Goaltending Forecasts Are Almost Useless

 

There have already been several good looks at what it takes to narrow forecasts on goaltenders into something resembling a decent projection of future performance. Unfortunately, those studies show that it takes upwards of 3000 shot attempts at any level to get a reading on true netminding ability at that level.  By the time an NHL goaltender faces 3000 or more shots, we already have a pretty decent idea of whether or not they are starter material. In the absense of a well-rounded dataset of shots to observe, what can be done to forecast future performance?

 

Chickens, tea leaves, bones, crystal balls, dice, coin flips, darts in a dark room or any other form of oracular prognostication might be just as good as any other technique, but the Hockey Prophets are working on a more systematic way of measuring and forecasting if not performance then at least a way of ranking NHLers and prospects. NHLers are easier, because most actually have faced enough shots to get a solid reading. Prospects? That is an entirely different story. Goalies may be voodoo, but the Hockey Prophets are trying to formalize a methodology. Stay tuned...

 

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