In Need of Relief: Michael Leighton or Sergei Bobrovsky?

With the recent scratching of Sergei Bobrovsky in favor of Michael Leighton, a lot has been made about who is better "coming off the bench". Set aside for a moment the (completely reasonable) objection of "if we're worried about the backup goalie playing, the Flyers have much bigger problems" and let's look into this.

Rather than argue over the completely subjective - and almost certain inability to ever know for sure - argument of who is more "mentally capable" of coming into a game cold, let's look at how each of these goalies has done when coming off the bench after the starting goalie has left the game.

Not surprisingly, neither goalie has done this often at all, certainly not often enough to properly judge their ability in these situations. As if this weren't enough to prove that anybody claiming one goalie is "better suited" for a backup role, let's look at the numbers anyway.

GP SA SV Sv% ES SA ES SV ES Sv%
Michael Leighton 8 109 95 0.872 75 68 0.907
Sergei Bobrovsky 2 39 34 0.872 28 24 0.857

Hey, small sample sizes! We essentially have three games worth of data for Leighton and one game worth of data for Bobrovsky. And what does it show? That neither Leighton nor Bobrovsky are better suited to a backup role, since they stopped the same percentage of shots they faced. The even-strength numbers sure look like a large gap, but it's a difference of... less than 1.5 saves.

So which goalie is better prepared mentally for a backup role? Neither. Because nobody knows. It's an argument based solely on opinions, with no real evidence - certainly none with any predictive abilities - supporting either side.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Broad Street Hockey

You must be a member of Broad Street Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Broad Street Hockey. You should read them.

Join Broad Street Hockey

You must be a member of Broad Street Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Broad Street Hockey. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker