It’s probably a tad ridiculous to talk about Game Four before we’ve even got a whiff of Game Three, but my business card says planner, so that’s kinda where my mind goes. You might have excitedly noticed the Leafs are going to play on both Thursday and Friday. Two days of Leafs hockey sounds great. The one part we haven’t dealt with from that is typically that means goaltenders are going to split the games. And now we head down the road of processing exactly what that means.
Hoping in the way back machine to 2013, we find a Eric Tulsky article explaining why starting goaltenders two nights in a row is never a good idea.
Give the full article a read, but here is a key takeaway…
I did a similar study but restricting things to games where a team was on the second half of a back-to-back, so that we could compare the instances where they started a goalie who played in the game before to the instances where they started a rested goalie (data through Thursday’s games):
Team playing back-to-back Games started Saves made Shots faced Save percentage Goalie played previous game 97 2340 2624 .892 Goalie rested previous game 106 2719 2982 .912
Rested goalies playing behind a tired team had the exact same .912 save percentage as Kurt found overall for rested goalies — which presumably means that rested goalies behind a rested team were also at .912, and that the team’s rest has no impact on the goalie’s save percentage. The entire 0.020 difference would then be due to goalie fatigue.
So there you have it, someone who is much smarter than almost all of us is confirming playing Andersen is a bad idea.
Up until now the Blue Jackets have been using their statistically worse goaltender. Elvis Merzlikins brings a .923 save percentage over 33 games to the table. His all situation GSAA is 12.1, and arguably his hot streak is what put the Blue Jackets into the situation where they were the 9th seed, instead of whatever the hell Buffalo is.
The Blue Jackets essentially have a hot goaltender now, and a goaltender who was hot for them four months ago. This seems like a good situation for them, and it seems highly likely they won’t trot out Korpisalo in both games.
All of 2019-20:
Since Campbell joined the Leafs: