Vokoun A Portrait Of Consistency
Stick Tap to HF Boards for the basis behind this article.
For all that has transpired in the NHL over the course of the last few months, June 4, 2012 seems like an eternity ago.
On that day, Ray Shero acquired the rights to Capitals’ goaltender Tomas Vokoun for a 7th round draft pick, subsequently inking the goaltender to a two year deal worth four million dollars.
Now, in the face of a lockout-shortened 48 game season, that move screams genius.
With a rigorous schedule ahead, the NHL has gone from a marathon to a sprint, and the importance of having a quality NHL backup is of the utmost importance.
At the time of the signing, Penguins general manager Ray Shero described the duo of Marc-Andre Fleury and Tomas Vokoun as “the best goaltending tandem we’ve had in a long time.”
I’ll take it a step further, it might contend for one of the best in the league.
Perhaps the most telling attribute of what a veteran like Tomas Vokoun brings to Pittsburgh is the staggering consistency of his overall goaltending metrics.
Just taking a peek at the statistics since the 05-06 post-lockout season, Vokoun posted the following numbers in save percentage.
05-06: S% .919 – 61GP – Nashville – 33.06 Shots/60 Min
06-07: S% .920 – 44GP – Nashville – 29.97 Shots/60 Min
07-08: S% .919 – 69GP – Florida – 32.94 Shots/60 Min
08-09: S% .926 – 59GP – Florida – 33.50 Shots/60 Min
09-10: S% .925 – 63GP – Florida – 33.79 Shots/60 Min
10-11: S% .922 – 57GP – Florida – 32.63 Shots/60 Min
11-12: S% .917 – 48GP – Washington – 30.17 Shots/60 Min
That’s an average save percentage of .919. The variance between save percentages is a mere .009 over the course of that time frame. With a similar number of shots faced in each location, an overall poor Florida team behind him, and different systems in place, Vokoun is the portrait of consistency throughout his career.
Those are age defying statistics, right there.
There’s no questioning the staunch character and overall standing of Brent Johnson, but the rough patch he experienced last year put a large burden on Marc-Andre Fleury to perform at a high level in 67 games.
Whether or not fatigue played a role in Fleury’s post-season performance last season remains to be seen. The one thing we can say for sure is that the addition of Tomas Vokoun will not only pressure Fleury into bringing his best game on a nightly basis, it will keep him fresh heading into the post-season.
For a final statistical look, we examine GAR: or Goals Above Replacement. Baseball aficionados should be familiar with this stat. Goals Above Replacement measures how many goals a keeper prevented above a replacement-level goaltender.
For our reference, we went to HockeyGoalies.org – they define “replacement-level” as 1.5% below league average. Therefore, if the league average goaltender is at 90% save percentage, then replacement level is defined as 88.5%.
The mathematical calculation for this is as follows: GAR = ((1 – (League Average SV% – 0.015)) * (Shots Faced)) – (Goals Against).
Vokoun’s GAR statistics for the above period of time are as follows: 66.6 – 39.1 – 55.0 – 59.9 – 59.7 – 42.4 – 23.9.
With somewhere between 15 and 20 games on the docket for Vokoun, the Penguins sport one of the most elite and threatening goaltending duos in the scope of the National Hockey League., giving them the leeway to compete on a nightly basis and keep their franchise goaltender as fresh as a daisy.