Night #1 of 2011-12 NHL Hockey, and the Stupid already hurts

I know I'm nutpicking here, but still...Paraphrasing Mike Milbury on Philadelphia's 2-1 win over Boston: "Yes, this is a game they would have lost last year because of goaltending."

Let's think that through...

Ilya Bryzgalov career save percentage = .916

Michael Leighton career save percentage = .902

Now I've written numerous times here that Leighton sucks, but over the course of his career, he has allowed 1.4 additional goals per 100 shots, or 0.3 per 22 shots, as Bryzgalov faced tonight. If we make a whole bunch of simplistic assumptions - career save percentage represents true talent, shot totals would have been roughly the same regardless of score - Bryzgalov had a 72% likelihood of allowing 0, 1 or 2 goals, while Leighton is at 63%.

The difference between the best goalie in the league and a minor-leaguer simply isn't that large, and the difference between Bryzgalov and Sergei Bobrovsky is even smaller. If Bryzgalov is two wins better than Bobrovsky, I'd be shocked, but even if we say that he is, his impact is barely noticeable over the course of a season.

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