FanPost

Special teams need to be special damn it!

While reading the always excellent and highly recommended Daily Ramblings section from Jeff Angus over here. I got to the bottom where he pointed out this little nugget.  The Top Five goalies in save percentage, and the corresponding spot their teams  are in taking minor penalties.

1: Rask ( 29th in taking minors,list here...)
2: Miller ( 21st)
3: Brodeur (30th) Vokoun ( 25th in minors )
4: Niemi (27th)  Halak (10th most minors in NHL...guess he helped the PK! )
5: Howard  (28th)

Except for the part where his stats are off, I like what he was trying to get across.  I've adjusted them to make it minors only, and put the right goalies in.  But his point is valid.   The Top 5 save % goalies actually are Rask, Miller, Vokoun, Halak, and Howard...but a good PK definitely helps a goaltender have a good season...

My first time saying this...more after the jump!

Here are the actual stats.

Player Team   GP GS Sv Sv% W L OT GA GAA SA SO G A PIM TOI
1 Tuukka Rask BOS 45 39 1137 .931 22 12 5 84 1.97 1221 5 0 3 2 2,562:11
2 Ryan Miller BUF 69 68 1948 .929 41 18 8 150 2.22 2098 5 0 0 4 4,047:10
3 Tomas Vokoun FLA 63 62 1924 .925 23 28 11 157 2.55 2081 7 0 2 0 3,695:01
4 Jaroslav Halak MTL 45 43 1281 .924 26 13 5 105 2.40 1386 5 0 0 0 2,629:56
5 Jimmy Howard DET 63 61 1708 .924 37 15 10 141 2.26 1849 3 0 2 2 3,740:15
6 Evgeni Nabokov SJS 71 71 1998 .922 44 16 10 170 2.43 2168 3 0 0 6 4,194:07
7 Ty Conklin STL 26 21 704 .921 10 10 2 60 2.48 764 4 0 1 4 1,451:11
8 Henrik Lundqvist NYR 73 72 1942 .921 35 27 10 167 2.38 2109 4 0 1 0 4,203:49
9 Ilya Bryzgalov PHX 69 69 1805 .920 42 20 6 156 2.29 1961 8 0 1 4 4,084:27
10 Miikka Kiprusoff CGY 73 72 1872 .920 35 28 10 163 2.31 2035 4 0 0 4 4,235:19
11 Jonas Hiller ANA 59 58 1708 .918 30 23 4 152 2.73 1860 2 0 2 0 3,337:44
12 Craig Anderson COL 71 71 2047 .917 38 25 7 186 2.64 2233 7 0 3 16 4,235:21
13 Martin Brodeur NJD 77 76 1836 .916 45 25 6 168 2.24 2004 9 0 3 6 4,499:01
14 Cam Ward CAR 47 45 1290 .916 18 23 5 119 2.69 1409 0 0 3 0 2,651:09
15 Johan Hedberg ATL 47 42 1240 .915 21 16 6 115 2.62 1355 3 0 1 6 2,631:57
16 Tim Thomas BOS 43 43 1117 .915 17 18 8 104 2.56 1221 5 0 0 8 2,441:52
17 Chris Mason STL 61 61 1551 .913 30 22 8 148 2.53 1699 2 0 0 0 3,512:09
18 Roberto Luongo VAN 68 67 1748 .913 40 22 4 167 2.57 1915 4 0 0 0 3,899:24
19 Marty Turco DAL 53 52 1465 .913 22 20 11 140 2.72 1605 4 0 4 10 3,087:51
20 Antti Niemi CHI 39 35 854 .912 26 7 4 82 2.25 936 7 0 1 0 2,190:28
21 Carey Price MTL 41 39 1135 .912 13 20 5 109 2.77 1244 0 0 1 8 2,358:21
22 Pekka Rinne NSH 58 54 1404 .911 32 16 5 137 2.53 1541 7 0 0 2 3,245:41
23 Jose Theodore WSH 47 43 1231 .911 30 7 7 121 2.81 1352 1 0 2 0 2,585:38
24 Semyon Varlamov WSH 26 23 653 .909 15 4 6 65 2.55 718 2 0 1 0 1,527:26
25 Dan Ellis NSH 31 28 771 .909 15 13 1 77 2.69 848 1 0 1 4 1,714:39
26 Brian Elliott OTT 55 48 1294 .909 29 18 4 130 2.57 1424 5 0 1 0 3,037:56
27 Antero Niittymaki TBL 49 46 1261 .909 21 18 5 127 2.87 1388 1 0 1 0 2,657:11
28 Manny Legace CAR 28 24 676 .907 10 7 5 69 2.81 745 1 0 1 0 1,472:02
29 Jean-Sebastien Giguere TOR, ANA 35 32 935 .907 10 15 7 96 2.85 1031 3 0 0 2 2,023:40
30 Dwayne Roloson NYI 50 49 1410 .907 23 18 7 145 3.00 1555 1 0 0 14 2,897:18

 

Save percentage is certainly helped by a good PK,( but the overpowering PP can help.)  Generally, I would prefer a team that is top 10 in both.  Looking at the list of top penalty killing teams, there a couple of non playoff teams in the Top 10, and some very good teams in the middle of the pack.  So, obviously there is more than one way of getting it done. I for one, however, was not filled with confidence in our ability to kill off a late penalty in the playoffs when it mattered these past playoffs...

The Canucks took the 5th most penalties in the league, behind the Bolts, Flyers,Ducks, and Blues.  And for those that think the Pens get all the calls, they are sixth!    Just talking about minors, its still too many.  The worst six there are Philly,TB, Pit, Ana, St Loo and Vancouver.

Of course, if you are going to take stupid penalties  ( looking at you guys ; Twins...Juice, AHLberts ...etc...etc.. .and with the style that Burrows and Kesler play, and their burgeoning reputations...it doesn't help .), you need a good PK   ( well duh!!!)  The Canuck PK was 18th.  

Part of that was perhaps the goalie, but hockey is a team game, and they just didn't kill penalties consistently. ( and lest we forget, 40 wins...goalie had to help some there right?  And his save % of .913 is just under Brodeur's .916 and just ahead of Niemi's .912.   It is all relative.  I for one expect him to be better this coming year, which will certainly help the PK )  Malholtra and other moves, and the development of current players in that skill set will help.  The PK should be better next year.  It needs to be.

( Newell Brown is more the PP guru. Don't expect him to help these guys, though a new voice will help. He took the Ducks from 20th overall in 07/08 to back to back 5th overall the past two seasons. )

The top teams on the PK mirrors the top teams , in some cases.  The Top 5 are the Blues, Sabres, Bruins, Hawks and Sharks .... ( another reason you don't want our best penalty killing defenseman signing with the Sharks.  If you leave town Willie, go to the Caps, OK? )  The Blues scare me if their PK is that good AND they have Halak., huh? 

With an already potent PP ( 6th last year ), let's hope the Canucks just don't try to score themselves out of their problems.  Yes, it is very entertaining, and I loved all those comeback wins during the season.

But I am greedy this year.  If you want to go for the Cup ( and the team that won that was Top 5 in the PK and only 16th on the PP in the regular season. ) ...you need to have both.  Lock down Willie for this year and trade Bieksa GMMG.

The PK skills he has as opposed to Juice's meanderings on the PK may become more important than the scoring Bieksa brings on the PP.  

 

 

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