Based on five-on-five save percentage, here are the bottom 10 goalies in the NHL this season (minimum 400 minutes played):
We only mention the above because here are the top 10 goalies in the NHL last season (minimum 1,500 minutes played):
Which is to say, five goalies — Varlamov, Bishop, Bobrovsky, Scrivens, and Holtby — made both lists.
Well, luck is one reason goaltending numbers fluctuate on a season-by-season basis, i.e. last year’s post-and-out is this year’s post-and-in.
Another factor may be mental. A confident goalie trusts his technique like a confident team trusts its system. An uncertain goalie, on the other hand, may have a tendency to start playing too aggressive or too conservative. He becomes like a golfer trying to find his swing. Typically, the results aren’t pretty.
The lesson for NHL general managers? Don’t overestimate one season of strong play from a goalie. If you sign a guy to a big-money, long-term contract, you’re taking a considerable risk if he has a limited number of games on his résumé.
Also, don’t ignore the back-up position. You might need him more than you think.
For a more detailed analysis of the above, I recommend this.
Stats via Puckaltyics