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Vezina top 5 shows how voting is flawed


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We knew that Semyon Varlamov wouldn’t win the Vezina Trophy. The New York Islanders shot-stopper had a huge season but didn’t finish as one of the three favorites for top goalie honors.

Today, Marc-Andre Fleury was revealed as the winner. The firs-time he’s won the award in his career. But with the winner being named we also find out how the vote went. How far out was Semyon Varlamov from winning it or even the top three?

Turns out he wasn’t even close.

 

The only thing Varlamov didn’t have over the field was the same number of wins. The top three for the Vezina finished top three in wins on the season while Varlamov was tenth in wins with 19 in 35 starts. And that’s absurd.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, a team ‘stat’ such as wins shouldn’t be used in an individual award. Just consider this, Varlamov “lost” more games than the others but was better at stopping the puck. He was the better goalie but wasn’t recognized as such in the better goalie award. Wild.

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On 6/30/2021 at 8:21 AM, musky said:

We knew that Semyon Varlamov wouldn’t win the Vezina Trophy. The New York Islanders shot-stopper had a huge season but didn’t finish as one of the three favorites for top goalie honors.

Today, Marc-Andre Fleury was revealed as the winner. The firs-time he’s won the award in his career. But with the winner being named we also find out how the vote went. How far out was Semyon Varlamov from winning it or even the top three?

Turns out he wasn’t even close.

 

The only thing Varlamov didn’t have over the field was the same number of wins. The top three for the Vezina finished top three in wins on the season while Varlamov was tenth in wins with 19 in 35 starts. And that’s absurd.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, a team ‘stat’ such as wins shouldn’t be used in an individual award. Just consider this, Varlamov “lost” more games than the others but was better at stopping the puck. He was the better goalie but wasn’t recognized as such in the better goalie award. Wild.

 

I've never been a fan of using wins to measure player performance. They do that with starting pitchers in baseball too, and it means nothing. The pitchers with the most wins are top pitchers playing on great teams. What a surprise.  :) 

 

Body of work does matter though. ie: MIN.

 

By NHL voting logic, Andrew Raycroft should have a Vezina trophy lol.   

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Posted (edited)

Okay, so here are the top 5:

 

Fleury

Vasilevskiy

Grubauer

Hellebuyck

Varlamov

 

 

In wins per start: 

Grubauer (.75)

Vasilevskiy (.74)

Fleury (.73)

[Smith, Saros]

Hellebuyck & Varlamov tied  (.53).   

 

Of the top 5 finishers, only Hellboy was not a division champ.  So good/bad team difference is moot here (and with losses/game below). In fact, if we include that, Hellboy breaks the tie with Varly.  And this is per start, so it levels the field regarding who was splitting the crease (Varly & Fleury) and who played all but like 5 games (Vasilevskiy--and "5" is hyperbole).

 

Losses per start:

[Smith (.19)]

Grubauer (.23)

Vasilevskiy (.24)

Fleury (.28)

Varlamov (.31)

[Saros (.31)]

Hellebuyck (.38)

 

GAA

Grubauer 1.95

Fleury  1.98

Varlamov 2.04

Vasilevskiy 2.21

[Smith, Saros]

Hellebuyck 2.58

 

SV%

Varlamov  .929

Fleury .928

[Saros .927]

Vasilevskiy  .925

[Smith  .923]

Grubauer  .922

Hellebuyck   .916

 

Shutouts per start:

Varlamov  .19

Grubauer   .18

Fleury   .17

Vasilevskiy  .12

[Smith .09]

Hellebuyck  .09

 

I don't see where Varlamov has a claim OTHER THAN I don't see where Hellebuyck should finish ahead of him.

 

Yeah, he lead SV%. Important, obviously, but it was Fleury that was right there.  I don't even know if shutouts should be a criteria, but it's cool Varly led that (Fleury right there).

 

I think if anyone has a gripe, it should be Grubauer.  Vasilevskiy gets 2nd on name.  This comes down to Fleury & Grubauer.  I could make an argument for either one. I probably would have voted for Grubauer based on the above with Fleury a dead heat 2nd, but I'm comfortable with him winning.

 

3.  Vasilevskiy

4.  Varlamov

5.  Hellebuyck

6. Smith

7. Saros

 

I don't think Varlamov is right behind Vasilevskiy for 3rd and I could make an argument for 3rd, but that's it. 

Edited by ruxpin
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ruxpin said:

Okay, so here are the top 5:

 

Fleury

Vasilevskiy

Grubauer

Hellebuyck

Varlamov

 

 

I guess the point he's making is that it should have been:

 

  1. Fleury
  2. Varlamov
  3. (the rest)

We can split the difference on SV% and GAA and give the nod to Fleury for all the extra wins, but you can't be putting guys with a .922 SV% ahead of a guy that was .929. Save % is the most important goalie stat. GAA is already leaning towards being a team-based stat, and wins is almost entirely a team-based stat. 

 

Varlamov leads in the categories that most accurately measure individual goalie performance.

 

I'd also argue that he played in a tougher division too, so you could argue that Varlamov's .929 SV% in the East division is more impressive than Fleury's .928 SV% in a relatively light West division.

 

:) 

Edited by WordsOfWisdom
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5 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

 

I guess the point he's making is that it should have been:

 

  1. Fleury
  2. Varlamov
  3. (the rest)

We can split the difference on SV% and GAA and give the nod to Fleury for all the extra wins, but you can't be putting guys with a .922 SV% ahead of a guy that was .929. Save % is the most important goalie stat. GAA is already leaning towards being a team-based stat, and wins is almost entirely a team-based stat. 

 

Varlamov leads in the categories that most accurately measure individual goalie performance.

 

I'd also argue that he played in a tougher division too, so you could argue that Varlamov's .929 SV% in the East division is more impressive than Fleury's .928 SV% in a relatively light West division.

 

:) 

I'm inclined to agree with you on the Grubauer .922 and the point about SV% thing. On the other hand his wins per start is atrocious and we're taking about a first place team with a defense first approach.   If it was close I'd completely agree with you.  So, i still stick with Grubauer as #2 but yours is a valid, well-argued case so maybe that's a lot closer than I gave it credit for.   

 

I kind of agree with the "east is more impressive than west" thought, too.   So it's definitely closer than I gave it credit for, but I still go Fleury, Grubauer as my one, two.  Had Varly actually won it, I could see myself defending that, as well.

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