Mar 242010
 

Roberto Luongo only faced 22 shots last night, but he allowed three weak goals and the Canucks lost.

Sound familiar? How about March 16 against the Islanders, where he allowed four goals on 12 shots? Or January 13 against Minnesota (five goals, 19 shots) or January 30 against Toronto (three goals, 8 shots)?

Luongo has been pulled eight times this season. Once was against Chicago. The other seven were against teams headed to the golf course when the season ends: the Islanders, Minnesota (twice), Toronto, St. Louis, Columbus, and Calgary.

Do Luongo’s legs fall asleep when he doesn’t face enough shots? Compare his save percentage in games grouped by the number of shots he faced.

No. of shots (weighted)*GPSAGASave %
Under 20580100.875
20-2412257320.875
25-2918451530.905
30-3416518310.940
35-39519270.964
40 and over6227230.899

(Full dataset here.)

As we suspected, Luongo is dismal when he faces under 25 shots, and only average when he faces under 30 shots.

His sweet spot is 30 to 39 shots. Three of his four shutouts came in those 21 games, and he’s got an impressive .947 SV%, crushing Ryan Miller’s league-leading .929.

In fact, Luongo hasn’t played a single bad game this season when facing that many shots. The worst he did was to surrender 4 goals to the Sharks on November 29, the second of back-to-back games. (Compare that to six games allowing 4 or more goals this season when facing under 30 shots.)

The stats confirm what we all knew: the busier Luongo is, the better he plays. He slides down to 0.899 SV% when facing 40 or more shots, though, so it would be rash to promote Andrew Alberts and Shane O’Brien to the number one pairing.

But there may be one tip for Alain Vigneault: put Andrew Raycroft in net against the crappy teams. He could hardly have done worse last night against the Oilers than did Luongo.

* Shots are weighted to 60 minutes. For example, if Luongo was pulled after the first period for allowing 5 goals on 14 shots (as he was against Chicago on March 5), I averaged that out over 60 minutes and recorded that as a 42-shot game.

  • Johnny

    Let us not forget his 7 goals from 30 shots…Game 6 last year. Like I have said all year long, Lou worries me. Inconsistencies could relate to deeper issues, I just can’t see the team getting very far with this type of goaltending. You never know what goalie is going to show up. I can never tell or have a feeling prior to any game that the Cauncks will win, you just never know with this team! The team has issues, especially down low….then there is the consistancy of the top line, which has been good this year, but definitely can’t go 10 + games without points for the sedins come playoffs…..either way we don’t make it past round 2, unless by some miracle Lou becomes the goalie he is paid to be.

  • Johnny

    Let us not forget his 7 goals from 30 shots…Game 6 last year. Like I have said all year long, Lou worries me. Inconsistencies could relate to deeper issues, I just can’t see the team getting very far with this type of goaltending. You never know what goalie is going to show up. I can never tell or have a feeling prior to any game that the Cauncks will win, you just never know with this team! The team has issues, especially down low….then there is the consistancy of the top line, which has been good this year, but definitely can’t go 10 + games without points for the sedins come playoffs…..either way we don’t make it past round 2, unless by some miracle Lou becomes the goalie he is paid to be.

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  • PuBPest

    The stats are interesting but if he has a bad start and allows 3 goals on the 1st 9 shots.. it won’t matter if he see 30 – 39 shots.. it will be to late by then!!

    good article thou!

  • PuBPest

    The stats are interesting but if he has a bad start and allows 3 goals on the 1st 9 shots.. it won’t matter if he see 30 – 39 shots.. it will be to late by then!!

    good article thou!

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