Clearing the Crease and Shot Quality with Ondrej Pavelec: Are the Jets one of the best defensive teams in the league?

Joel Auerbach

Fans complain that the Winnipeg Jets make it too easy on opponents in front of their netminder. They claim that too many shots come from in tight and this is the reason for Ondrej Pavelec's low save percentage, but are they really letting people T off right in front of Pavelec?

Thanks to A ninja named Greg and his most super wonderful Super Shot Search was able to put together this fun chart:

Player Team S inside 10' Reg SA % inside 10' Sv% Leaders
1 Anders Lindback TBL 12 284 4.23% 0.897
2 Brian Elliott STL 12 284 4.23% 0.849
3 Martin Brodeur NJD 17 274 6.20% 0.907
4 Tuukka Rask BOS 18 279 6.45% 0.919
5 Jose Theodore FLA 20 280 7.14% 0.892
6 Carey Price MTL 21 293 7.17% 0.922
7 Ondrej Pavelec WPG 20 279 7.17% 0.889
8 Sergei Bobrovsky CBJ 16 199 8.04% 0.898
9 Ryan Miller BUF 35 426 8.22% 0.914
10 Niklas Backstrom MIN 25 286 8.74% 0.912
11 Pekka Rinne NSH 27 307 8.79% 0.936
12 Michal Neuvirth WSH 16 172 9.30% 0.889
13 James Reimer TOR 26 279 9.32% 0.929
14 Craig Anderson OTT 35 364 9.62% 0.948
15 Ilya Bryzgalov PHI 37 372 9.95% 0.907
16 Corey Crawford CHI 27 255 10.59% 0.935
17 Devan Dubnyk EDM 40 373 10.72% 0.918
18 Antti Niemi SJS 33 306 10.78% 0.930
19 Mike Smith PHX 28 242 11.57% 0.897
20 Marc-Andre Fleury PIT 30 255 11.76% 0.914
21 Jonathan Quick LAK 26 218 11.93% 0.895
22 Cam Ward CAR 36 289 12.46% 0.902
23 Henrik Lundqvist NYR 37 293 12.63% 0.917
24 Jimmy Howard DET 51 375 13.60% 0.900
25 Roberto Luongo VAN 23 166 13.86% 0.934
26 Evgeni Nabokov NYI 46 323 14.24% 0.906
27 Miikka Kiprusoff CGY 24 167 14.37% 0.870
28 Kari Lehtonen DAL 47 327 14.37% 0.934
29 Jonas Hiller ANA 23 155 14.84% 0.872
30 Semyon Varlamov COL 46 271 16.97% 0.909

* Viktor Fasth is missing because he doesn't currently appear in Super Shot Search I am an idiot.

Thoughts:

  • The Jets have been one of the better teams in the league at pushing shots out of the 10 foot danger zone, so talk that they have been softer in front of their net than most may be a bit off base.
  • A number of the teams at the top of this chart (Stl, NJ, Bos, Fla, Mtl, Min, Nsh) have been lauded for their defensive prowess and their ability to push pucks to the outside. These are often referred to as goalie friendly systems despite little to no evidence that they improve goalie stats.
  • Columbus is awful, but they do have a talented D grouping.
  • I have no idea how Tampa is at the top of the list.
  • Remember we are dealing with small sample sizes, so some of these numbers are likely unsustainable.
  • Save percentages and the number of shots from within 10' don't seem to have any link.
  • Save percentages and goalie talent do seem to be linked.
For interest sake I also made a chart that combines the above percentage with shots against. I gave 1st a value of 1, 2nd a value of 2 and added them together.

The results are interesting:
Team SA/G SA/G Rank Player % inside 10' Inside 10' % Rank Total Pts
STL 23.2 1 Brian Elliott 4.23% 2 3
BOS 26.5 3 Tuukka Rask 6.45% 4 7
NJ 26.5 4 Martin Brodeur 6.20% 3 7
MTL 27.3 7 Carey Price 7.17% 6 13
NSH 27.2 6 Pekka Rinne 8.79% 11 17
WPG 27.9 12 Ondrej Pavelec 7.17% 7 19
LAK 24.9 2 Jonathan Quick 11.93% 21 23
MIN 27.9 14 Niklas Backstrom 8.74% 10 24
PHI 27.7 10 Ilya Bryzgalov 9.95% 15 25
CBJ 29.3 18 Sergei Bobrovsky 8.04% 8 26
CHI 27.8 11 Corey Crawford 10.59% 16 27
FLA 30.6 22 Jose Theodore 7.14% 5 27
TB 31.7 26 Anders Lindback 4.23% 1 27
PHX 27.5 9 Mike Smith 11.57% 19 28
PIT 27.4 8 Marc-Andre Fleury 11.76% 20 28
CGY 26.8 5 Miikka Kiprusoff 14.37% 27 32
WSH 30.4 21 Michal Neuvirth 9.30% 12 33
SJ 29.1 16 Antti Niemi 10.78% 18 34
OTT 31.3 24 Craig Anderson 9.62% 14 38
VAN 27.9 13 Roberto Luongo 13.86% 25 38
BUF 33.8 30 Ryan Miller 8.22% 9 39
NYR 29.2 17 Henrik Lundqvist 12.63% 23 40
TOR 31.7 27 James Reimer 9.32% 13 40
DET 29.4 19 Jimmy Howard 13.60% 24 43
ANA 28.3 15 Jonas Hiller 14.84% 29 44
EDM 33.3 29 Devan Dubnyk 10.72% 17 46
NYI 30.2 20 Evgeni Nabokov 14.24% 26 46
CAR 32.3 28 Cam Ward 12.46% 22 50
COL 31.2 23 Semyon Varlamov 16.97% 30 53
DAL 31.3 25 Kari Lehtonen 14.37% 28 53
Thoughts:
The top of this list is full of what many consider to be defensive powerhouses while a number of crap teams fall to the bottom. I put this together for interest sake, but their may be something here worth looking at. Are the Jets actually a decent defensive team? Am I an idiot? Do you just hate me and numbers in general?
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