One could argue that the Vancouver Canucks the biggest strength this season was the goalkeepers.
There have been two big developments in the crease for this team that cannot be ignored. One of them was that Markstrom was not only a Vezina-caliber goalie, but he also deserved a little love for the Hart Trophy. After dramatically improving his level of play during 2018-19, Markstrom continued his strong game posting a career-high .918 save percentage.
Markstrom managed to accomplish this despite the Canucks being one of the most defensively porous teams in the NHL. It has already been noted that this team was actually worse defensively than the 2018-19 team, which employed Ben hutton, Derrick Pouliot and Erik Gudbranson.
Without Markstrom, the Canucks are nowhere near being a playoff team.
The second development to note was the rise of the rookies Thatcher Demko. Not since the arrival of Eddie Lack in 2013-14, the Canucks had a rookie goaltender for the full-time team. Like Lack, Demko has hidden his successes and struggles as a rookie, but he still projects himself as a future NHL number one goaltender.
Keep these developments in mind as you check out three captivating stats from every Canucks goaltender below. Yes even Louis Domingue is included, just for fun.
1) .938 SV% on 1 day off
This is an interesting statistic for several reasons. One is that Markstrom’s numbers prove he doesn’t play better with rest. He’s posted a .938 save percentage in 18 starts receiving just one day off, but he has a .894 save percentage in eight starts over two days off.
The trend of mediocrity continues if Markstrom has been laid off any longer. He has a .904 stop percentage in 10 starts over 4+ days off.
These numbers are a bit mind-boggling, but they indicate the Markstrom trend enter his “Twilight Zone”, so to speak, and playing better against a higher volume of hits. It’s also clear that he performs best when he plays matches every other night.
Markstrom was 13-4 this season when the Canucks allowed more than 35 shots, compared to 6-10-4 when the Canucks allowed less than 30 shots. Go figure it out.
2) 31.5 even-tied saves by 60 (third highest in the NHL)
Yes, so Markstrom has faced a number of shots this season, but this statistic is remarkable for several reasons. One is that the average team shoots about 30 shots per game. Not only does Markstrom deal with more than that, he’s making more saves compared to the average number of shots a team generates. total. Only Robin Lehner and Igor shesterkin saves more evenly by 60.
3) +25.45 Save Contribution Rating (best NHL)
Data provided by Clear Sight Analytics it really showed how valuable Markstrom is this season. This savings contribution rating calculation notes the difference between the total number of expected goals allowed for scoring chances and the actual goals allowed for scoring chances. By that statistic, Markstrom is the best goaltender in the NHL when you factor in the large number of scoring chances he has hindered throughout the year.
1) 0.776 high danger SV% evenly (62nd out of 66 goalies)
I’ve talked about this before, but one of Demko’s biggest weaknesses is also arguably the hardest area for a goalkeeper to improve. Demko’s 0.776 dangerous save percentage has been one of the worst in hockey this season. While Demko has made a few notable saves this season, there are a few more that might make us talk differently about his first full season in the NHL.
On the bright side, his average danger save percentage of .926 ranked 20th among 66 goalies (Markstrom was 22nd at .925) and his low danger save percentage of .976 ranked 26th. (Markstrom was 40th at .969).
2) .923 SV% in 4+ days off
It is necessary that the alternate goalkeepers provide a solid performance after an extended period of rest. Fortunately, this was not a problem for Demko. Who has the 10th best save percentage in the league playing four or more days off.
Demko’s problem was opposed to Markstrom’s. In the nine games he played on a day off, his save percentage was down to 0.895. A small sample size, of course, but more consistency on Demko’s part will be needed in the future if he is to be an NHL starter.
3) .895 shorthanded save percentage
Call it luck, or call it a suave attitude while playing under pressure, but young Demko was one of the best goalies in the league while playing shorthanded. His shorthanded save percentage of 0.895 was the seventh best in the NHL.
What makes Demko’s shorthanded save percentage even more remarkable is that he was facing a barrage of chances. He faced 22.96 chances of high danger by 60 on penalty kill, the highest rate in the NHL.
For the record, Markstrom’s shorthanded save percentage of .876 sits just above the middle of the pack.
1) 130 goals against percentage
Did you think we would forget the legend of a Louis Domingue match before concluding?
Now Domingue is a substandard NHL goalie at best, but it was by far the worst season of his career. The goals-versus-stat percentage reflects this, as it measures how a goalie’s goals against average rank against their peers. 100 is exactly the average, lower is better, and zero is perfect.
Markstrom, for example, has a 91-to-1 goal percentage, Demko is 105. The two worst goalies in the league, by that measure, were Domingue and Jimmy Howard. It’s bad company, and not the right kind of Bad Company either.
2) 5 “Very bad starts”
One thing the three Canucks goaltenders have in common this season? They all had five “really bad starts”. And yes, this is a real statistic developed by Rob Vollman, which measures the number of starts in which a goalkeeper has a save percentage of less than 0.850.
Domingue succeeded in five of his 15 starts. Demko has had five really bad starts in 25 games, and Markstrom has had the same in 43 starts.
3) 3.93 GAA evenly (worst in NHL)
It’s the bad of the 80s. Alone red wings goalie Howard (4.20) and Keith kinkaid (4.24) were worse among goaltenders to play more than three games.