Halak

 

Forensics - Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott - Many teams have employed a two goalie system in the past, but the tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott are taking it to a new level this season.  With most tandems there is always a clear number one, meaning that one guy is always going to get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to starting big games, as long as he doesn't turn into Andre "Red Light" Racicot.

 

Let's take a look at Frozen Pool to see Halak and Elliott's similarities and differences, and exactly who has the edge in certain situations.

 

Category Wins

15

18

Name

 

 

 

 

Position

G

G

Team

STL

STL

Age

26

26

2011-2012 Salary

$3500000

$600000

2011-2012 Cap Hit

$3750000

$600000

Contract Years Left

2

0

NHL Years
Green=4th Yr Breakout

5

5

AvgGP Last 3Yrs
Red = Beware

45

47

Games

29

23

Wins

15

15

Avg Wins Last 3Yrs

10

9

Winning %

51.72%

65.22%

Losses

9

5

Avg Losses Last 3Yrs

7

4

OT Losses

5

2

Shutouts

5

5

Goals Against

57

38

Shots Against

732

608

Saves

675

570

Goals Against Avg

1.97

1.69

Avg GAA Last 3Yrs

2.80

2.71

Save Percentage

0.922

0.938

 

That's about as even as it gets as you can see they both have 15 wins and five shutouts.  The only significant advantage goes to Elliott as he comes at a much cheaper price than Halak.  That may come to an end next season though after the stellar year he has been having.

 

Player                          AvgShots

HALAK, JAROSLAV  25.24

ELLIOTT, BRIAN       26.43

 

There average shots faced per game are also pretty even, with Elliott just facing one extra shot per contest.  Shots however can sometimes be a misleading stat; the degree of difficulty of the shots on goal can be much more telling.

 

Player                         AvgDist

HALAK, JAROSLAV 32.62ft

ELLIOTT, BRIAN       33.57ft

 

The average shot distance that Halak faces is slightly more challenging then Elliott's as he is facing rubber from nearly a foot closer on average.  In fact among goalies that have appeared in at least 20 games, only Jonas Hiller and Ray Emery are facing shots on average from a closer distance than Halak.

 

Here is how they stack up on shots faced from 1-15ft which is the greatest degree of difficulty.

 

Name                           Shots Goals Save%

HALAK,JAROSLAV   164    23    0.860

ELLIOTT,BRIAN         135    21    0.844

 

Now here are their numbers from 30-45ft.  The ones that goalies have to have.

 

Name                                 Shots Goals Save%

HALAK,JAROSLAV         223    11    0.951

ELLIOTT,BRIAN               181     4     0.978

 

It's interesting, as you can see Halak fairs much better than Elliott on the more challenging shots, but Elliott ranks better on the shots that goalies typically have to save.  Elliott actually ranks number one in the NHL in save percentage on shots from 30-45ft.

 

Of the two goalies Elliott has been the most consistent throughout the season.  So far he has recorded a shutout in every month of the campaign, not including February, and he has also not lost more than two games in a row.  He also had a stretch where he won 12 of 14 starts from late October to mid December.

 

Halak on the other hand has been hot more recently and has really benefitted since Ken Hitchcock took over.  He had just one victory in seven starts prior to that, and then after the coaching change he posted five shutouts and seven straight victories in the month of January.  Three of Halak's five shutouts have been 1-0 scores, which proves he can handle the pressure in tight games.

 

It is hard to go wrong at the moment with either Halak or Elliott, whether you are a poolie or a St. Louis fan.  This great goaltending tandem has the Blues poised to earn their first playoff birth since 2008-09.

 

 

 


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Comments (7)add comment

KK said:

Kudelskis Krushers
Elliott Contract Elliott already signed a two-year extension with a cap hit of 1.8M/year.
February 08, 2012
Votes: +0

Bruce Allen said:

allen5938
Halak vs Elliott Elliott has a 10W -6L loss record against teams currently in a playoff position .Halak on the other hand is 5W -8L.Elliotts road record is also superior 7W 5L Halak is 2w and 7L losses.My point is obvious Elliott wins the tough ones.
February 08, 2012
Votes: -1

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Good & Bad I really like all the number-crunching... I'm a big fan of effort.

There are times though when I feel that pounding the statistics is overkill & not of significant value. Comparing STL-Hitch-Halak to STL-Hitch-Elliott doesn't have a lot of value, IMO.

IMO, the St.Louis system is allowing both goalies to excel. We know this. As the back-up, there is very little expections (/pressure) on Elliott. I think this helps his mental focus. A nice nugget of information is Halak's success since Hitch came in. For some goalies, the "feeling" of a coach forcing the team to play more defensively (smarter) can really help a goalie's mental focus. The feeling of support. I think this is the reason for Halak's triumphs.

Overall though, comparing shots from in-close (0-15ft) or far-away (30-45ft) between goalies is digging in the wrong direction. A guy like Zdeno Chara is going to unleash 90% of his shots from the blue line. Some years he's shot over 8%, some year's he's shot under 3%. Was he picking his corners in good years? Or was there simply some lucky puck bounces & effective screens?

Diving into smaller statistical samples is going to create a greater chance of misinterpretation. Perhaps the goalie giving up more goals from in tight was simply playing against teams with better stick-handlers & close-range shooters. In the long-distance goals, it would be interesting to watch (or reference) these and note how many were simply the luck of a screen or tip.

I think a comparison of these two goalies is of little value. They are both thriving in Hitch's environment and Hitch seems to be giving Halak 3/5 games & Elliott 2/5 games.

A comparison between EACH goalie's past performances & how EACH goalie's stastics have changed in Hitch-St.Louis would have been a better study... my 2 cents.

Overall, great effort though... would have preferred to have seen player self-comparisons though.

(As an aside, I've always wondered about these "shot distances". How accurate are they from arena to arena. ESPN posts shootout information and I often see a shot distance of something like 19ft... on a shootout deke!?! I don't believe we have an understanding of the NHL statistician's accuracy of shot distance - unless there is a GPS chip in the puck that I don't know about...)
February 08, 2012
Votes: +0

Matthieu Poirier said:

TwoPuckCanuck
Fun Fact Hey Michael,

posted this yesterday about Halak and Elliott. Just a little fun fact I noticed about the two netminders.

http://www.dobberhockey.com/index.php?option=com_jfusion&Itemid=122&jfile=showthread.php&t=125688
February 08, 2012
Votes: +0

Value said:

Value
Stats Nice article. Where did you get the stats for save percentage based on shot distance?
February 07, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Aaron said:

Aaron27
Elliott Not sure how it applies, but Elliott hadn't won a game since January 7th (until tonight). So, to me Halak seems pretty clearly #1.
February 07, 2012
Votes: +0

John H. said:

CommittedToTheIndian
Homophones THEIR average shots faced per game, not THERE average shots. Halak FARES much better, not FAIRS much better. Playoff BERTH, not BIRTH.

Regardless of the information presented (and really, how many poolies didn't already know that the Blues tandem has been solid?), such sloppy writing makes DobberHockey look amateurish. It's one thing in the Forums, but bylined articles should be better than this.

February 07, 2012
Votes: +2
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