August 15 2011 11:25AM
Leafs fans don’t need advanced statistics to figure out which of their three goalies was the most effective in the past season, but these statistics do provide context to what we witnessed in the games. Similarly, the graphs I’ve created that show the location of each shot taken at 5-on-5 and on the road against Reimer, Giguere, and Gustavsson are only colorful context for what we already know to be true. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what our goalies faced this past season.
To be perfectly blunt, I’m not sure how much we can draw from these graphs to further assess our goaltenders, since we’re dealing with jumps in sample sizes here. Under the game conditions already specified above, Jean-Sebastien Giguere faced 218 shots last season, while Jonas Gustavsson faced 287, and James Reimer a surprising 507. I say “surprising” because although Reimer only played four more games than Giguere this season, it turns out that he saw more action on the road, thus complicating the comparison. Also of note is that Gustavsson played ten fewer games than Giguere, but still wound up with more time on the road. I’m going to do my best to read these charts, but let’s all take this with a big grain of salt, alright?
Proportionally, and of course we’re just eyeballing it here, it seems that Gustavsson faced a greater concentration of close-range shots than Giguere did, which suggests that our defense wasn’t clearing traffic away from in front of the net like they should have been. There are also greater concentrations of shots taken from the point than in Giguere’s graph, which, I believe, suggest that more shots were taken during periods of sustained pressure. If shots are taken off the rush, they tend to come from further into the zone, rather than the point, when a defenseman has set up to hold the puck in the zone. All that said, shots generated from sustained pressure may not necessarily be better, as forwards may simply get great shots away off the rush.
Reimer’s shot chart is interesting because aside from the front of the net, there aren’t any noticeable concentrations of shots. Chances are scattered more or less evenly throughout the zone, and seem to suggest that the Leafs weren’t hemmed in their own end as often, and were forcing shooters to fire from more difficult angles and more distant points. Even the high slot is relatively bare, and we know from Gabe Desjardins’ graph that this is a high-chance area.