Have you ever heard a color commentator jokingly say after a shooter slips one past a goalie on a nifty shot that he is lucky that he gets to practice on someone as talented as X goalie? I have, and it got me curious. I am a huge fan of statistics (I am a dork, yes), so I busted out the Microsoft Excel and went to work. Does having good goaltending actually improve a teams shooting ability? Namely, can you correlate shooting % with save %?
This is a small sample size because I only used this year's statistics, curiously nabbed from CBS, who doesn't air any hockey. Thank you, CBS. The Y axis (up and down) is a teams shooting percentage, with the X axis (left to right) a teams save percentage,
Well, if nothing else, the worst shooting percentages in the league are found on the lowest end of save percentages, while the best shooting percentage is in the top half of the save percentage. Other than that, it's a little muddled. Still, there is a very slight positive tilt to the best fit line, indicating, a little bit, that there IS some truth to the adage that good goaltending will aid in the developmenters of shooters.
That said, R*2 is the number that indicates whether or not a formula will serve as a good predictor of future results. 1 means it is a perfect predictor, 0 means that it is not a good predictor at all. Our R^2 is nearly 0. So, yes, there appears to be a bit of positive correlation between good netminding and good shooting, but frankly, it's more than likely a fluke.
OK, math time is over.