Back in Season 1 of the EURO League, veteran Marty Turco watched a lot of hockey from the St. Petersburg bench. Pekka Rinne did almost all of the goaltending for the team that season and Turco saw action in only 10 games. He probably deserved more playing time with his .915 save percentage. If you sort the all-time goalie stats to see who has the all-time highest save percentage, Turco is at the top of the list. If you do a little math to see who steals games from other teams the most (shutouts divided by minutes played), Turco is again at the top.
But it’s not fair to compare a guy who played 558 minutes to others who have sustained great numbers for 20,000 minutes or more. Jonathan Quick and Henrik Lundquist have turned out to be great investments for the teams that acquired them – either though the draft or via trades. The two have played virtually the same amount of minutes over their careers and have managed to produce save percentages of .914 (Quick) and .913 (Lundquist). Only Turco’s career save percentage is above theirs on the list. If you sort by shutout percentage, Lundquist falls down the list a bit but Quick remains near the very top. His 31 shutouts have him tied with Rinne for the most shutouts in EURO history. Lundquist has 10 fewer shutouts than Quick and Rinne.
When the EURO’s first general managers were building their franchises, goalies were the most sought-after commodity. Seven picks into the initial draft, five goalies were already gone. Gabriel Landeskog, who is now only 24, was the first player selected and he was followed by goalies Rinne, Quick and Kari Lehtonen. Those three have collected a total of 9 individual trophies and three EURO Cups (Lehtonen 1, Quick 2). After Bratislava took forward Jonathan Toews fifth in the initial draft, Minsk and Belfast went back to the goalie well, selecting Carey Price and Cory Schneider. Neither of those two have won any trophies yet, but that will change this month. Price has the best goals against average and save percentage trophies sewn up. He will be the favorite to win the Best Goalie Trophy and he will have a shot at the league MVP trophy. And if he and his team keep playing the way they have been, he could even add two more trophies to his Season 6 resume.
Back to the initial draft, after Schneider was selected, two defensemen and two forwards were taken by the time Helsinki got to pick and GM Trevor Grimm gleefully grabbed Lundquist at 12th overall, the sixth goalie to be taken in 12 picks.
This list* is sorted by Shutout Frequency. The number of shutouts was divided by minutes played and then multiplied by 1000. Near the bottom of the list is Steve Mason, who failed to get a shutout in 86 games. Stockholm Eagle Erik Ersberg, who allowed one goal on Monday night, needs to get hist first shutout sometime in the next 6 games to avoid taking the title of most games without a shutout away from Mason.
|NAME||CURRENT||GP||TOI||GAA||SO||SV %||SO pct|
|N. BACKSTROM (G)||24||1327||2.8||2||0.887||1.507|
|A. DE LA GARMA||COP||62||3198||3.47||2||0.885||0.625|
*These stats were pulled Friday and don’t include games from the weekend or Monday, although Ersberg’s games played total was manually updated.