Let's take a closer look at the Moose. Rather, the goals he allowed in 2011-12. Not his mask for the hat the fan is wearing, both are clear enough. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
In addition to Martin Brodeur, Johan Hedberg also re-signed for two years this summer. He was the backup goaltender for the last two seasons for the New Jersey Devils and is expected to be the backup going forward. Hedberg did not play as much as he did in 2010-11, but he did appear in more than a quarter of the 2011-12 regular season as well as a brief cameo in the playoffs. In 28 total apparances, Hedberg allowed 60 goals and put up a better overall save percentage than Martin Brodeur at 91.8%. At least among the ILWT writers, we felt that Hedberg was the better goaltender in the regular season.
However, it's worth looking at the goals he allowed for the same reasons to look at Brodeur's goals allowed. Out of the 60 goals allowed, how many of those should have been stopped by Hedberg? Where was he beaten most often? How many of those goal-scoring shots came from a location that we would define as a scoring chance? Is there any trend from this past season that we should expect going forward? What happened on these goals? As with Martin Brodeur, I will be doing a month-by-month review of all of the goals Johan Hedberg allowed in the 2011-12 season as well as his one lone playoff goal allowed.
|Oct. 2011 - Johan Hedberg||8||473||4
Hedberg played more in October than in any other month of the campaign. Brodeur got hurt in the Los Angeles game and Hedberg filled in from the second period of that game to the end of the month. Moose did quite well by the by the numbers. His save percentage was quite good, he dragged the Devils to a point they didn't deserve against San Jose, and he really only got lit up in two games. Yet, they didn't always lead to a good result - which indicates fault on the team. Let's look more closely at what got past Hedberg in October and see what we can learn.
About the Review
I will be looking at each goal allowed by Johan Hedberg in the 2011-12 campaign. I'm breaking it up month by month and I will include the playoffs.
The main thing I'm looking for in this review are "soft goals," those goals against that should have been stopped by the goaltender. Here's how I am defining a soft goal: The goalie must have seen the shot coming; the shot was not deflected or change otherwise in motion; the goalie was in position to actually make the stop; and/or the goaltender made an uncharacteristic mistake that led to the goal. If the goal allowed qualifies, then I deemed the goal as "soft." In fact, the very last bit alone can make the difference in what is and is not a soft goal (e.g. first goal against by Hedberg).
Like last summer's review, I will also highlight players under Skater Error. Did askater do something seriously wrong (e.g. a turnover, missed coverage, etc.) on the play that led to the goal? If so, their name (or names) end up on the chart. I could be picky and call someone(s) out for every goal, but I'm only highlighting who's actions or lack thereof contributed to the goal against. There will be goals where multiple skaters screw up, so you may see more than one name. There will also be goals where a breakdown happens and I can't pin it on one player. I'm tracking this to see if any players were more directly at fault than others, assuming that means anything. As with the goals allowed themselves, feel free to discuss this too.
Also, I'm adding something to the GA (goal allowed) Description: SC. If a shot was fired in between the dots and below towards the crease, then that's considered a scoring chance. While I don't have scoring chance information over the whole game or the whole Devils season, I can will designate if the shot that scored the goal would count as a scoring chance with those two letters. At the end of the project, I'd like to see how many goals allowed were from chances, how many weren't from chances, and how many from each group were soft. Maybe there will be something of value out of that, maybe there won't be, but I'll find out anyway.
Lastly, I have provided links to the video I looked at for each goal from NHL.com. These links will auto-play the video, so be forewarned.
The 18 Goals Allowed by Johan Hedberg in October 2011: A Chart
|Date||GA#||Where Beaten?||GA Description||Soft Goal?||Video Link||Skater Error|
|10/10||1||Low, under right pad||Gleason's shot gets deflected by Ponikarovsky in high slot, gets through traffic and Hedberg.||No||Link|
|10/10||2||High, past blocker||Turnover leads to rush by LaRose, beats Tallinder, catches Hedberg not set with a high shot.||Yes||Link||Tallinder|
|10/15||3||High, over right shoulder||Kostitsyn passes to Wilson in the slot, who re-directs the puck up and over Hedberg's shoulder. PPGA. SC.
|10/15||4||Low, right flank||As PP ends, Tootoo threads pass through slot to Smithson. He finishes it on Hedberg's right flank. SC.
|10/21||5||Low, through legs||Thornton takes it in the zone, fires a low wrister that gets through Tallinder and Hedberg's legs.||Yes||Link|
|10/21||6||Low, through legs||
Sharks press low, goalmouth scramble ends up with Clowe knocking it in through Hedberg. SC.
|10/21||7||Past left shoulder||Puck pops out off a rebound, Pavelski elevates a shot through traffic. SC.
|10/22||8||High, glove side||Park to Staal inside the circle for a blistering one-timer. PPGA. SC.
|10/22||9||High, glove side||Letang to Kunitz above the left circle, he hammers a shot through a screening Greene to the top left corner. PPGA.||No||Link|
|10/22||10||High, over left shoulder||Asham feeds a driving Staal, beats Salvador, and roofs one in with a backhander. SC.
|10/22||11||High, over left shoulder||Neal wins the puck, curls, fires one high over a low Hedberg||Yes||Link|
|10/27||12||Low, past the glove||O'Sullivan bangs in a rebound off a Langkow shot, it trickles in past the fallen Hedberg. SC.
|10/27||13||Over the glove||Hedberg stops a Vrbata shot, the rebound goes to Whitney on the left side and he wires one over Hedberg's glove to far post. PPGA||No||Link|
|10/27||14||Over the left shoulder||Hedberg stops a shot from Yandle, Torres cleans up the rebound by firing it high. SC.
|10/27||15||Just inside near post||3-on-2 rush leads to Whitney finding Hanzal open down low. He fires one past Hedberg, who didn't fully cover post.||Yes||Link|
|10/27||16||Low, through legs||Larsson turnover creates a 2-on-1 for Phoenix. Hanzal fed Whitney for a tap-in at the crease. SC.
|10/29||17||High, right side||Eriksson flies into the slot uncovered, has Hedberg dead to rights, fires high to score. SC.
|10/29||18||Low, through legs||Fiddler attempts a pass, it bounces off Fayne's skate, and through the legs of a standing Hedberg. Fluke.||No||Link|
Summary: 4 soft goals out of 18 total allowed. 10 goals allowed from scoring chance areas.
Location of Goals Allowed
All locations are relative to where the puck got past Hedberg, not where the puck goes into the net.
While it was only 8 appearances, quite a lot happened to Hedberg. Let's start with where he was beaten. In October, high shots gave hm trouble as well as a few that slipped in between his legs. Again, the population size is small, so I'd hold off on jumping to any conclusions about his glove just yet. After all, four of the five came in one game: 10/22 at Pittsburgh. Yes, all four goals allowed went high glove side on him. I only tagged GA #11 as soft because Hedberg was caught low, showing that corner as open for James Neal to fire it in. As for the others, GAs #8 and #9 were not only on power plays but the former was on a one-timer and the latter was through a screen. GA #10 was just a well placed shot off the rush. That was all in one game. Hockey can be weird at times.
As far as the soft goals go, I counted four out of 18 as ones Hedberg at least should have done better on. I've brought up GA #11 and that may be questionable in some eyes. He was completely not set at all on GA #2; I'm still confused at what to call that other than "unprepared." Hedberg got caught with his legs open on GA #5 even if the shot did go through Henrik Tallinder, and Hedberg got caught not fully covering the post on GA #15. A few errors, but for the most part, it wasn't a bad month at all for Hedberg. Just like his numbers for October suggest. Incidentally, two of the soft goals came in the two games he got lit up in: 10/22 at Pittsburgh, 10/27 at Phoenix (GAs #8-16). That doesn't surprise me that a fraction of the nine goals allowed in two games would be on him. The team did play pretty poorly if I recall correctly.
In terms of skater errors, I didn't find too many skaters doing something egregiously bad that led to a goal allowed. Perhaps I was too soft? Still, I did notice Henrik Tallinder at fault prior to GA #2 (a soft goal doesn't mean someone else didn't mess up), Brad Mills shoving Patrik O'Sullivan towards the net which helped lead to GA #12, Adam Larsson cough up the puck on GA #16, and Petr Sykora not picking up Loui Eriksson for GA #17. Again, a few errors, but it wasn't as if botches were all over the place. Again, just like his numbers for October suggest.
For the most part, most of these goals allowed weren't terrible ones by Hedberg to give up. In October, there were some good examples of goals allowed where little could be done. The very first one allowed by Hedberg this season, GA #1, was a deflection that got through some traffic. GA #4 showcases a killer pass - as the scorer was on Hedberg's flank. By the time Hedberg noticed - which is in a matter of a second at most - it was too late. The equalizer by San Jose, GA #7, was just a puck bouncing out to an open man in a 6-on-5 scramble. Not much could be done about that (and Hedberg may have had a point about someone grabbing his stick before the shot). Hedberg even fell victim to an absolute fluke on GA #18. A puck off his own defender's skate that just surprised him and so his numbers and the score suffer as a result. Yet, soft or not, with or without an error by the skater, and regardless of where the shot came from, they all count the same.
Hopefully after taking all this in, watching the video, and considering the goals allowed, I now want to know what you think. Do you agree with my identification of the four soft goals? Do you think I missed any? Do you think other skaters should have been called out for making errors on some of these other goals allowed? What did you learn from this month of goals allowed for Hedberg? Please leave your answers and other thoughts in the comments. Thank you for reading.