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Goalies: can you ever know what they’re going to do?

Which is more disconnected save % and itself or save % and cap hit?

Toronto Maple Leafs v Dallas Stars Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Matt Murray’s on a tear. So was Jack Campbell last year, but not so much this year. We all know that, and that’s why we don’t trust Murray’s numbers to last. Last summer, Leafs fans finally reached a kind of acceptance that picking a goalie seems like playing a roulette wheel. And while we’re happy our number came up, we aren’t going to plan our future happiness around Matt Murray.

We’ve seen charts before showing how much goalies, year-over-year, are completely unreliable. Tto update for this season, this is all goalies by ordinary, all-situations Save %, a stat full of team effects, this year vs last year. Spot the correlations!

Data from Cap Friendly for every goalie who has appeared in at least one game this season.

And do you get what you pay for? You know the answer:

Data from Cap Friendly for every goalie who has appeared in at least one game this season.

Goalies, you gotta have them, lots of them, but you need to realize they’re all like cats. They do what they want, when they want, and if that’s nap through an entire season, that’s what they’ll do.

This was a hasty look at something we’ve seen before — obviously, look at that careful styling of those charts. There hasn’t been a lot of luck seeing correlation in goaltender performance using better measures of their results. There’s not none, and goalies who are very bad and then very good or vice versa often have an injury story to tell, but the cap hits tell the story. There is real correlation in skaters between performance and pay — imperfect, but real. With goalies, it’s hard to find much at all.