Monday, July 10, 2017

Ondrej Pavelec Jersey Card

In just one trade, the New York Rangers took definite steps back at two of hockey's most important positions, sending their #1 center, right-handed shot Derek Stepan, and the perhaps-ready-to-start backup goalie Antti Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes for prospect Anthony DeAngelo and the 7th-overall pick in this year's draft, which turned out to be Swedish forward Lias Andersson.

DeAngelo has two years remaining on his entry-level deal, while Stepan has four years remaining at a $6.5M cap hit, which might have had something to do with the trade, but the Blueshirts are definitely a weaker team now than they were a month ago. And that was before they signed disgraced Winnipeg Jets $5M minor-leaguer Ondrej Pavelec to stand between the posts whenever Henrik Lundqvist will require a day off, which should be relatively often considering he's already 35.

This is what Pavelec's stats line looks like since the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg:
From his HockeyDB page
There are just too many instances of a GAA over or near 3.00 in there and save percentages too close to .900 to maintain a prominent role in the NHL, let alone appear in nearly 300 games in that span. His lone good recent season was 2014-15.

And for a while, I was part of the chorus that would say things like "Have you seen him play? He makes the difficult stops look easy!", but there were just too many soft goals going in to counterbalance that, so much so that he couldn't even maintain overall average stats. The truth is, all told, he is 10% worse than any other goalie appearing in over 5 games per season - and that's an incredbly high margin for someone playing the Last Man Standing position.

The perfect example for that is the picture on card #GJ-OP from Upper Deck's 2013-14 Series 1 set and UD Game Jersey sub-set, showing him wearing the Jets' dark (home) uniform:
The stance is near perfect, with the glove at the height I love - although it should be facing outwards by 10 degrees more, to cover more of the empty space on his left; with the positioning of his pads, you can tell he's moving, but essentially, his butterfly is ready to pounce, so that's fine; his stick blade is flat on the ice to cover the five-hole; his 6'3" frame is ready to cover the bottom third of the net, the entire middle, leave no room on the blocker side and leave two tiny, very stoppable holes on the glove side.

Except that, even when accounting for the camera not being directly in the shooter's angle, he's not covering the entire net; he should be moving forward to do so, at the very least. You an almost tell this situation is becoming too cerebral and not reflexive enough for him, and if I were the shooter, I'd go five-hole or very low on the glove side because I know he's concentrating on positioning his body so much he'll be caught off-guard if the shot isn't going where he's expecting it to (my guess is he's hoping for a shot in the chest and preparing for one in the top corner). At least he knows he's done his leg movement so much that his pads will fall right.

And this is the guy who'll give The King a week-long break in February when the games start to get tougher.

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