clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Winnipeg Jets Goaltender Performance Tracker: Ondrej Pavelec Update

New, comment

It's time for another update on how Pavelec has been playing. SPOILER: there are some scary tendencies creeping back...

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The calls for Michael Hutchinson to see more starts have been loud and bountiful, despite the fact that reigning starter Ondrej Pavelec has posted respectful numbers for the most part this season. So what's causing this discussion to occur? You could make the argument that it is Michael Hutchinson alone, combined with the large baggage that Pavelec carries around with him on a regular basis.

But I think there is more to it. I see tendencies and characteristics in Pavelec's game that scare me, and indicate that his numbers this season are not very likely to stay where they are. Regression has already started for Ondrej, and I fear there may be more of it on the way. The numbers below support a lot of these beliefs.

The Basics

Even Strength

Special Teams

Total

Shots Against

497

122

619

Saves

459

108

567

Goals Against

38

14

52

Save Percentage

.924

.885

.916

As I said, Pavelec has put together a solid foundation of numbers over the first couple months of the season. It's nothing spectacular, but even league average goaltending is a fantastic improvement over last year.

The problem is we have seen this story before. Pavelec spotted a pretty respectable start over a few months to start last season as well, and he finished the year with some career lows. I get the feeling he is going to continue the regression he's been on, as I've noted some scary things creep back in his game.

Situations

Even Strength

Special Teams

Total

Odd Man Rush

23.7% (9)

14.3% (2)

21.2% (11)

Sustained Pressure

21.1% (8)

57.1% (8)

30.8% (16)

Average Play/Breakout/OZ Faceoff

42.1% (16)

28.6% (4)

38.5% (20)

Turnover in Zone

13.2% (5)

0%

9.6% (5)

What many may find surprising to learn, is that so far this year the Jets are giving up almost the exact same percentages of goals against due to turnovers (9.6% vs. 9.2%), and substantially more odd man rush goals against (21.2% vs. 10.4%) with Ondrej Pavelec in net than they did last season. Overall shot totals against are definitely down, but these numbers mean one of two things so far:

  1. They are giving up more odd man rush attempts
  2. Pavelec is stopping fewer of them.

At this point in time I can't say which it is, so I'll leave that for you to decide. All I will say, is losing their top four defensemen may end up playing a fair factor in how far Pavelec actually regresses this season.

Reasons

Even Strength

Special Teams

Total

Bad Break/Deflection/Traffic

23.7% (9)

14.3% (2)

21.2% (11)

Out of Position

21.1% (8)

21.4% (3)

21.2% (11)

Rebound

13.2% (5)

21.4% (3)

15.4% (8)

Beat Clean - Goalie @ Fault

10.5% (4)

7.1% (1)

9.6% (5)

Beat Clean - Goalie Not Faulted

31.6% (12)

35.7% (5)

32.7% (17)

Now this is where things look a little iffier for Pavelec. From about a month ago, Pavelec has regressed back to last year's form in regards to the percentage of goals against that result directly following a rebound, and has seen his out of position percentage jump up approximately 5% from last season. These are pretty significant concerns for a goaltender that have followed Pavelec throughout his entire career.

So how has he improved his number so much? He's been beat clean and judged to be at fault for those goals about 10% less than he was last season. That's great to hear, and if he can keep that number low he may be able to pull off a decent year, but I am still concerned about his puck tracking ability. He's already started to show signs of that statistic slipping over the past few weeks, as he's been beaten clean on rather simple mid-range to long distance shots or shots from poor angles that most goalies would generally stop. (Namely the goal he allowed against Buffalo this week, the second goal against Colorado on December 11th, and the first goal against Edmonton on December 3rd)

Compare these numbers to Michael Hutchinson's (who I wrote about last week) and I think you can see why many, me included, think it is a good time to give the kid a shot. A lot of these issues have never changed in Ondrej, and at this point in his career I really don't think they will.

Goal Locations

Even Strength

Special Teams

Total

Five Hole

10.5% (4)

7.1% (1)

9.6 (5)

Glove Hand

23.7% (9)

21.4% (3)

23.1% (12)

Blocker Side

42.1% (16)

28.6% (4)

38.5% (20)

Left Pad

0%

7.1% (1)

1.9% (1)

Right Pad

7.9% (3)

0%

5.8% (3)

Open Net

15.8% (6)

35.7% (5)

21.2% (11)

That open net statistic really is a killer for Pavs. It's usually a direct result of poor rebound control or being out of position, and as you expect all three numbers are pretty close to one another.

Otherwise, the same trend continues as Pavelec's blocker side has been his weakness for quite some time now.

Evidence

Goal 3 vs. Anaheim (Dec. 7th)

This goal is a big display of some of the troubles Pavelec has had recently tracking the puck.

Anaheim is on a 4-on-3 powerplay here and starts things off cycling the puck in the zone pretty well. At this point Ryan Getzlaf has just received the puck and is starting to skate with it. Take note of where the Jets defenders are. Stuart and Pardy are low, and Bryan Little is at the top.

See that point? Little was directing Stuart to go somewhere. This is important as Getzlaf keeps going...

Getzlaf has now continued his skating to the circle, and is now about to pass the puck over to Kesler. Note how Stuart is now right on top of Little? Yeah, me thinks that is not what he told Stuart to do. Also take note of how deep Pavelec is here. He didn't really challenge at all while Gezlaf was skating.

For some reason Pavelec decided to drop to his knees in response to th3 pass, and with nobody covering Kesler that is a goal almost every time. I do put blame on the Jets for leaving him open, but Pavelec has to be better than this. He has to at least give himself a chance.

Goal 1 @ Colorado (Dec. 11th)

This seems like an all too familiar situation. An opposing team is coming down on an even man break, against Stuart and his partner. Things are starting out okay here, as guys are all pretty well matched up.

Then Stuart (funny how it seems to always be him) decides to put himself way out of position. He tries to attack Tanguay as he cuts across the ice, and suddenly there is trouble as Ladd is trying to catch up with Duchene.

Jan Hejda takes the pass from Tanguay, and suddenly there is some serious trouble.

And this is (once again) a situation where Pavelec poorly reading the play completely puts himself out of position and out of the play. He very quickly drops to his knees as the pass is made (noting a trend here?), making things incredibly easy for Duchene to tap the puck into a wide open net.

Goal 1 vs. Buffalo (Dec. 16th)

Another power play situation here, but in this case I think the goal is directly on Pavelec (admittedly, in a game that he was solid afterwards).

This really isn't an intimidating situation at all. The Jets had done well to this point killing off a load of penalties, and the Sabres have just won a faceoff and cycled the puck to the opposite side of the rink. There's a bit of traffic in front of Pavelec who is prairie dogging it a little bit right now (which I hate when goaltenders do).

As the shot comes, Pavelec is a little delayed getting down (again, probably because he was prairie dogging) and there is a little traffic in front. This is not a dangerous shot at all.

This angle is the killer though. The only reason this puck went in was because Pavelec left his blocker side open for way too long. This allows a weak shot to get through and put Buffalo on the board. This can't happen. It's as simple as that.

Summary

Put simply: Pavelec has been good so far, history tells us things are likely to get worse, and he is starting to show signs of regressing back to what we are used to seeing. With all the injuries to the blue line I am really expecting that to be directly pointed to when he does regress, but I don't think that will be the full explanation.  I would like to see Hutchinson get a decent run at the starting position before I say he should be the starter, but I think it would be smart for the Jets to act before these tendencies catch up to Pav.