Ron Wilson's effect on goalies

Cam Charron
January 16 2013 01:30PM

Even though Ron Wilson has been fired, it's still interesting to look back on his career and what he did with his goaltenders. Like I mentioned earlier, Dave Tippett and Ken Hitchcock's goalies can expect higher save percentages in those systems.

Wilson, however, well, let's just say the goaltending record in his time as coach was awful. The Leafs have bounced from below-average starter to below-average starter. The Leafs haven't had a goaltender play 50 games in a season since Vesa Toskala in 2008-2009, and they haven't had a goalie play 50 games in three consecutive seasons since Curtis Joseph between 1999-2002.

So, what to make of Wilson's record? As you'll see after the jump, the first thing is that Wilson has coached a lot of respectfully mediocre goaltenders in his career:

Goalie Faced Saves EV SV% NHL EVSV% EVSV%+ Exp SV
Andrew Raycroft 358 316 0.883 0.920 0.860 329.2
Bill Ranford 425 384 0.904 0.915 0.888 388.7
Brian Boucher 81 75 0.926 0.920 0.907 74.5
Corey Hirsch 8 8 1.000 0.914 0.995 7.3
Craig Billington 662 602 0.909 0.914 0.895 605.1
Evgeni Nabokov 4402 4053 0.921 0.919 0.902 4044.0
Jean-Sebastien Giguere 994 909 0.914 0.920 0.894 914.7
Joey MacDonald 119 110 0.924 0.919 0.906 109.4
Martin Brochu 45 42 0.933 0.916 0.919 41.2
Olie Kolzig 6959 6357 0.913 0.914 0.899 6363.2
Richard Tabaracci 384 352 0.917 0.916 0.901 351.7
Scott Glemmensen 52 44 0.846 0.920 0.820 47.8
Sebastien Charpentier 68 63 0.926 0.916 0.912 62.3
Thomas Greiss 33 26 0.788 0.920 0.757 30.3
Vesa Toskala 5062 4628 0.914 0.919 0.895 4650.2
             
TOTAL 19652 17969 0.914 0.917 0.897 18019.7

(Numbers from NHL.com)

This is only since 1998 so it doesn't include his tenure with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim which ended in the 1996-1997 season. This season could be the first since the Disney Expansion where Wilson won't be a coach for at least part of it, but given the short season, there may not be much of a chance for teams to hire and fire coaches without resorting to an assistant as an interim. Anything could happen though.

Another fun fact here is that Wilson actually coached Vesa Toskala twice, both in San Jose and in Toronto. Here is the same list of goalies without Wilson behind the bench:

Goalie Faced Saves EV SV% NHL EVSV% EVSV%+ Exp SV
Andrew Raycroft 5268 4822 0.915 0.919 0.896 4838.9
Bill Ranford 1027 916 0.892 0.915 0.875 939.5
Brian Boucher 6223 5670 0.911 0.918 0.893 5711.9
Corey Hirsch 347 306 0.882 0.916 0.863 317.8
Craig Billington 1044 958 0.918 0.915 0.903 954.8
Evgeni Nabokov 7842 7251 0.925 0.918 0.907 7197.1
Jean-Sebastien Giguere 11167 10325 0.925 0.918 0.907 10251.5
Joey MacDonald 2162 1975 0.914 0.919 0.894 1987.2
Martin Brochu 88 78 0.886 0.917 0.866 80.7
Olie Kolzig 6656 6103 0.917 0.918 0.898 6112.4
Richard Tabaracci 841 761 0.905 0.914 0.889 769.1
Scott Glemmensen 3243 2980 0.919 0.919 0.899 2981.6
Sebastien Charpentier 421 384 0.912 0.919 0.892 387.1
Thomas Greiss 702 651 0.927 0.920 0.908 645.9
Vesa Toskala 286 268 0.937 0.919 0.920 262.7
             
TOTAL 47317 43448 0.918 0.918 0.900 43438.3

We have almost double the amount of shots from Carlyle's sample. EV SV%+ is an adjusted metric, where .900 is essentially what a league average goalie would put up. That's calculated using the Exp SV stat I have, which is "expected saves" based on the number of saves a league-average goalie would have made in the same time-span.

Wilson's goalies are slightly worse off with him than without, but that could be random sample. Look at Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who had a terrific hockey career if not for one-and-a-half terribles seasons in Toronto.

Maybe I'd chalk it up to age, but Giguere had a .924 EV SV% last season with Colorado, so there's still some ability left in him. Indubitably, Wilson had no idea what to do with the defence and goaltenders he was handed. Predictably, everything collapsed.

So this next chart here is going to show those combined goalies with and without Ron Wilson, and the bottom two lines is going to exclude anything accrued during Wilson's time with the Toronto Maple Leafs. That strikes Raycroft and Giguere and some of Toskala:

  Faced Saves EV SV% NHL EVSV% EVSV%+ Exp SV
With Wilson 19652 17969 0.914 0.917 0.897 18019.7
Without Wilson 47317 43448 0.918 0.918 0.900 43438.3
With Wilson less Leafs 17195 15750 0.916 0.917 0.899 15761.8
Without Wilson less Leafs 30882 28301 0.916 0.918 0.898 28347.8

The goalies Wilson had were not impressive. If you eliminate his time in Toronto, Wilson had no effect on his goaltenders. If you include his time with the Leafs, "no effect" becomes "close to negligible effect" if you can get over the idea that JS Giguere had one-and-a-half miserable years.

What did we learn here? Well, other than Olaf Kolzig is pretty average, it appears goaltenders playing under Ron Wilson's system don't see their statlines affected.

Related

63811cbf517d2d685ea09e103488ea3a
Cam Charron is a BC hockey fan that writes about hockey on many different websites including this one.
Avatar
#1 Pension Plan Puppets
January 16 2013, 10:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Giguere's year in Toronto also coincided with him playing almost exclusively with a groin injury that he didn't have fixed until the summer before going to Colorado.

Comments are closed for this article.