Sunday, February 27, 2011

Can Reimer keep up this pace?

The Behind the Net Blog has an interesting analysis of James Reimer's early NHL performance. He has put up stellar numbers in his first 15 games in the NHL. But can we draw any conclusions from his .932 save percentage to start his career?

Since 1995, there have been 13 goalies who were called up and posted a .925 save percentage or better in their first 15 games. But over their next 60 games, they posted a decent but not exactly eye-popping .906 save percentage. Quite a disappointment considering how these goalies started their NHL careers. So 15 games is not a large enough sample size to be confident in a goaltender's abilities - one out of every six .900 (replacement) goalies will out-perform a .920 (All-Star) goalie over a 15-game stretch.

Games 1-15 16-30 31-45 46-60 61-75 76-90
Reimer .932

13 Other Rookies .931 .909 .906 .903 .906 .914

The conclusion is that it's too early to be handing the Leaf starting goaltending job to Reimer just yet. Let's see at the very least what happens in games 16 to 30.

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