LBC's Florida Panthers 2013 Season Preview, Part 3: The Goalies

With the NHL season set to begin Saturday, it's time for our obligatory previews; today we'll focus on the goaltenders.

The season previews will cover the Panthers' forwards, defense, and goaltending. Please refer to the glossary at the end of this article if a certain statistic is new to you.


The Panthers re-signed long-time backup Scott Clemmensen to a two-year contract on July 1st, and signed CHL goaltender of the year Micheal Houser.

Theodore 53 22 16 11 2.46 .917 .928 60.8% 9.4 -0.1 -1.2 8.2
Clemmensen 30 14 6 6 2.57 .913 .922 64.0% 2.6 0.0 -0.2 2.4

The Panthers got a lot of unexpected help from their goaltenders last season, as the duo of Jose Theodore and Clemmensen posted above average even strength save percentages, with Theodore ranking 24th in the NHL (just above Tim Thomas). Because both goalies are on the wrong side of 30, it's difficult to know how each will respond to the grind of a shortened season. Luckily the Panthers have significant depth in case of injury.

Jacob Markstrom, who's in the final year of his entry level contract, is expected to take over for any of the goaltenders in case of injury or under-performance. The six-foot-six third-year pro played seven games last season, and had three quality starts in six attempts. Former Harvard goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris, a recent standout in net for San Antonio, was signed to an one-year deal and is backing up Markstrom in the AHL.

The organization also has two goaltenders primarily stationed in the ECHL. Brian Foster, the Panthers' all-time leader in save percentage, is being used as the Cincinnati Cyclones' starting netminder. The former University of New Hampshire goalie once played with forwards Bobby Butler and James van Riemsdyk. Houser, who was injured in San Antonio's training camp, has performed well in his short time in the pros.

Theodore 1153 89 .928 24 228 33 .855 57 32 3 .906 46
Clemmensen 614 52 .922 40 91 13 .857 54 16 2 .875 58

Glossary (from Hockey Prospectus 2012-13)

  • DGVT: Defensive Goals Versus Threshold. This stat measures a player’s worth, in goals, primarily at shot suppression.
  • ESSV%: Even strength save percentage. Many analysts prefer to measure goaltenders using only their even strength shot-stopping since there is less year-to-year variation and less luck involved.
  • GAA: Goals Against Average is a commonly-used statistic to measure the average number of goals a goaltender gives up per game, measured in 60 minute increments. It is similar to ERA in baseball and just as poor at representing goaltender talent since it’s extremely dependent on the team in front of the goalie. Most analysts consider this statistic obsolete and of little use.
  • PPSV%: Power play save percentage is the save rate a goaltender records on the man advantage.
  • QS: A Quality Start is a measure of whether a goaltender "gave his team a chance to win". In order to record a Quality Start, the goalie must have a save percentage over .912 or a save percentage between .885 and .912 while allowing less than three goals. The reason Quality Starts are so important is that teams win 77.5% of the games in which their goalie records a Quality Start.
  • QS%: Quality Start Percentage shows the ratio of a goaltender’s games in which they recorded a Quality Start. A quality start rate of 60% is considered elite, while anything below 40% is quite poor.
  • Save percentage: The percentage of shots on goal that a goalie prevents from going in his team’s net.
  • SGVT: Shootout Goals Versus Threshold is a measure of a skater’s or goaltender’s value in the shootout. It is based on the player’s ability to score or prevent goals in the shootout versus a league-average player in the same situation.
  • SHSV%: Shorthanded save percentage is merely the save percentage of a team or player while in a shorthanded situation. Save percentages when shorthanded are generally much lower than those at even strength. SHSV% is considered quite volatile from year-to-year due to small sample size./