Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Worst Starting Goalie This Season

I like to keep track of the NHL regular who has been having the worst season to date. This year, that "award" goes to Derian Hatcher. Rarely is it very clear that there is a starting goalie who is rivalling for this "honor". However, this season in Phoenix Curtis Joseph has been providing the level of goaltending that gets most quickly shuttled to the AHL. He has, by far, the worst saves percentage of any goalie who has seen regular work at .859 as well as the worst goals against average at 4.40. Despite thses flaws, he has appeared in 11 games. Though Phoenix has no other proven starting goalies, they have David LeNeveu sporting a .902 saves percentage in 4 games work Assuming these stats can hold up in the longer term (and likely they would regress toward each other a bit with LeNeveu's numbers dropping and Joseph's improving) merely by playing LeNeveu in place of CuJo, the Phoenix Coyotes save 1.4 goals per game (assuming they maintain their 32.4 shots against per game). Rarely is this significant an improvement for a team so obvious.

Phoenix has shown remarkable faith in Joseph who started fast last year before having a very poor second half. Mudcrutch hockey (check out his Phoenix preview) forecasted this, but he would not have predicted THIS poor a start. Wayne Gretzky is loyal to a fault. He has had success with Joseph in the past (they have been international teammates as well) so he will stick with CuJo long after it becomes obvious to everyone else that he doesn't have anything left.

Last season, when Joseph was off to his good start, I speculated about his Hall of Fame chances. I figured if he continued to play this well, it was only a matter of time before he moved so far up the all time goalie wins totals that his Hall of Fame case could not be ignored, but even if he sticks around long enough to do that, while playing this poorly, his wins total would not be enough to get Hall consideration. Joseph is currently sixth all time in career wins (behind Patrick Roy, Ed Belfour, Martin Brodeur, Terry Sawchuk and Jacques Plante), but his days are numbered unless Wayne Gretzky maintains his faith that Joseph is still the man he was 10 years ago.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?