Charlie Lindgren could have been a quiet low-risk/high-reward offseason pickup, but the numbers just weren’t there.
|.899||all-situation save percentage|
|82.4||expected goals by opponents, all strengths|
|86||actual goals by opponents, all strengths|
|-3.6||goals saved above expected|
For on-ice percentages, 50 percent means even: both teams possess the puck evenly. Higher is better, lower is worse.
About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com show how likely to become a goal shots are from different locations on the ice against this goalie. If the hexagon dot is red, then the goalie is weaker against those shots compared to league average. If the hexagon dot is blue, then the goalie is better against those shots. Blue is good; red is bad.
About this player card: This image from Evolving Hockey shows how the goalies saving statistics compared to league average for a goalie. The leftmost bar in each group shows the team overall, then the three to the right show the goalie’s save percentage with adjustments for quality. The numbers are Z-scores, also known as standard deviations, indicating how far the number is from league average, where two standard deviations means the player is on the extreme edge of the league.
About this visualization: At three times during the season, RMNB shared an open survey with fans, asking the following question for each player:
On a scale from 1 to 5, how HAPPY are you to have this player on the team?
1 means VERY UNHAPPY TO HAVE THEM ON THE TEAM
2 means UNHAPPY
3 means NEITHER HAPPY NOR UNHAPPY
4 means HAPPY
5 means VERY HAPPY TO HAVE THEM ON THE TEAM
The numbers above show the average score for the player in each survey period.
Charlie Lindgren was an extremely low-risk signing for the Capitals last summer. His deal cost just over million dollars for a player who faced only 889 shots in 29 games at that point. At the time, there was a faint suggestion based on his last season in St Louis that he could break out.
In short, he didn’t. Lindgren allowed 86 goals on 82 expected goals, four below expected, ranking him 38th among the 52 goalies who played at least 20 games last season. He was mediocre or slightly worse, which isn’t a fiasco for a goalie earning what he does, but still far from the wild hopes that accompanied his contract for some (e.g. me).
Lindgren was not immune from the Bad Year Tax. Peter Laviolette evidently soured on him after the new year and repeatedly tapped Darcy Kuemper for starts even in back-to-back games. He played in eight of the 28 games after the all-star break. He was not good in that stretch.
A new coach and a new (un-cursed) season will be good for Lindgren. If there’s a breakout coming for him, it needs to come soon.
Can Lindgren take on a bigger role next season?
This article would not be possible without HockeyViz, Evolving Hockey, Natural Stat Trick, and All Three Zones. Please consider joining us in supporting them. For people interested in learning more from those resources, we recently published video walkthroughs.
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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