This weekend I asked you to submit ideas via my Facebook fan-page to determine the subject of today's blog. There were some awesome ideas submitted, some of which may even be written about down the road. But the winner of the contest is Margann Laurissa, who suggested that I compare the stats of goalies under the age of 30 to those of goalies over the age of 30. This was an awesome idea that combined two of the things I like most; goalies and a challenge.
Let's begin the comparison:
I have chosen three goalies under 30 and three goalies over 30. For the goalies under 30 I wanted to find goalies that are in their prime or entering their prime where as two of the three goalies I chose over the age of 30 are entering the final stages of their careers. We will be comparing the goalies based on their statistical performances from last season (regular season).
Goalies Under 30:
Jonathan Quick (26)
After Quick's performance last season that ultimately won his team the cup, one would be out of their mind not to include him as one of the best goalies under the age of 30. The scary thing with Quick is the fact he appears to be just entering his prime now. The end of last season marked his 4th season in the league (3rd as a full time starter) and he already has a Stanley Cup to his name, not a bad way to begin your career! After his performance last season there is no question Quick will be the Kings goalie of the future.
2011-2012 Regular Season Stats: 69 games, 35 wins, 10 Shutouts, 1.95 Goals Against Average and a .929 Save Percentage.
Marc-Andre Fleury (27)
While statistically speaking Fleury didn't have a fantastic campaign, he was put in a tough spot. The Penguins went without Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang, two vital players for the majority of the season and the Penguins back-up goalies couldn't be trusted in important games which resulted in Fleury starting 23 consecutive games at one point. Fleury was a work horse this season and at the end of the day he was able to backstop his team into the playoffs.
2011-2012 Regular Season Stats: 67 games, 42 wins, 3 shutouts, 2.36 Goals Against Average and a .913 Save Percentage.
Carey Price (25)
Although Price and the Canadiens had a rough season last year, there is no question in my mind that he is still an elite goaltender. With better players in front of him and actually scoring goals (yes we're looking at you Scott Gomez) the Canadiens will have a much better season and Price's stats will reflect that. Price is finally starting to find himself as a goaltender. He admitted last season that in the past he was "young and immature" his play on the ice reflected that. But last season we saw a much more composed goalie, Price has finally come to the point where he is becoming a mature goalie. He knows what it takes to win, and isn't whining nearly as much. This is all positive for Habs fans as I wouldn't be surprised if Price led them back to the playoffs next season.
2011-2012 Regular Season Stats: 65 games, 26 wins, 4 shutouts, 2.43 Goals Against Average and a .916 Save Percentage.
Goalies Over 30:
Martin Brodeur (40)
Brodeur is the ageless wonder in net. One game it looks like his age has finally caught up to him, then the next games he plays like he's 25 again. It's really exciting to watch him play and incorporate the old style
into his game in the new era of the NHL. Last season he led the New Jersey Devils to within two wins of the Stanley Cup, not bad for a guy who just turned 40! There's times when I watch him play and think he could go on and play forever. Despite being 40 and "past his prime" he is still one of the elite goalies in the league.
2011-2012 Regular Season Stats: 59 games, 31 wins, 3 shutouts, 2.41 Goals Against Average and a .908 Save Percentage.
Tim Thomas (38)
While Thomas has proved himself to be a nut case over the last little while (but hey, what goalie isn't a little crazy?) he is still a very good goaltender. A year removed from the Bruins historic Stanley Cup win, Thomas' stats went down a little this season causing many to question whether he should remain as the starting goalie. Those who questioned that received their wish this off season as Thomas announced he would be taking a year off of hockey to "find himself". While his plan is to come back to play hockey again after his year long sabbatical Thomas' career is winding down.
2011-2012 Regular Season Stats: 59 games, 35 wins, 5 shutouts, 2.36 GAA, and a .920 Save Percentage.
Ryan Miller (32)
While including Miller in this list may be a bit of stretch he's a goalie that fits right in the middle. He's just over the hump of 30 but not approaching his 40's and likely still has 4-5 more seasons left in the tank. Plus did you really think I was going to leave him out of this article? Miller battled injuries and consistency problems last season but was still able to brake the franchise record for most career wins with 235. In addition to setting a new franchise record he became one of only two goalies to have 30+ wins in 7 straight seasons. While his stats don't speak volumes, in my books Miller is still elite.
2011-2012 Regular Season Stats: 61 games, 31 wins, 6 shutouts, 2.54 Goals Against Average and a .916 Save Percentage.
One of the questions Margann wanted answered, was to see if age had any bearing on the stats of goalies. I'm not going to lie the statistics from last season were a lot closer than I expected them to be. The 6 goalies compared above all have relatively close statistics.
3 things to take note of-
- Jonathan Quick and Tim Thomas are the last two Stanley Cup Winning goalies. They had the highest save percentage amongst the 6 goalies. But if you look at Thomas' stats from last season (9 shutouts and 2.00 GAA) they are almost identical to those of Jonathan Quick's from this season!
- All three of the goalies under 30 played in 60+ games while only Ryan Miller of the over 30's played in more than 60 games.
- Amongst the three goalies Jonathan Quick had the best stats, ironically he won the Stanley Cup. Sometimes stats do matter.
If one had simply taken the statistics of these six goaltenders without looking at their age, they would have a very difficult time figuring out which goalies were over 30 and which were under. That speaks volumes for the older goalies on the list. With the knowledge about conditioning and nutrition that there is today the goalies are able to keep themselves in top shape and have very solid seasons. Maybe one day the NHL can compile an all star game of players under 30 vs players over 30 and see who would win!
What do you think? Which goalie would you rather have on your team?