things are off-putting. It's hardly an "I don't like Lehner and WILL find stats to back me up". It's a, well, everything out there says he's doing fine, but there's something about watching him on the ice that makes me want him off this team. Why?

And then you look to see if he can stop, say, a shot from the slot or the circle, and you find out that he's really really bad at doing that relative to his peers. Like, the worst in the league. But then you see that those are balanced by the fact that he faces more of the easy shots than anyone else too, and then it makes a little more sense. 

I really believe that if Lehner played in front of the Leafs defense he'd be above 3 GAA and below .905 save percentage. Just like Chad's numbers died when he went from playing for Bylsma to playing for the Flames in goalie hell. 


Edited by Randall Flagg, 03 January 2018 - 02:01 PM.


#206 dudacek

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:01 PM

There's a small part of you that thinks he's Carey Price? Seek help. Immediately. :P


I think you are on to something, Lehner and Price, starring in Freaky Friday II: Freaky Between the Pipes

Edited by Mick O’Manly, 03 January 2018 - 02:01 PM.


#207 Randall Flagg

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:12 PM

This is our shot profile:

 buf.png

 

We do a very good job at limiting shots from the slot and net-front area. It works well for Robin, because like I mentioned, you can now account for shots from this location and he is terribad relative to his peers at stopping them. If Robin played for the following teams, I would guess that he, well, wouldn't be playing:

nyr.png

ari.png

wsh.png

chi.png



#208 erickompositör72

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:20 PM

Hasek is weird because his stats would have gone counter to what he looked like doing them. Hasek was probably hard to watch if you were a goalie coach or scout. He made saves, but it didn't make any sense. 

But looking a little closer makes me nervous. Hasek turned out to be surprisingly good. I think Lehner has the potential to become surprisingly bad. 

 

Hasek, while implementing a completely unorthodox style, was actually out-of-this-world good at the basic parameters I outlined in a previous post. His recovery time was off the charts, his ability to freeze the puck was elite, and his ability to locate the puck in a scramble was outstanding. He read plays as well as any goaltender, and this accounted for him being able to make those ridiculous saves.

 

Just because he looked so unorthodox doesn't change the fact that those fundamentals were so sound. There's a lot more "science" in analyzing goaltenders than some realize, and by "science," I do not mean simple stats! (sv%, gga, ect. The analytics Randall just posted, however, are quite illustrative)

 

But if he could fix something that seems so easy to fix, like hugging the post, couldn't he just as easily turn into something surprisingly good?

 

The problem is, hugging the post isn't the problem, but rather, a symptom of the problem. The problem is his questionable balance when he goes down and his ability to recover. He wasn't hugging the post in the 2nd NYR goal because he had already committed, and couldn't adjust/recover.


Edited by erickompositör72, 03 January 2018 - 02:22 PM.


#209 dudacek

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:20 PM

I was one of those who figured Lehner would be exposed after we dumped the Terry Murray LA defence in favour of Housley’s Nashville style. Early on, it looked like I was going to be right, but Lehner has instead rebounded with the finest month of his career. Why?

Luck? Has Housley changed tactics? Is Zack Bogosian really that good?

#210 nfreeman

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:23 PM

Good stuff RF.

 

One more point about the "similar production for half the cost" point (which is an excellent one) -- when we calculate "half the cost", we need to consider what it will cost to keep Lehner after this year, both in annual pay and term.  I think it's reasonably possible that the Sabres can get similar production for $2MMish next year.  And if it will take a 3-year deal or longer to keep Lehner, then I'm certain the Sabres can get similar production at a much lower cost.



#211 erickompositör72

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:27 PM

Good stuff RF.

 

One more point about the "similar production for half the cost" point (which is an excellent one) -- when we calculate "half the cost", we need to consider what it will cost to keep Lehner after this year, both in annual pay and term.  I think it's reasonably possible that the Sabres can get similar production for $2MMish next year.  And if it will take a 3-year deal or longer to keep Lehner, then I'm certain the Sabres can get similar production at a much lower cost.

 

I'm telling you, if Lehner plays the rest of this season with the Sabres, with his (IMO) padded stats due to our defensive system, he's going to be an arbitration nightmare. His stats will be used to command a waayyy higher contract than his ability.

 

I'm praying we will let that become another team's nightmare, or just not even offer him a contract


Has Housley changed tactics?

 

As illustrated by Randall's post, it appears so.



#212 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:29 PM

Good stuff RF.

One more point about the "similar production for half the cost" point (which is an excellent one) -- when we calculate "half the cost", we need to consider what it will cost to keep Lehner after this year, both in annual pay and term. I think it's reasonably possible that the Sabres can get similar production for $2MMish next year. And if it will take a 3-year deal or longer to keep Lehner, then I'm certain the Sabres can get similar production at a much lower cost.


For sure. Of course, they can also get much worse production while seeking the bargain. I think stability is worth paying for above the strict performance value of a goaltender because nothing can sink a team's season like bad goaltending. There's an upper threshold to be sure, and Lehner may push above that, but we have to consider the possibility that we end up shooting ourselves in the foot in the pursuit of better value.

#213 WildCard

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:37 PM

Those charts restore my faith in Housley



#214 dudacek

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:53 PM

At the risk of embarrassing myself by comparing Chad Johnson to anyone, who - outside of Ullmark - is going to be our $2 million goalie who plays at an equivalent level to Lehner?

The Flames bet on Johnson and Elliott and it blew up in their faces. We laugh at the Flyers for doing it every year. The Blues and the Sharks and the Stars wasted some good talent in front of bad goalies.

#215 SwampD

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 03:07 PM

Or,...

 

If he was playing for these teams, he might be getting ready for the playoffs.

 

Attached File  Dallas.png   71.05KB   1 downloadsAttached File  NJD.png   70.12KB   1 downloads

Attached File  SLB.png   70.74KB   2 downloadsAttached File  VGK.png   70.39KB   1 downloads

 

Cherry picking is fun.



#216 WildCard

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 03:09 PM

Looked at the first one, but I wanna try and guess the other 3

 

Kings, Preds, and...Tampa?

 

Edit: Not even close


Edited by Jokertecken, 03 January 2018 - 03:09 PM.


#217 Randall Flagg

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 03:33 PM

Or,...

 

If he was playing for these teams, he might be getting ready for the playoffs.

 

attachicon.gifDallas.pngattachicon.gifNJD.png

attachicon.gifSLB.pngattachicon.gifVGK.png

 

Cherry picking is fun.

He absolutely can have some success in this league, provided the team in front fits. 

 

This is true for hundreds of flawed NHLers that get moved from team to team throughout their career. Nothing earth-shattering, and nothing was cherry-picked. 

 



#218 erickompositör72

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 03:33 PM

I don't advocate trying to cheap-out on a goaltender. I say, find a good one, and pay him. It will be worth it. Then, implement Housley's real d-zone system (charts above indicate he may have watered it down because Lehner can't handle it.)



#219 Randall Flagg

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 03:34 PM

Those charts restore my faith in Housley

offense.png

 

Bylsma's teams were good at shot suppression in the slot too. Check out Phil's offense. 

 



#220 woods-racer

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 03:36 PM

Or,...

 

If he was playing for these teams, he might be getting ready for the playoffs.

 

attachicon.gifDallas.pngattachicon.gifNJD.png

attachicon.gifSLB.pngattachicon.gifVGK.png

 

Cherry picking is fun.

 

Aren't you adding to the thought that Lehner is being protected?

 

The Vegas graph clearly shows a team determined to give an AHL level goalie the best shot at winning possible.



#221 WildCard

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 03:36 PM

offense.png

 

Bylsma's teams were good at shot suppression in the slot too. Check out Phil's offense. 

 

Why do you do this Flagg



#222 Randall Flagg

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 03:40 PM

I think I fall in the dudacek boat, but for the other side. The only thing I'm flatly against is extending Robin long-term, and I don't think he's a complete scrub that shouldn't be in the league. But I sometimes come off as absolutely hating the guy, when in reality more often than not he's not the problem and gets his job done well. 

 

I'm not signing any goaltender long-term until he looks like he knows what he's doing out there. Until then it's goalie purgatory. Lehner doesn't get us out, but he doesn't drag us to goalie hell either.



#223 nfreeman

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 03:44 PM

At the risk of embarrassing myself by comparing Chad Johnson to anyone, who - outside of Ullmark - is going to be our $2 million goalie who plays at an equivalent level to Lehner?

The Flames bet on Johnson and Elliott and it blew up in their faces. We laugh at the Flyers for doing it every year. The Blues and the Sharks and the Stars wasted some good talent in front of bad goalies.

 

Would you rather give Cam Ward a 1-year deal at $3MM, or Lehner 4 years x $5MM?

 

How about Anton Khudobin or Anti Raanta on a 1- or 2-year deal?



#224 Randall Flagg

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 03:44 PM

Swamp, can you elaborate on what "cherrypicking" was going on? 

Summarizing my points, Lehner has been around 30th at stopping high danger shots of all goalies in the league his whole time here. Our shot profile was meant to indicate that we don't give up a lot of those relative to the rest of the league as a team, rather we give up more shots than average that Lehner, and most goalies, have much higher save percentages against. I used this to explain Lehner's high save percentage relative to the, well, eyesore that is his style. I then put out some random teams that aren't as good at defending the slot as we are and said he wouldn't do well there. 

Cherrypicking would imply that I was pulling out those charts as some sort of stat and using them to rail on Lehner, when really they were just examples of teams you could mathematically calculate his save percentage on, and it would be a lot lower than it is here. 

Cherry-picking would be something like "Lehner's save percentage on hard shots is worse on Wednesdays and Fridays so I am only showing you those stats and ignoring the rest."

A goalie who is top 10 or 15 in high danger save percentage would be much less affected by a change in the defense in front of him, compared to Lehner, whose save percentage would become very, very volatile to that type of thing. 


Edited by Randall Flagg, 03 January 2018 - 03:46 PM.


#225 SwampD

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 03:53 PM

Aren't you adding to the thought that Lehner is being protected?

 

The Vegas graph clearly shows a team determined to give an AHL level goalie the best shot at winning possible.

 

There are no Haseks or Roys in the NHL today. Every goalie has strengths and weaknesses. Where I would say we are using a style that gives Lehner the best chance to win, others would say he is being "protected." Semantics.

Swamp, can you elaborate on what "cherrypicking" was going on? 

Summarizing my points, Lehner has been around 30th at stopping high danger shots of all goalies in the league his whole time here. Our shot profile was meant to indicate that we don't give up a lot of those relative to the rest of the league as a team, rather we give up more shots than average that Lehner, and most goalies, have much higher save percentages against. I used this to explain Lehner's high save percentage relative to the, well, eyesore that is his style. I then put out some random teams that aren't as good at defending the slot as we are and said he wouldn't do well there. 

Cherrypicking would imply that I was pulling out those charts as some sort of stat and using them to rail on Lehner, when really they were just examples of teams you could mathematically calculate his save percentage on, and it would be a lot lower than it is here. 

Cherry-picking would be something like "Lehner's save percentage on hard shots is worse on Wednesdays and Fridays so I am only showing you those stats and ignoring the rest."

If you can't see that you were cherrypicking then I'm not sure I could show you.

 

I was cherrypicking. I picked four teams that are currently in the playoffs that have a similar defensive style that Robin could thrive in. The only difference is that those teams score goals.


Edited by TräskB, 03 January 2018 - 03:53 PM.


#226 N S

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 03:59 PM

Freud would have a field day with those acid trip charts, RF.



#227 dudacek

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:05 PM

Would you rather give Cam Ward a 1-year deal at $3MM, or Lehner 4 years x $5MM?

How about Anton Khudobin or Anti Raanta on a 1- or 2-year deal?

Very definitely Ward.
But only because I would expect him to complement Ullmark, rather than replace Lehner.
It would be a much different story if we were looking at a duo of Ward and Khudhobin going into next season.
Because there is no way we get a sniff of the playoffs with that duo.

I actually don’t think you and I are too far apart in this debate.
The major difference is that I see Lehner as a 12-25 ranked decent starter type and you see him as a 20-35 ranked replaceable part type.

I will also admit to a recency bias over his play.
Conversely, I think a lot of you are putting too much weight on his first year here.

And I think it is kind of ridiculous how much weight is being given to the idea that the hapless Buffalo ###### Sabres are somehow making Lehner look good.

Edited by Mick O’Manly, 03 January 2018 - 04:11 PM.


#228 Eleven

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:09 PM

The debate going on in the Rangers GDT got me thinking.  Here's where I am on Lehner.  Remember Miro Satan, who could put up 30 goals on a regular basis, but most of them were in garbage time?  I kind of feel the same way about Lehner.  He's better than average until "the game is on his stick."  Then he's not good enough.



#229 darksabre

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:17 PM

The idea that we're making Lehner look good doesn't seem too far fetched to me. As was the case during the tank years and even now, this team wasn't capable of doing much else except play team defense. They haven't been able to muster good 5v5 play so protecting their goalie is basically all they've got.

I'd take Ward for a year over Lehner on a long term deal.

#230 erickompositör72

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:19 PM

And I think it is kind of ridiculous how much weight is being given to the idea that the hapless Buffalo ###### Sabres are somehow making Lehner look good.

 

Those charts don't lie



#231 SwampD

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:24 PM

Why do you do this Flagg

And the dark red on the right is just Pominville shooting into the goalie's chest to get a faceoff.


Edited by TräskB, 03 January 2018 - 04:24 PM.


#232 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:36 PM

Cam Ward? I'm confused. Are we tanking next season? That guy hasn't given a starter-caliber performance over a season in about a decade.

#233 Sakman

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 05:01 PM

Or if he loses his focus in the playoffs and can't get it back.

 

 

Playoffs? Wouldn't that be great.



#234 dudacek

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 05:02 PM

Those charts don't lie


Do you think we would be winning every game 2-1 with a “good” starter like Jake Allen or Cam Talbot in net and they would be having save percentages of .230 under the Housley system?
Do you want to pay the price to acquire a “good” starter?
Do you think we make the playoffs next year with Mrazek, or Halak, or Howard or any of the goalies that might come cheaply?

#235 darksabre

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 05:11 PM

Cam Ward? I'm confused. Are we tanking next season? That guy hasn't given a starter-caliber performance over a season in about a decade.


He doesn't need to if he's just backing up Ullmark. With the assumption here being that they want to bring Ullmark up next year and are confident he'll be okay but have some rough patches. I think Cam could play 30 and win half of them.

#236 utsvävande

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 05:15 PM

Those charts don't lie

 

I don't think the charts mean what you guys think they mean.  Look at Ted's final year in Buffalo, he was famous for making the goaltender look good yet the chart makes it look like it's a disaster for the goaltender.

 

Trying to follow goaltenders that have moved around, Chad from old Buffalo to new Buffalo, Darling from Chicago in 16-17 to Carolina 17-18, I can't connect any preconceived notions about what the chart ought to look like, to what it actually looks like.

 

I think those charts might be useful as a comparison of goals against average, if anyone ever looks at goals against average, but I think it fails trying to tie the charts to save percentage because I think you are sliding between metrics.

 

My charts, which I'm not real happy with, show Lehner has saved the Sabres 11.5 goals, the league leader is generally around 30 if I remember correctly, so on pace for 23 is really good, if that has any meaning, which I'm not sure it does.



#237 erickompositör72

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 05:44 PM

Do you think we would be winning every game 2-1 with a “good” starter like Jake Allen or Cam Talbot in net and they would be having save percentages of .230 under the Housley system?

 

I think we would have >5 more wins than we currently do, and they would, indeed, have even better sv%'s

Do you want to pay the price to acquire a “good” starter?

 

Yes, but I am biased

Do you think we make the playoffs next year with Mrazek, or Halak, or Howard or any of the goalies that might come cheaply?

 

I think we'd have a much better chance, but it really depends on the team, the soundness of Housley's system, and his ability to implement it.


I don't think the charts mean what you guys think they mean.  

 

What do you think I think they mean?  :P

 

To sum up what I think they mean, I'll defer to the one who provided them originally:

 

Summarizing my points, Lehner has been around 30th at stopping high danger shots of all goalies in the league his whole time here. Our shot profile was meant to indicate that we don't give up a lot of those relative to the rest of the league as a team, rather we give up more shots than average that Lehner, and most goalies, have much higher save percentages against. I used this to explain Lehner's high save percentage relative to the, well, eyesore that is his style. I then put out some random teams that aren't as good at defending the slot as we are and said he wouldn't do well there.



#238 bunomatic

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 05:53 PM

Lehner needs his own worthiness thread. Oh wait. He has one.



#239 dudacek

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 06:16 PM

Lehner needs his own worthiness thread. Oh wait. He has one.


This is a good point.
If our gracious mods have an opportunity, all this Lehner talk would better be moved there.

#240 N S

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 09:55 AM

Cam Ward? I'm confused. Are we tanking next season? That guy hasn't given a starter-caliber performance over a season in about a decade.

 

Correct.  It was 2006.  :censored:







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