Entering the 2014-15 season, Colton Phinney had appeared in 18 games, splitting playing time with senior Sean Bonar. This season, Phinney earned the starting role – appearing in 30 games, all but one. Earlier this year, Eye on the Tigers looked at the difference in Phinney’s stats midway through the season. While stats only tell part of the story, I was interested in seeing the effect starting consistently had on Phinney’s numbers.
I compiled a couple of interactive plots comparing Phinney’s stats from both his freshman and sophomore year. I wanted to see the difference in his save percentage and goals-against average on a game-by-game and season basis. To do this, I compiled four different interactive line plots – one compares his freshman and sophomore game save percentages and another his game GAA. The last two charts look at how his overall season GAA and save percentage changed after each game.
I’m not suggesting save percentage and goals-against average stats are the best or only way determine how good a goalie is. I usually disregard GAA, since it’s more of a team stat. A save percentage isn’t the greatest way either, but it’s the best stat we have to measure goaltenders. This is also a very small sample size, so it’s tough to draw concrete conclusions. But it appears as though consistency in starts, as well as having a stable system in place, has helped Phinney’s numbers.
As a freshman, Phinney’s save percentage was .901. He appeared in 18 games and started 17, splitting his starts with senior Sean Bonar. There were several instances where Phinney started back-to-back games, including three weekends where he played both nights.
In his sophomore season, Phinney was the starter. His save percentage increased to .910 through the 29 games he played. Phinney also started 28 contests.
The first chart below looks at how Phinney’s game save percentage changed. It’s a small sample size so it’s hard to draw a conclusion on whether the consistency in starts helped Phinney’s save percentage, but it did vary a lot less his sophomore year – the dips weren’t as extreme as the season went on.
This next graph looks at his game goals-against average, which is more of a team stat. It’s basically an inverted look at the first graph, showing us the spikes where Phinney’s save percentage dipped.
Looking at the first two charts you can see that Phinney’s numbers are more consistent, especially later on in the season. It’s worth noting the team as a whole became more consistent later, once they became comfortable with the new systems.
These last two graphs show the change in Phinney’s seasons goals-against average and save percentage. They’ll mostly mimic the first two.
You can see that Phinney’s save percentage as a whole is higher his sophomore year than his freshman year. With more consistent numbers,