Which logic am I omitting to use?
The common sense/eye test approach yields the unavoidable verdict that he's someone who goes to pieces in crunch time, who repeats the same killer mistakes (coming off the post, depositing fat rebounds on the doorstep, not cutting off the crossing pass, etc.) over and over and who simply does not deliver wins.
In addition, in Lehner's case (unlike with Price), the common sense/eye test approach is consistent with the stats -- Lehner is in the bottom 20% of NHL starters.
I don't disagree that there is a good tier of goalies and a mediocre tier, and that Lehner COULD be part of the mediocre tier along with 10-12 others and COULD be starting somewhere else next year. However, (i) there is a significant likelihood that he is instead in the "bad enough to be below the mediocre tier and thus not starting somewhere next year" tier and (ii) we've all seen plenty of him at this point -- wouldn't you rather take a shot on someone else? Maybe the next Gibson or Anderson or Schneider or Bernier or Vasilevsky (which Lehner was supposed to be but isn't)?
My beef has never been with those who want a better goalie. It’s with those who don’t understand that virtually half the teams in the league have goalies like Lehner.
Let’s take Blue’s stats and those alone: according to those, he’s the definition of a mediocre starter, somewhere between 17th and 28th.
It’s not that he COULD be in the tier of mediocre starters. He IS in the the tier of mediocre starters.
Again, 12th in save percentage over the past three years. Let’s say the Sabres style propped him up 10 spots. He’s still putting up starting goalie numbers.
Then consider how many goalies are flunking the eye test, and how goalie fortunes rise and fall from year to year.
Ask Canes fans about Scott Darling’s flaws this year, or Oilers fans about Talbot. Remember how bad Mike Smith was for Phoenix and how good Craig Anderson was for Ottawa?
It’s not like there are 10-12 of those mediocre guys battling for 4-5 spots. Virtually all of the guys in that tier will be starting somewhere next year.
The 38 goalies who have started 100 NHL games, in order of save percentage over that period.
Edited by Mick O’Manly, 12 February 2018 - 09:43 PM.