How Unusual Was Frederik Andersen’s Cold Streak?

The Toronto Maple Leafs made a big bet on Frederik Andersen this summer when they acquired him for Jonathan Bernier and two high draft picks, then proceeded to sign Andersen to a long-term contract extension.  When the new starter struggled to start the season, fans and media alike were concerned about what was going on with the Leafs’ starting goalie.  The situation culminated in a tense exchange between a reporter and Mike Babcock earlier this week:

Babcock said it was only five games and urged caution, but there remained a sense of concern among fans. This was the second straight year in which the Leafs’ starting goalie had a very rough stretch of games near the beginning of the season, as Jonathan Bernier went through something of a collapse in November of 2015-16.  At the time I argued that Bernier was likely just going through a rough stretch and would likely see a return to form before long.  That turned out to be true, as Bernier played right around his career average once the Leafs called him back up to the NHL following a brief stint with the Toronto Marlies.

It would seem like Babcock is correct to say that we shouldn’t worry too much about five games of bad goaltending.  In the two games since then, Andersen’s SV% is .935, so his numbers are already starting to rebound.

I wondered if Andersen had ever gone through a stretch of five games as bad as the five he had to start this season, and if so, how common that kind of performance is.  Should we be concerned that Andersen’s hit a new low, or is this just the kind of thing that goalies go through from time-to-time.

To find out the answer to that question, I’ve put together a chart of a rolling 5-game SV% since Andersen first entered the NHL in 2013-14 (for perspective, his career average was .918 heading into this season):


You can see that Andersen’s current patch is one of the worst of his career, but it’s not unprecedented.  He had similar stretches of five games below .900 around game 75 in his career, as well as one around game 100.  And while his recent numbers have been rough, they aren’t the worst he’s ever done, as he’s hit lower lows twice before, roughly 1/3 and 2/3 of the way through his career.  It’s also worth noting that the current string of low totals stretches back into the end of the previous season, so it’s not as though his numbers immediately plummeted upon joining the Leafs.

In fact, of the 127 different five-game samples looked at here, Andersen’s rolling SV% was below .900 in 34 of them.  That’s 27% of his career.  It’s unfortunate that he struggled through his first few games in a new uniform, but this is just the sort of thing that happens to NHL goalies.  SV% is a very volatile statistic, and sometimes it’ll look bad for a while.

To put this in some perspective, here’s the list of Andersen’s worst five-game SV% along with the season in which they took place:

5 GP SV% Season
0.848 2015-16
0.851 2015-16
0.851 2016-17
0.853 2014-15
0.856 2015-16/2016-17
0.865 2015-16
0.871 2016-17
0.872 2016-17
0.874 2015-16
0.874 2014-15

It’s true that some of the worst stretches of Andersen’s career have come this season, but it’s also true that they’re far from unprecedented.  In fact, half of the worst five-game samples in Andersen’s career happened last season, primarily during the downturn around game 100 of his career.  But it’s worth noting that Andersen also had one of the best periods of his career immediately prior to that downswing, as well as an even better stretch directly afterward.

This highlights something interesting about the chart above: a very small number of the five-game samples are all that close to Andersen’s career SV%.  It spikes up above and swoops down below, but it’s very uneven, and rarely does it actually sit near the overall average.  You can sort of see where the long-term trend hangs out, but the individual samples are mostly pretty far apart from it.  Goalie performance swings so wildly over small spans of time that we need to be cautious not to read too deeply into a bad patch or a hot streak.  These things tend to even out over time, but for SV% that time can be pretty long.

So fans should try not to worry too much about the fact that Andersen had a few bad games at the start of this season.  It’s the kind of thing all goalies go through on occasion.  Andersen’s gone through similar patterns before, but he’s always bounced back in the past, and there’s no reason to believe it’ll be any different this time.

  • Stan Smith

    The only thing different now is that he has never had the added pressure of the constant media scrutiny that comes with playing in TO. Hopefully that doesn’t become a factor, but history is littered with players that melted under that pressure.

    • Greg Fenton

      The defense here isn’t as good, improving that would help the goalie out.

      You can say he needs to make 1-2 more big stops a game, but if the defense could stop 1-2 big chances a game…….

  • Bryan

    So he’s a ok now? What he did platooning with the Ducks =/= what he’s done in Toronto. Different teams, different context, I hate how people manipulate criticism with stats.

    Leafs took on a lot of risk in this deal, bad investment.

    • HockeyKeeperKit

      Respectfully, how is this manipulation? Everyone is in agreeance that Andersen was bad for a few games. No one is trying to convince you otherwise. Draglikepull shows that he has been bad before (if not worse). But you can see that he has rebounded. I may have gone the extra mile to show how inconsistency and bad stints are symptomatic of all goalies (specifically with use of the multiple goalie graphs for comparison). He is playing on a new team, in a new city, with new defensemen, new coaches, and new systems. What I’d like to see is research showing how often a quick decline happens with all goalies on new teams. I’m sure it is quite common. These are people, not robots. As a goalie myself, it takes a while to get used to new rinks (fields too… I play soccer goalie as well) as sight lines and spatial reference points change. I specifically hate one field I played on because they have football uprights right behind the opposing net that is slightly off line with the soccer net. It throws off my entire alignment on shots.

      • Ron K

        Your robotic analysis is truly inspiring Kitty. How did anyone like Bower, Plante or Hall ever become accomplished goalies without those stacks of stats? Just what we all need are more graphs to tell us that a goalie’s in a slump. Truly amazing Kitty!

        • HockeyKeeperKit

          Your right. Good thing the game never progressed since them to include full masks, butterfly goaltending styles, the V-H post coverage technique. Good thing that stuff was all just fantasy…

          Keep on living in the past…

          • Ron K

            You have things confused as usual Kitty. The mask, styles etc are innovations of the game and progression of technological advancements. Statistics are a compliation of historical data. Go back to your cave Kitty. It’s you who lives in the past……..It’s very obvious you’ve taken one too many pucks to that thick skull of yours.

          • HockeyKeeperKit

            Yup. Statistics are a compilation of historical data, and historical data only. Can’t be used to predict trends. I’ll let Wall Street know.

            Don’t ever get into the stock market or gambling. You might lose your shirt.

          • Ron K

            I do very well with my stocks Kitty as statistics and trends are very helpful IF you know how to read them and apply that info correctly in a timely fashion. That’s the secret with stocks Kitty. You have to know when to get in and when to get out.
            I admire your spunk Kitty but you’re never going to win a war of words with me. You should quit before you suffer further embarrassment.

          • HockeyKeeperKit

            “Nobody knows more about stocks than I do. I have the best stocks. Great stocks. The best!”

            I didn’t know you could take time away from your campaign. Ronald 2016!

          • Ron K

            That’s good Kitty! I’m laughing out loud. Perhaps I can use you in my campaign. Why don’t you drop over to my beautiful and enormous….it’s huge. Really huge. Ya…c’mon over between 1 and 2 this morning. I’ve got this huge, huge problem that needs to be taken care of right away. I know you can do this. I know you can and you’ll be great at it. Great. I know you’ll be really, really good. See ya tonight sweetie……

          • Ron K

            That’s only wishful thinking on your part Kitty. I don’t play the gay way. I don’t blame you for having penis envy but you can buy a facsimile at the sex store. You can strap it on and pretend you’re a man with the missus………She MIGHT enjoy it too but I know she likes the real thing. At least that’s what she told me the last time.

          • Ron K

            Your Donald impression has worn thin Kitty but your penis envy is coming through loud and clear. No testosterone, no dick, no balls. Seems to me we you may be a woman alright. Get yourself a dildo Kitty. It’s a reasonable facsimile. It may keep your missus satisfied when I’m not around. Maybe……..

          • HockeyKeeperKit

            What’s our facination with what’s in my pants? Did you have an unfortunate incident in Thailand a few years back that you’ve never been able to quite recover from? This is a safe place Ronny. Feel free to share.

          • Ron K

            You are the one posting the sexually slanted pics. Not me! It’s very obvious to anyone that’s read your posts that you have a BIG problem with your sexual identity. This is further verified by the last 2 vid-pics you have posted. We all know you’re a dyke and therefore dickless so there’s no mystery about what’s in your pants.
            What has been fortified by your behaviour of late, is the penis envy crisis that you are obviously experiencing. I suggest you get the proper psychiatric help to overcome your anxiety with your problems and hopefully you’ll quit playing the blame game. People who have mental issues always think it’s always other people around them that are crazy and not themselves. Please get the help you need Kitty and save yourself further ridicule. Think of your poor wife and what you are putting her through……the poor thing.

          • HockeyKeeperKit

            Well Captain Obvious, it’s you who decided I was a woman…
            Note that I never corrected you because it didn’t matter to the overall issue. Like age, my gender, sexual orientation, race, etc etc does not matter when talking hockey or, frankly, anything. I know who I am and I don’t need a bigot like you to tell me what I am. I just let you go on your sexist tirade. I’ve had you pegged since day one. I’m quite surprised you haven’t wandered into racist territory yet…

            I will say thank you for caring about the well-being of my wife. She and I are quite content with our lot in life. I’d extend the same wishes to yours but I sincerely doubt there is a Mrs. K (maybe a few former ones…). If, miraculously, there is one, I genuinely feel sorry for her and the fact that she has to put up with your chauvinistic disposition on daily basis.

          • Ron K

            Ohhhhhh…….You are so very clever you young whipper snapper. Ya got me there! Gifs, gafs, what a laugh, it’s just like you, to be a complete Jack Ass. lol
            You are sooooo pathetic. Is that the best ya got, child?

          • Ron K

            Quite the contrary Kitty……..It is you who outed yourself as a dyke. If you’re not comfortable with your life and your lot in it then I suggest you do something about it instead of blaming others for your dickless predicament. Your penis envy is very, very obvious Kitty as is your complete lack of knowledge when it comes to the game of hockey. It’s only moronic, statistical wannabes like you who are mindless enough to think experienced REAL hockey people would ever listen to your laughable diatribe and nonsensical blabbering.
            There’s nothing chauvinistic about my disposition as I’m equally unimpressed with an idiot like you whether you stand or have to sit when you take a piss. But, don’t come on here and think for one New York second that I’m going to listen to someone like you who doesn’t have a clue about what they’re talking about without putting you in your place. It’s apparent you are just as empty headed about life as you are about hockey. You’re so far behind that you think you’re first. I’ve forgotten more about hockey than you will ever know. Thick as a brick you are……
            You’re sooo stupid you don’t know enough to shut your mouth even when you’re being totally embarrassed and made to look like the complete idiot that you are. You don’t have enough brains to save yourself from further humiliation and you will NEVER win a war of words with me fool……

          • HockeyKeeperKit

            Hit again on the married status, eh? It’s apparent YOU know nothing about hockey. You haven’t posted one thing of hockey relevance throughout this entire discussion. At least I attempted to before you hijacked it back into the mud where you are most comfortable. It’s simply been an ill-fated attempt to debase me and, on that note, you are starting to sound like a broken record. You’re obviously not even reading or replying to my comments anymore so, really, what the point? And I’m not trying to “win” anything. This was all to simply prove a point; to myself and anyone who happens upon this glorious thread. I know everything I need to know about you and, as always, you’re totally in the dark about everyone else around you. You’re a pathetic, uneducated, close-minded, ignorant, homophobic, chauvinistic, sexist, ageist, uncultured, monotonous, unaccomplished, ill-tempered, crass old man who is incapable of independent thought nor capable of recognizing others’. Again, I’m better than you and I’ve thoroughly proved it. You’ve accomplished nothing of importance in your life and think that commenting on a semi-obscure message board will somehow bring meaning to your failure of a life. You are exactly what’s wrong with this world. I’ve accomplished what I set out to do and now I’m done. You here that? Done. Go die in a ditch somewhere. We’d all be better for it. Good bye.

          • Ron K

            That’s the kind of moronic diatribe and endless venom that you’ve spewed since you’ve been on this site. I have challenged you on several occasions to explain why certain things happened during a hockey game and all you are able to provide is statistics which you obviously got elsewhere.
            When you finally did offer an explanation and blamed it on Polak you almost got laughed off the board because you were sooo out to lunch.
            And, if you want to get personal about it; I have a professional designation and have forgotten more than you will ever know. You are nothing but a frustrated dyke with severe penis envy and your continual attempt to make this volley a sexist and racist issue is proof that you suffer mental issues which are far beyond the scope or intention of this thread. You can’t carry on an intelligent conversation about the topic of hockey so you resort to a personal attack on sensitive issues but as I told you many times before, you will never win a war of words with me. So, if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Finally, it appears as though you are taking my advice to stop embarrassing and humiliating yourself on a public forum. I hope for your sake that you actually mean what you say, for once.

          • Ron K

            Ohhh….Really? Now you’re a guy? You are nothing but a dickless pervert. Go peddle your bullshit some place else goof. So much for shutting your mouth forever eh Kitty? You piece of shite…..

          • HockeyKeeperKit

            Wtf are you even talking about? Of course I know what it means. How do you possibly not get that’s about you? You clearly don’t understand the implication of the phrase. I’m not going to spell it out for you either. You’re so damn dense…

          • Ron K

            Quite the contrary…..I understood it perfectly. Stupid as a stump you are…….
            Go back to your fantasy forum and study your stats Kitty. It’s time you gazed into that magic ball of yours to get your next instructions. Life is far too complicated for you Kitty. You need professional help.

          • HockeyKeeperKit

            Ronny K school of arguing:
            1 – Skim reply and comprehend barely a portion of it. Interpretting sarcasm is well beyond your capabilities so avoid it altogether. Focus only on one sentence of the reply as this is all your fish-brain can memorize at one time. Begin reply…
            2- “I know you are but what am I?”
            3 – “I know everything about this”. Continue to provide no physical evidence that you do, in fact, know anything about said subject.
            4 – Sling insult involving a variance of the adjective of “dumb”.
            5 – Rinse, repeat.

          • Ron K

            The temper tantrums you exhibit are a clear sign that you need mental help. You go on and on with your blubbering nonsense which doesn’t make any sense to anyone other than you and your twisted brain, what little you have. Are you aware that you are on a blog about hockey? Seems like you’ve gotten very lost in your uncontrollable anger and depleted mental status. Take a chill pill child and then contact your nearest emergency ward for immediate help Kitty. You have lost complete control of yourself. I think you’ve taken one too many pucks off that thick skull of yours.

          • HockeyKeeperKit

            “You must not have played the game” – Nope, I play goalie and defense (you know, the two positions this post is about) and I haven’t seen any proof you have even played yourself. I also coach, by the way.
            “You must be a child” – Nope and I’m probably much older than you think.
            “You must be a woman” – Nope, I just like using words that get bigots like you all hot and bothered.
            “You must be a pervert” – Nope. But inviting someone you presume to be a young woman to come to your place to suck your old, flaccid dick sound pretty pedophilic/perverted to me.
            “You must be a homosexual/lesbian” – Nope. Happily married man.
            “You must be angry” – Nope, proving you wrong is fun for me.

            Now I must be mental, eh? Do you ever get tired of being wrong? See, that’s the definition of putting your foot in your mouth. Getting caught being so embarrassingly wrong that the truth is literally the opposite of your original assumption. Like asking a woman when their child is due when all she is is overweight. Not someone having a different opinion to your own and attempting (pathetically) to call them on it. You’ve never ever had an experience where you thought you were wrong (that’s not a good thing, btw) so I can’t blame you for never experiencing it before. Experiences like those are how you grow as a human being so it makes sense how you’ve turned out to be such a stunted, useless, hermit.

            And no, you are wrong again. This is a stats-heavy hockey blog. This is research. Research built off years and years worth of work from other respected researchers. Researchers who are brave enough to ask “Why?”, not because they don’t know, but because they want to know more. Some researchers who are currently spread throughout the NHL, working for multiple teams. Many, currently working for the team that you claim to be a fan of.

            It must be scary watching the world slowly slip beyond your grasp of comprehension. This specific blog for instance, you probably didn’t even fully read. You dismissed it immediately once you recognized a few numbers. You can’t argue regression analyses and R-square measures (go ahead, look them up) with “I know because I saw” arguments alone. I know why I’m here but I truly have no idea why you are. If you can’t handle simple math, kindly leave. Don’t insult the authors or their readers simply because you can’t understand the straightforward association between sport and statistic trends. Don’t try to justify your ignorance by drawing imaginary lines between age, orientation, or gender. Just leave.

            Lastly, I thought I was the one making diagnoses, doc? What’s truly embarrassing is 1-upping your own comments (yes, multiple) to give the appearance that someone else agrees with you. Sad, lonely, old man…

            So go ahead, reply. Get your ever important last word. Throw out the same, tired insult. I’ve heard them all a couple times now and they are ringing out hollow. Hollow. Like you empty, pathetic life. I’m not giving meaning to it anymore.

          • Ron K

            You play goal and defence eh? What atom team do you play for? That’s the age group which is conducive to playing 2 positions but the fact that you do play both tells me you don’t do either very well. But, I suppose it’s different in a woman’s league as you openly admitted that you are indeed a woman who doesn’t like men. So, admitting that you are a lesbian and then accusing someone else of fingering you as such is truly perverted.
            And, I invited you to suck my dick as a proponent of my disdain for you after you assumed that I was “coming on to you.” I don’t like women who don’t like men and you are a self-described lesbian. It was a put-down DUMMY! Bow to your Master………..
            You again, wrongfully assume that I am an old man and stuck in the dark ages. Quite the contrary…..I’m a realist who is very much in the present and it is you who is stuck in the past with your historical statistics, as documented history is exactly what they are. It is YOU that needs to get your head out of the mounds of useless stats and your asshole to actually learn the game as it’s very apparent you know very little about hockey or anything else for that matter.
            You are a sexual deviant with a twisted brain that is bent on attempting to discredit and/or attempting to humiliate anyone that calls you out on your demented lies, accusations and stupidity. You first admit to being a woman and married to one and now you say you’re a man. You’ll never be a man. You don’t have the parts Kitty. No balls, no glory and no dick. You are nothing but a dickless wannabe and mindless piece of doggy-doo……..
            If you just openly admitted to being a neophyte of this game perhaps you might learn something. But, to suggest that hockey wisdom, talent, smarts and experience are going to be overcome and replaced with statistical data is the most ridiculous statement I have EVER heard! lol You have the brains of a steamy turd…….
            And you say you are a coach! I pity the players on that team. People like you shouldn’t be allowed to be a coach. You are not worthy or qualified to teach anyone about anything. Your laptop IQ is a true detriment to everyone wanting to learn how to actually play the game. Unless historical data is in the hands of a person who knows the game very well, it is useless. And, you are not one of those people who know the game very well. You don’t even know a little bit. I’ve forgotten more about this game than you will ever know and that’s a fact.
            You truly are the VILLAGE IDIOT………A know-it-all who knows sweet fuck all. Stick to your gifs GOOF. I think you’ve found your niche……

  • LukeDaDrifter

    I base my opinion of Andersen on how many top quality scoring chances is he facing each game. From what I have seen so far this year, over 50% of the shots both him and Enroth have seen, have all been top quality scoring chances. Two on ones, three on ones. Frigging breakaways.To top it off we seem unable to clear many rebounds. Way too many turnovers in our own zone and everywhere else for that matter. Until Babcock can correct it, Even having Jesus Christ Himself in net, His SV% would be under .900.