Courtesy of Hertz

Drive to the Net: Murray not living up to expectations

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Matt Murray. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

Matt Murray hasn't been living up to expectations this season.

Sean Tierney, on his website Charting Hockey, took a look this week at how goalies around the league this season are performing relative to the shot quality they face.

The stat, called "goals saved above expectation," is the result of looking at a player's expected goals against over 60 minutes of five-on-five play, and subtracting the number of actual five-on-five goals allowed. If the result is a positive number, a goaltender is performing better than expected. If the result is a negative number, a goaltender is performing worse than expected.

A goaltender's expected goals against over 60 minutes (xGA/60) is a result of the quality and quantity of shots faced in five-on-five play. The data in this chart is adjusted for the score and venue situation of the game -- meaning if a shot in a given game situation (home vs. away, a tied game, leading by two goals, etc.) tends to result more or less often in a goal, the data is adjusted to reflect that.

What Tierney did was take that data and put the results into a bar chart. Goaltenders to the right of the y-axis have a positive result, and are preventing more goals than expected given the quality of shots they are facing. Goaltenders to the left of the axis have a negative result, and are allowing more goals than expected given the quality of shots they are facing. Goaltenders to the right are making more "big" saves, and goaltenders to the left are allowing more soft goals.

Of goaltenders who have played more than 1,280 minutes of five-on-five this season, Murray ranks 27th of 28 in goals saved above expectation, leading only Martin Jones of the Sharks.

[caption id="attachment_956754" align="aligncenter" width="799"] Goals saved above expectation. -- SEAN TIERNEY / CHARTING HOCKEY[/caption]

In the chart, the more purple-colored a bar is, the lower a goaltender's expected goals against is, meaning they have an easier workload. The more gold-colored a bar is, the higher their goals expected against, meaning they have a harder workload.

Murray's expected goals against over 60 minutes of five-on-five is 2.15 (among the lowest in the league), and his goals saved above expectation is -13.44 (among the worst in the league)

Tristan Jarry faces slightly lower quality shots, as his expected goals against over 60 minutes is 2.04. His goals saved above expectation is in the positives, at 2.21, meaning that he performs better than expected.

These trends are also reflected in the average shot distances faced and average distances of goals allowed. The average shot Murray faces in five-on-five play comes from 36.3 feet away. The average shot Jarry faces comes from slightly farther away, at 39.01 feet, presumably an easier shot to face. The average goal at five-on-five that Murray allows comes from 25.97 feet away. The average goal Jarry allows comes from 18.18 feet away, a more dangerous area of the ice.

To sum things up: Murray's workload is slightly more difficult than Jarry's, but he's having a significantly more difficult time living up to expectations.

 

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