What Happens When You Fail to Bench a Non-starting Goalie?
A common, and seemingly benign, mistake in fantasy hockey occurs when a manager fails to bench a goalie who is not starting in a particular game. There are some instances where a fantasy hockey manager will make the deliberate choice to place a non-starting goalie in the starting slot on his/her roster. This post examines the ramifications of that mistake.
In the 2011-2012 season, at least one goalie was pulled in 14.8% of the games played. In an 82 game season, that means a goalie is pulled nearly once a night. We examined the statistics of the goalies who came into the game after the starting goalie was pulled. We’ll call these goalies who came into the game after the puck was dropped replacement goalies. These replacement goalies entered the game either because the coach pulled the starting goalie or the starting goalie suffered an injury. For the purpose of this post, we’ve ignored the reason for the replacement.
|Metric||Replacement Goalies||League Average|
The most obvious result is that the winning percentage of these replacement goalies was very low. For the 2011-2012 season, that winning percentage was 20.6% (for reference, very good starting goalies live in the 60% neighborhood, while your Mason/Sanford types sat around 30%). The SV% of replacement goalies was .909, while the league average sat at .914. Finally, the GAA of replacement goalies was 2.54 which matches the value of the league average.
By leaving non-starting goalies on your active roster, fantasy hockey managers will cost themselves points in every standard goalie category. The quick lesson here, then, is never* leave a non-starting goalie on your active roster.
*See first comment below.