Sterling Predictions: The Goaltending Tandem

Craig Anderson probably still could have made the save with the way he played last year. - Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo

This year's Prediction Panel, where the Silver Seven staff blatantly attempt to make guessing look like foresight, continues!

Both Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner had outstanding numbers last season. Anderson's had him in the Vezina conversation (an ankle injury cost him enough games to win in the minds of voters) while Lehner's would have been in the top 10 had he gotten enough starts for the stats to count officially. But both goaltenders were caught in the web of the bane of amateur statisticians everywhere: Small sample size. Anderson started 24 games; Lehner just 12. Across longer stretches of play, both goalies have decidedly less stellar statistics. So... everyone expects the joy of amateur statisticians everywhere: Regression to the mean. Based on those expectations, we wondered who the better goalie might actually be this season.

Who will have a better save percentage over 18 games, choosing best possible performances: Robin Lehner or Craig Anderson? (Double bonus: Name the save percentage for each--remember, we'll be taking their 18 best games)

Amelia: Anderson will have the better SV% because he will have more opportunities to have 18 awesome games. Andy = 94.4%, Lehner = 92.5%.

Mark: I like Lehner here. Even if we look at something like a 57-25 split, Lehner's hovered around the .935 level the past two years, while Anderson has a .914 "blemish" on his record. I'm looking for Lehner to shine in his starts just based on how he's attacked his chances the past two years. I'm expecting .928 for Anderson and .931 for Lehner.

Adnan: Anderson will have the better save percentage because the top 18 games for him will be around the top third of his games. For Lehner, it will involve about two thirds of his games, so he won't get to drop as many bad games. Anderson's best 18 will be 96.5% and 93% for Lehner.

Bonk's Mullet: Anderson .965 Lehner .930. Also, this is the dumbest question I've ever been asked.

Peter: What the... what kind of a question is this? Umm... well, I guess I'll pick Craig Anderson with .962 in his best 18 games, compared to Lehner's .943 best-18-games number. Or something.

Dave: Craig Anderson. Look, I love Robin Lehner as much as the next guy, but when Craig Anderson gets hot, he gets scorching. He can put together a hell of a stretch. I'm going with 96.1%.

Ryan (taking a break from glacier photos): If we're talking best stretch, I think Anderson only because he'll play more games and have a better opportunity to put together a string. Anderson .945, Lehner .930.

Darren: Craig Anderson. Anderson will play more games, therefore, he'll have more high SV% games to choose from if you're only picking 18. .950 for Anderson, .927 for Lehner.

Look at that. Everyone except Mark chooses to go with the math on this one. Pretty obvious who's seen Rocky IV and who's only claiming they saw it. Heart beats math, right?

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