Sunday, December 10, 2006

Best Goals Against In The NHL

I have written in the past that Detroit has the best shots against in the NHL but hasn't consistently turned this into the best goals against average in the league due to unspectacular goaltending.

It shows just how useless the goals against average statistic is when Dominik Hasek leads the league with a 1.88 GAA but has not been a great goalie and sports a .909 saves percentage that places him 18th in the NHL. Hasek may have the best GAA in the league, but he is no Vezina candidate.

The team that is best at keeping the puck out of their net is the Dallas Stars. They have a team GAA of 2.10. They have a good group of defensive minded players with Sergei Zubov, Darryl Sydor, Philippe Boucher, Stephane Robidas and Jaroslav Modry leading their defence. All are veterans who have a strong skillset. On forward, they have many players who make valued defensive contributions including former Selke winner Jere Lehtinen, Mike Modano and Brendan Morrow. Even players who have had their defensive responsibility called into question in past teams like Mike Ribeiro and Eric Lindros are pulling their weight. The most important difference between Dallas and Detroit is that Marty Turco has been a consistent strong goaltender who has consistently kept the puck out.

Dallas is a very hard team to score against and that makes them hard to defeat.

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