mikey287 wrote:Yuck, Brodeur hiding behind the trap argument again...nasty business that. All I want to say (because I'm very tired of that nonsense) is that the Devils didn't really "trap" as their main method of forecheck since probably 2003 or so...but let's call it 2006 for your sake...Brodeur won two Vezina's out of his prime, without the trap, without Stevens AND Niedermayer (and one without Rafalski too I believe) and all that guff...
One would expect a noteworthy statistical turn-for-the-worst once the Devils opened up and lost two future HHOF, #1 d-men nearly consecutively...but, not only did it not happen, he also won two more Vezina's...and at 40 years old, he has his team in the Stanley Cup Finals with his #1 d-man being the error-prone Marek Zidlicky...
Not sure why you would rate Hiller so high, especially with that rebound control...yikes, it's bad...not a big fan of his, maybe if Allaire didn't get to him I'd think more of him...
I won't take anything away from his 06-07 season, and he DID do better later in his career, but all of those other Vezina's have asterisks beside them as he wasn't the best goalie in the league in any of those seasons (but GM's look at win totals and vote on reputation). I just don't see how you can write off other goalies and claim that they benefit from playing behind a defensive team, and here is the goalie that has benefited from that more than any other goalie in history and all of a sudden it's meaningless?
It's more than just the trap though, he also greatly benefits from his team taking so few penalties throughout his career. Take a look at 2000 through 2009:
Brodeur's teams: 232 goals, 25.9 shots against/60, 298 power plays against
Luongo's teams: 207 goals, 31.4 shots against/60, 403 power plays against
League average: 229 goals, 28.3 shots against/60, 370 power plays against
Imagine having to face 100 less powerplays per season than the goalies you are competing against? Those frequency distributions can obscure which goalie actually played better. During the 06-07 season, Brodeur ended with a .922 save percentage to Luongo's .921.
"A closer look shows that this was not because Brodeur played better, but rather was caused by a large discrepancy in special team play between the Canucks and Devils. Here are the save percentage splits for Brodeur and Luongo for each game situation (even strength / penalty kill / power play):
Martin Brodeur: .927 / .904 / .888
Roberto Luongo: .928 / .906 / .910
Luongo ranks ahead of Brodeur in every game situation. How can he possibly end up behind Marty in overall save percentage? The reason is that Vancouver took more penalties, meaning Luongo had to face 199 more shots on the penalty kill than Brodeur. If Luongo had faced Brodeur's shots, and vice versa, and both of them stopped the puck at exactly the same rates, Luongo's save percentage would have been .923, and Brodeur's would have been .920."
Finally, I think you are really overlooking the talent of Hiller. He has the best lateral movement in the league and is an absolute pleasure to watch play live in person. He chased both Giguere and Bryz out of Anaheim despite coming out of nowhere in Swiss league. His numbers speak for themself. Anyone who could play behind the Anaheim defense last season while actually trying to recover (not induce) vertigo deserves at least a little of your respect.
Respectfully, I'm kind of sick of defending Brodeur, but without reading it yet, I'm sure you have at least thought of a different angle...you're a goalie and you think and then speak...unlike most, who just talk out of various orifices...I'll just take it bit by bit and see what comes of it...
- "He did better later in his career", which I'm supposing is statistic based. In which case, it sounds like the trap was holding him back statistically. As he was out of his prime, on worse teams, in worse situations defensively and yet excelled more. Not expected results for someone that was "hiding".
- Asterisks next to Vezina's because...? The general managers vote on the Vezina, not the media, the guys that put together these 30 teams. While not infalliable, you'd like to believe they know more than the media...for perspective purposes during Thomas' "OMG, best evar" season in 2011, nearly half of all GMs didn't consider him the best goalie in the league and 4 didn't consider him top-3 in the league...so you know they have some sense in the sense that they aren't swept up by stats and media hoopla...but during Hasek's absolutely dominant 1998 season, he captured 24 of 26 first place votes (two 2nd place votes, thus appearing on all 26 ballots). So it seems like they can generally recognize greatness when they see it - generally.
Brodeur has a decisive victory in 2003 and then somewhat split decision victories in 2004, 2007 and 2008...but to that point, he was always punished for being on those Devils teams, sometimes even getting more or similar Hart love than/to Vezina love. I think he was runner-up to Hasek 3 times and I think (just going off of memory from previous debates) he has 6 top-4 finishes that are NOT wins. An impressive record. First or second-team all-star 7 times, not too shabby either.
He's always got skimped over for the Vezina in the heart of the trap years, but when it finally started to fall apart around him and all that was left was Brodeur and he actually statistically improved, then he started to get some real recognition. It kind of justified it all in the end. Are you suggesting that Brodeur should have won 0 Vezina trophies?
- I was hoping you would go here (re: goalies behind defensive teams). See, here's the thing, defensive systems aren't created equally. A coach doesn't have a menu in front of him and he clicks "defensive" and then the players go out and do it. Different systems are designed in different ways. It's advanced, but it doesn't give anyone an excuse to use their ignorance (no offense to you in particular) to their benefit.
Let's take the dreaded neutral zone trap. Briefly, clog up the neutral zone, prevent stretch passes and speed, force wide, force dump, puck retrieval (usually Brodeur), up the boards, out. Since the bulk of the defense occurs between the defensive blueline and the center line, shots are not taken. Low shot totals means lower save percentage, because the goals that do go in (breakdowns, power plays, etc.) are "worth more", so to speak. Also, generally speaking, when chances were given up, they were of high quality because it involved a breakdown (bad line change, bad read, etc.) and since it wasn't a collapse-first system, the defensive zone (attack team's offensive zone) wasn't quite as hard to navigate because the bulk of the players will be very, very high in the offensive zone or in the neutral zone. Which jives with Brodeur's modest career save pct. vs. other elite tenders (Hasek, for instance).
The reference to me railing against other goalies behind defensive systems but giving Brodeur a pass is explained as follows. Some defensive systems are designed to give up shots - as crazy as it sounds, shots against is not a measure of defensive prowess in today's game. Take the Bruins (who would have guessed) from last year (and years before) under Claude Julien. Look at where the action is, deeper in the defensive zone, lower in the neutral zone. Think about the changes to the game. Two-line pass rule is gone, obstruction is reduced (some chuckle, but it's true, even today). For the first time since 1942, a pass from your own goal line can be onside at the far blueline! It's too much pressure on the defensive players to try to stick with the rigidity of the traditional neutral zone trap if players are allowed to receive passes behind the "1" and the first "2" of the 1-2-2.
So now you "protect the house" and you'll hear a broadcaster or two refer to the house. Essentially, your goalie lives in said house. The Bruins set up in the mid-defensive zone, low neutral zone because they are set to collapse. Channel wide in the neutral zone just like the traditional NZT, but the difference is, the dump-in is no longer the forced
play because the attacking team has gained the offensive blueline before the last line of defense closes the gap. Once the zone is gained, the far side winger is often charging towards the net (almost by default in today's game) - the play? Throw the puck on net low, hope to beat the last line of the defense back to their house and score on the rebound. Think about the cycle of a game. Think about how many shots are coming from way out there, 50, 55 feet out...and how many rebounds are swept away by a 6-foot-9, future HHOF defenseman. Scoring is down because, well, shots from 55 feet on the left wing boards don't go in (well, unless you're Paul Martin or Alex Burrows on Tim Thomas, if memory serves) and the rebounds are seldom gotten to. The design is to yield easy, low-quality shots, you (goalie) make the first save, we'll do the rest. Thus, a high save percentage. The old neutral zone trap (which, of course, pre-dates the Devils - and I don't mean the 90's Devils, I mean the Devils existence as a team) didn't necessarily have a goalie that could always stop the first shot...so, the idea of the old NZT was to not allow shots, period. Because shots could be goals at any time. Today, shots are likely not goals (I think to the tune of 92% of the time they are not going in on a starting goalie)
Power plays certainly have a major impact, good point. And it's a disadvantage for Luongo (who I'm not a hater of) to face all of those power play opportunities. But both goalies were able to stop them when faced with them (they finished 1-2 among starters in 2007 for PK save pct.; as opposed to Thomas who was ~15th in the same stat among goalies who played a quarter of the games or more in 2011). When Marty faced power play chances and stopped them, so did Luongo. The votes acknowledged this, it was nearly a split decision in 2007 for the Vezina. I'm not sure if it warrants an asterisk, so much as it asterisked itself by being so close (though, you seldom hear of an asterisk for Pronger's Hart in 2000, Theodore's Hart in 2002, Carey's Vezina in 1996 - but that could be attributable to no one caring but me
Ah, I see you already did the leg work on the numbers (next time I'll read ahead). So basically what you've concluded is that it's as close as the stats look and justified the voters' near-split decision. Good show, but the same basic conclusions could have been rendered without any tinkering I feel. I think Luongo missed it by 1 first place vote (15 to 14) or so...not the crime of the century by any stretch...casual fans that count stats and trophies won't notice but won't be in a position to speak logically about it; historians will see clearly how close Luongo came to a Vezina and the legitimate beef he had for one was taken up by the league's GMs...it'll come out in the wash when we look back on it analytically, rest assured...not unlike Brad Park's 6 runner-up Norris jobs vs. Bobby Orr - we got it.
Re: Hiller. He's a solid starting goalie in this league, I don't view him as much more. The best lateral movement in the league notion is a little much I feel. Even if I don't know how much you watch the game, I can make two assumptions: you're watching these playoffs and have taken notice of Jonathan Quick...you post on LGP and are likely a Pens fans and have seen Marc-Andre Fleury...like him or lump him, he ranks highly in lateral movement and probably has the league's best shuffle ability. While it's noted that he chased both Giguere and Bryzgalov (more so, Giguere and more so, financially [plus his GM moved to a team that needed a goalie, but I'll concede the general point]), since chasing those two, have the Ducks made the playoffs? I don't believe so. Calling him an elite goalie would suggest that he could at least pilot a team to being 16th best in a league of 30 in any one of the past 3 seasons. Is there an instance where a certainly-elite 'tender has failed to qualify for the postseason in the last 3 straight seasons? I'm not trying to trash the guy, he's a fine goaltender, but I can't think of a way to really put the "elite" tag on him...he's a starter in this league (respect), he's not an elite one (no disrespect).