2011-12 Most Valuable Goalies

Before we detail the winners, it is very important to be clear about what the Puckonomics analysis calculates and what it does not. For goalies, we determine who provided the most value over the 82 regular season games. What the analysis does do not assess is who is the best goalie during the season. To be more specific, Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak might be two  of the best goalies in 2011-12 but because they shared the St Louis Blues net, neither played enough games to be one to have be one of the highest True Value goalies.

So here are the results:

Team GP Wins OTL True Value ($M) Cap Hit ($M) Difference ($M)
1. Pekka Rinne NSH 73 43 8 4.66 3.40 1.26
2. Marc-Andre Fleury PIT 67 42 4 4.36 5.00 -0.64
3. Jonathan Quick LAK 69 35 13 4.33 1.80 2.53

A couple of notes.

First, the obvious question is why isn’t Henrik Lundqvist on this list?  Well, he is one of the highest True Value goalies in the league, but not in the Top 3. Compare to Pekka Rinne he only play in 62 games and that 11 game differential means a lot. In particular it means the New York Rangers back-up, Martin Biron is worth a lot more than a regular back-up, which decreases the True Value of Lundqvist. This does not mean he wasn’t the best goalie in the league during 2011-12. He in fact may win the Vezina trophy and it will be well-deserved. The Rangers got phenomenal goaltending from Lundqvist when he played. By there were at least 20 games when they used another goalie, so that goalie created value for the Rangers too.

On a separate note, as detailed in previous posts, it is important to point out that the Puckonomics methodology sees the True Value of goalies as being significatnly lower than the actual salaries of the top goalies in the league. Essentially this means there is significant inefficiency in the goalie salary market which results in high-end goalies being disproportionally over-compensated for the value they contribute.