Okay, I'll start right off by saying this is a silly comparison. Martin Jones, newly minted Leaf, has really bad stopping pucks numbers and has for half a dozen years now.
But I wanted to explore the reasons why the Leafs signed Jones, beyond some of the classical justifications.
Oh, just before we get into it. It might be worth stating the classical reasons.
- Jones has been a reliable goalie to be in the net or on the bench for 30+ games his whole career.
- He's an NHL goalie (albeit at the bottom end) and hasn't yet been demoted to the AHL, even after signing low salary contracts.
- He's a bar in preseason for Joseph Woll to beat so he can justify being the backup. Jones needs to be seen next to Woll for this, not just be a waivers guess.
Okay, now to look at the various goalie statistics Money Puck graciously provides. I am not including Woll in this analysis because he simply hasn't played enough games (last season or in his career) to have any meaningful data. His .932 save percentage last year means nothing to me. Well, I guess it's not .832.
Last year, 25 goalies played in 41 games or more. That data set includes Samsonov in Toronto and Jones in Seattle.
Goals Saves Above Expected/60
Save Percentage Above Expected/60
So far, as expected. Relative to the goals they were expected to give up behind their respective defenses, Samsonov is coming out way ahead of Jones.
Let's look at shot locations to see what it says.
Low Danger SV% Above Expected
Medium Danger SV% Above Expected
High Danger SV% Above Expected
Okay, interesting. Jones didn't give up any of the poor shots, and likely has some talent seeing through screens (as we'll see in a couple stats below). The struggles immediately show back up in the slot and in front of the net. Samsonov was excellent in those categories, but gave up stinkers from distances too often.
Now, we get into some of the more micro stats, to better understand what the Leafs see as similar strengths and differences between Samsonov and Jones.
Rebounds Above Expected Per Save
Puck Freezes Above Expected per Shot on Goal
Repeating the point about low danger shots, Jones does well to reduce rebounds in front and also freezes the puck (creating a D-zone faceoff) less than most of the eligible goalies. Samsonov is harmlessly average in these categories.
And after looking back on multiple years. The puck freezing and rebound limiting stats seem to be relatively consistent. Viewing Jones' shot location results just tells me to not read too much into them on a single goalie.
In conclusion, I think Jones has some skills. He wouldn't be in the league otherwise. He's also had to play around some pretty crappy defenses – Seattle's was bad, Philadelphia was pathetic before that, and San Jose in the depths of their decline – so that might not help with what happens when rebounds do come around.
In the end, it's hard to tell. I am comforted from the notion that Jones might be the Leafs backup/1B by his durability and how many games he can play a year.
Some of his microstats are useful, but only if they result in shots getting stopped. When that's not there, what else can you say. He's nice? Good hair? He looks like he should be good?