- Well, from an APBA standpoint this whole study doesn't do
much to cure the "freak" goalies, but it sure was
interesting to see the differences in how various coaches
use their back-up goalies.
You've got Toronto, where you can only wonder how many games
they blew by letting Healy blow a lot of games that would
have been easy wins for CuJo.
You've got Boston where Grahame's .939 in 9 starts - ALL
against playoff-bound teams - got him a trip to the minors
when Dafoe wised up, and even after he was called up again
in late February he got a lot of significant starts and
wound up playing 89% of his time against playoff teams &
playoff contenders. Not exactly freak stats there.
And then you've got New Jersey, where the theory was to not
blow any easy wins and take their chances with Terreri
against some middle-of-the road teams, which as it turned
out included some starts against very good teams (Washington
twice, St. Louis) that weren't supposed to be as good as
they were. Even so, only 1 of Terreri's 10 starts was a
cakewalk, against Nashville.
So I'll spare you the boring details and cut to the chase.
I actually found a guy (Terreri) whose ratings might even go
up a little to compensate for degree of difficulty in his
assignments (but they still won't come close to making you
want Terreri for your APBA team!). The same argument could
be made for Grahame, but since Grahame's numbers are already
pretty high and since he didn't play much worse against the
top teams as he did against the patsies I wouldn't want to
mess with his ratings. Anyway, back to Terreri. His
numbers were awful, but almost 90% of it came against
playoff & contending teams. His numbers against those teams
are similar to other back-ups, like Billington. In his only
start against a patsy he stopped 31 of 32. So his ratings
can come up a little to compensate, but not much. He was
still pretty horrible.
The only highly rated back-up whose stats might have been
inflated is Manny Fernandez. Fernandez got 57% of his
playing time against garbage teams, including 12 of his 19
starts. On the other hand, his .922 save percentage in
those games is not much higher than it was against the
better teams! I think you have to factor in Dallas's
defense there and figure his ratings can come down a point.
The only real freak goalie this year is Valiquette, with his
.949 in 6 games. But he didn't really play anywhere near 6
games. He started twice, against Ottawa and Atlanta, and
stopped 82 of 85 (45 of 46 vs. Ottawa). He played 1 minute
vs. NJ, and mopped up against Phoenix, Pittsburgh and
Toronto with about 20 minutes each game. Total playing time
was barely more than 3 games. I'll probably limit him to 3
or 4 in our league. Anyone who lets him start 50-60 games
in their league will get what they deserve. But his brief
performance warrants the ratings he'll get for this small
slice of time.
The other above average back-ups - Denis, Giguere, Nabokov -
all played less than 50% of their time against poor teams,
and none of them had the wild splits in performance like we
saw with Billington. In fact, Nabokov fared much *better*
against the better teams than the slugs, even if you discard
his mop up games.
But here's my absolute favorite: Glenn Healy. The guy had
an .888 save percentage, so you figure he's probably not
worth having on your APBA team so just leave the guy alone.
But I can't. It's just too outrageous. Dude had 19 starts
and one mop-up appearance. SIXTEEN of his 19 starts were
against garbage teams!!! Dude's with a division winner,
gets 19 starts, 16 against the bowels of the league, and he
STILL loses more than half his starts (9-10-0) and posts an
.898 save percentage against the worst teams in the league.
In his other 3 starts and his mop-up effort he had a less
than stellar .839. Hate to kick a guy when he's down, but
his ratings are coming dooooown.
That's enough for now. This concludes my study on back-up
goaltenders and freak goalie stats. :-)