clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Who Is the NHL's Most Valuable Goaltender?

New, comments

How does Jonathan Quick stack up against the league's most valuable goalies this year?

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

How Do You Define the NHL’s Most Valuable Goaltender?

We figure out which starting keeper is the biggest difference-maker for his team. We’ll get into how shortly. But let’s start with what Most Valuable Goaltender isn’t.

Most Valuable Goaltender VS Vezina

Most Valuable Goaltender isn’t a replacement for the Vezina Trophy. Instead, it’s a simple, statistically-driven honor and a useful supplement for the official selection of the sport’s top netminder.

Last year’s MVG was Ben Bishop. Perhaps surprisingly, Evgeni Nabokov emerged in 2013.

Calculating Most Valuable Goaltender

Here’s the fine print: The value of a team’s Starter versus their Other Goalies is measured by Most Valuable Goaltender Points (MVG Points). MVG Points are derived from the sum of Save Percentage and Points Earned Differentials (between Starter and Other Goalies).

Save Percentage is a fair in-team comparable because the Starter and Other Goalies perform behind roughly the same teammates; Points Earned also judges internal productivity with similar teammates.

Accumulated Starter MVG Points are then compared throughout the league.

As an added wrinkle, because of the randomness of shorthanded Sv %, I've included 5v5 Sv% data.

Here's our (sortable) data up to the All-Star Break: Braden Holtby is our current leader in both MVG & 5v5 MVG Points:


2014-15 MVG Points & 5v5 MVG Points

Team Goaltenders MVG Points 5v5 MVG Points Points Earned (Starter) Points Earned (Other Goalies) Points Earned Differential (Starter) Save % (Starter) Save % (Other Goalies) Save % Differential (Starter) 5v5 Save % (Starter) 5v5 Save % (Other Goalies) 5v5 Save % Differential (Starter) Goaltenders Team
ANA Starter (Andersen), Other Goalies (Labarbera, Gibson, Bryzgalov) 62 48 57 11 46 0.917 0.901 0.016 0.932 0.930 0.002 Starter (Andersen), Other Goalies (Labarbera, Gibson, Bryzgalov) ANA
ARI Starter (Smith), Other Goalies (Dubnyk) -32 -29 17 20 -3 0.887 0.916 -0.029 0.904 0.930 -0.026 Starter (Smith), Other Goalies (Dubnyk) ARI
BOS Starter (Rask), Other Goalies (Svedberg) 34 40 47 10 37 0.919 0.922 -0.003 0.933 0.929 0.003 Starter (Rask), Other Goalies (Svedberg) BOS
BUF Starter (Enroth), Other Goalies (Neuvirth) 9 5 24 7 17 0.899 0.907 -0.008 0.921 0.933 -0.012 Starter (Enroth), Other Goalies (Neuvirth) BUF
CGY Starter (Hiller), Other Goalies (Ramo, Ortio) 3 14 28 25 3 0.911 0.911 0 0.931 0.920 0.011 Starter (Hiller), Other Goalies (Ramo, Ortio) CGY
CAR Starter (Ward), Other Goalies (Khudobin) 8 5 25 12 13 0.911 0.916 -0.005 0.915 0.922 -0.008 Starter (Ward), Other Goalies (Khudobin) CAR
CHI Starter (Crawford), Other Goalies (Raanta, Darling) -3 0 38 24 14 0.921 0.938 -0.017 0.931 0.945 -0.014 Starter (Crawford), Other Goalies (Raanta, Darling) CHI
COL Starter (Varlamov), Other Goalies (Pickard, Berra) 9 -11 30 20 10 0.921 0.922 -0.001 0.924 0.945 -0.021 Starter (Varlamov), Other Goalies (Pickard, Berra) COL
CLB Starter (Bobrovsky), Other Goalies (McElhinney, Forsberg) 37 31 34 9 25 0.913 0.901 0.012 0.923 0.917 0.006 Starter (Bobrovsky), Other Goalies (McElhinney, Forsberg) CLB
DAL Starter (Lehtonen), Other Goalies (Rynnas, Lindback) 75 73 45 4 41 0.904 0.87 0.034 0.924 0.892 0.032 Starter (Lehtonen), Other Goalies (Rynnas, Lindback) DAL
DET Starter (Howard), Other Goalies (Mrazek, McCollum, Gustavsson) 23 14 39 24 15 0.92 0.912 0.008 0.932 0.933 -0.001 Starter (Howard), Other Goalies (Mrazek, McCollum, Gustavsson) DET
EDM Starter (Scrivens), Other Goalies (Fasth) 20 18 23 10 13 0.895 0.888 0.007 0.912 0.907 0.005 Starter (Scrivens), Other Goalies (Fasth) EDM
FLA Starter (Luongo), Other Goalies (Montoya) 70 71 42 8 34 0.923 0.887 0.036 0.936 0.899 0.037 Starter (Luongo), Other Goalies (Montoya) FLA
LAK Starter (Quick), Other Goalies (Jones) 36 37 42 10 32 0.912 0.908 0.004 0.932 0.927 0.005 Starter (Quick), Other Goalies (Jones) LAK
MIN Starter (Kuemper), Other Goalies (Dubnyk, Curry, Backstrom) 30 24 28 18 10 0.904 0.884 0.02 0.913 0.899 0.014 Starter (Kuemper), Other Goalies (Dubnyk, Curry, Backstrom) MIN
MON Starter (Price), Other Goalies (Tokarski) 51 66 50 11 39 0.929 0.917 0.012 0.941 0.915 0.027 Starter (Price), Other Goalies (Tokarski) MON
NSH Starter (Rinne), Other Goalies (Mazanec, Hutton) 89 70 60 5 55 0.931 0.897 0.034 0.947 0.932 0.015 Starter (Rinne), Other Goalies (Mazanec, Hutton) NSH
NJD Starter (Schneider), Other Goalies (Kinkaid, Clemmensen) 50 39 36 6 30 0.92 0.9 0.02 0.936 0.927 0.009 Starter (Schneider), Other Goalies (Kinkaid, Clemmensen) NJD
NYI Starter (Halak), Other Goalies (Poulin, Johnson) 76 73 50 13 37 0.91 0.871 0.039 0.927 0.891 0.036 Starter (Halak), Other Goalies (Poulin, Johnson) NYI
NYR Starter (Lundqvist), Other Goalies (Talbot) 35 49 49 9 40 0.921 0.926 -0.005 0.936 0.928 0.009 Starter (Lundqvist), Other Goalies (Talbot) NYR
OTT Starter (Anderson), Other Goalies (Lehner) 46 44 33 14 19 0.927 0.9 0.027 0.940 0.915 0.025 Starter (Anderson), Other Goalies (Lehner) OTT
PHI Starter (Mason), Other Goalies (Zepp, Emery) 29 21 22 23 -1 0.92 0.89 0.03 0.938 0.917 0.022 Starter (Mason), Other Goalies (Zepp, Emery) PHI
PIT Starter (Fleury), Other Goalies (Zatkoff, Greiss) 38 26 49 11 38 0.921 0.921 0 0.928 0.940 -0.012 Starter (Fleury), Other Goalies (Zatkoff, Greiss) PIT
SJS Starter (Niemi), Other Goalies (Stalock, Grosenick) 30 36 43 13 30 0.912 0.912 0 0.925 0.919 0.006 Starter (Niemi), Other Goalies (Stalock, Grosenick) SJS
STL Starter (Elliott), Other Goalies (Brodeur, Allen) 24 22 28 34 -6 0.93 0.9 0.03 0.948 0.920 0.028 Starter (Elliott), Other Goalies (Brodeur, Allen) STL
TBL Starter (Bishop), Other Goalies (Vasilevskiy, Nabokov) 51 39 50 14 36 0.914 0.899 0.015 0.924 0.922 0.003 Starter (Bishop), Other Goalies (Vasilevskiy, Nabokov) TBL
TOR Starter (Bernier), Other Goalies (Reimer) 31 38 35 12 23 0.914 0.906 0.008 0.930 0.915 0.015 Starter (Bernier), Other Goalies (Reimer) TOR
VAN Starter (Miller), Other Goalies (Lack) 45 51 47 8 39 0.918 0.912 0.006 0.929 0.917 0.012 Starter (Miller), Other Goalies (Lack) VAN
WSH Starter (Holtby), Other Goalies (Peters) 104 86 52 5 47 0.921 0.864 0.057 0.933 0.894 0.039 Starter (Holtby), Other Goalies (Peters) WSH
WPG Starter (Pavelec), Other Goalies (Hutchinson) -22 -21 30 30 0 0.913 0.935 -0.022 0.926 0.946 -0.021 Starter (Pavelec), Other Goalies (Hutchinson) WPG

MVG Points: Determined by Starter Points Earned Differential + (Starter Save % Differential * 1000). 5v5 MVG Points: Determined by Starter Points Earned Differential + (Starter 5v5 Save % Differential * 1000).

  • Before his injury, much had been made about Pekka Rinne's worthiness as Most Valuable Player. Perhaps Holtby, our current MVG and 5v5 MVG, merits some consideration too.
  • Henrik Lundqvist makes the biggest jump from 15th in MVG to 8th in 5v5 MVG. On the other hand, Marc-Andre Fleury drops from 12th in MVG to 18th in 5v5 MVG, suggesting that the press about his new-found consistency may be short lived.
  • While Kari Lehtonen and Jaroslav Halak's individual Sv% numbers have been far from outstanding, where would the Stars and Islanders be without them?
  • Of course, Darcy Kuemper and Ondrej Pavelec have lost their starting jobs, but they've been their respective team's starters for most of the season. Their occupation at or near the MVG cellar tells you a lot about why they were hooked from starring roles.
  • LOL Mike Smith.
  • I wrote extensively about Jonathan Quick's up-and-down play recently, so this is just another illustration of his in-total averagish work (14th in MVG & 15th in 5v5 MVG) this year.