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Old 01-07-2019, 05:50 PM   #1
SuperMatt18
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icon57 Big Save Dave: Is he the long term answer?

Over the last couple weeks there has been a lot of discussion about David Rittich and if he is truly the long term solution in the Calgary Flames net.

So far this season he's been in the top 5 in pretty much every major goaltending category, but he did have a few bad games last year down the stretch which causes concerns and has never played more than 48 games in a season at any level as a pro.

The discussion got me thinking....when can you really say that a goalie is on track to be a legitimate starter and when is it still just a flash in the pan? And what did other NHL goalies look like after their first two seasons as a pro?

Through his first two NHL seasons Rittich has played in 46 NHL games and has a .914 save percentage and a 2.61 GAA in that time but what does that look like against other groups of current NHLers and how they performed during their first two seasons:

The Elite - Consistent long term #1s that have cups or Vezinas:

Quick: .911, 2.55 GAA (47 GP) - Career: .916
Price: .912, 2.71 GAA (93 GP) - Career: .918
Lundqvist: .919, 2.29 (123 GP) - Career: .919
Bobrovsky: .909, 2.73 (83 GP) - Career: .919
Rinne: .914, 2.46 (110 GP) - Career: .919
Holtby: .923, 2.39 (57 GP) - Career: .919
Rask: .926, 2.24 (74 GP) - Career: .922

The Next Gen - Young goalies that established at top end starters in the last 3 years:

Vasilevskiy: .913, 2.60 (40 GP) - Career: .918
Gibson: .918. 2.26 (63 GP) - Career: .923
Raanta: .912, 2.41 (39 GP) - Career: .920
Anderson: .918. 2.35 (88 GP) - Career: .918
Hellebuyck: .910, 2.71 (82 GP) - Career: .915

The Journeymen - Guys that have shown flashes but have never been considered elite.

Elliott: .906, 2.64 (86 GP)- Career: .913
Smith: .905, 2.45 (57 GP) - Career: .912
Markstrom: .897, 3.19 (46 GP) - Career: .908
Allen: .911, 2.33 (52 GP) - Career: .911
Lehtonen: .910. 2.84 (106 GP) - Career: .912
Talbot: .931, 2.00 (57 GP) - Career: .917

The Washouts - Guys with high potential that never worked out:

Fasth: .904, 2.79 (63 GP)
Berra: .905, 2.85 (76 GP)
Korpisalo: .907, 2.94 (77 GP)
Pickard: .909, 2.89, (98 GP)
Tokarski: .904, 2.84 (34 GP)

So while it's not the most elaborate analysis I look at that data and to me Rittich is trending pretty well after his first 47 games. If he can continue his numbers this season for the next 40 games (~30 starts), and finish with around a .920 save percentage for the season, then that would put him at probably ~75 GP with a .915 save percentage.

If he can do that he would compare very favorably to the goalies in the first two groups (Elite & The Next Gen) and could potentially be the Flames long term solution in goal. Still too early to tell one way or another but these next 40 games in the Flames goal could go a long way in seeing what we have here long term with Rittich.

Also I hope the Oilers give up on Talbot and the Flames sign him to platoon with Rittich. He's having a bad year but that team is broken and I feel like he would still bounce back Dubnyk style on a new team.


And just because everyone seems to love this comparison: Kipper's first 80 games in the NHL (3 seasons) - .914 save percentage.

Last edited by SuperMatt18; 01-07-2019 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:52 PM   #2
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Maybe, maybe not.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:57 PM   #3
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If he stays above .915 and doesn't completely #### the bed in the playoffs i'd offer him a 3 year deal
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:03 PM   #4
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Rittich is earning the opportunity to start in the playoffs. If he does well in the playoffs, he's earned the opportunity to be the starter next season. And if he performs well next season and next playoffs, he's a $4.5m-$7.5m goalie.

If the brass believes he's the answer, they'll try to lock him up for 3-5 years at a $3-4.5m handle this off-season.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:07 PM   #5
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Too soon to say
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:10 PM   #6
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Based on his fundamentals, plus other factors, if I didn’t have the option to be a fence sitter and the options are simply yes or no, then I would say yes.

And even given the option, I would still lean towards yes. I liked his work last year as well as his development.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:10 PM   #7
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Agreed that it's too soon for full on Anointing the Next Miikka, but he certainly is giving me.. dare I say it, Hope.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:13 PM   #8
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I don't know...

Has anyone else has put up similar numbers at David Rittich's age (26) with only 46 NHL games played.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:14 PM   #9
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:14 PM   #10
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He's the answer for this year, that's forsure
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:17 PM   #11
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If he can continue this for the rest of the season, for sure, goaltending isn't an issue. I expect next season we have Rittich and a better backup that can challenge him for the number one spot
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:21 PM   #12
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I think he probably is. Goalies are funny, but he doesn't look like flash in the pan. He is just a strong, sound goaltender - with just the right amount of weirdo great goalies seem to possess.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:21 PM   #13
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I’d be interested to see a poll.

Ideally just yes / no, something to weed out fence sitters. (Put enough of a disclaimer on it)
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Struch View Post
I don't know...

Has anyone else has put up similar numbers at David Rittich's age (26) with only 46 NHL games played.
Raanta would probably be the closest.

Undrafted free agent who was 24/25 at the start of his first two seasons.

Compared to 25/26 for Rittich.

Raanta probably a bit more established in his time in the Finnish league though.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Struch View Post
I don't know...

Has anyone else has put up similar numbers at David Rittich's age (26) with only 46 NHL games played.
Pekka Rinne. Antti Raanta.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:31 PM   #16
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He's the answer for this year, that's forsure
Too bad BT was playing such hardball with him and his RFA contract this past summer. Now Rittich will hold a lot of power and likely won't want to offer up any discounts.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:35 PM   #17
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Too bad BT was playing such hardball with him and his RFA contract this past summer. Now Rittich will hold a lot of power and likely won't want to offer up any discounts.
There are no "discounts" in today's NHL. No real ones, anyways.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:38 PM   #18
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There are no "discounts" in today's NHL. No real ones, anyways.
Which makes Treís work on several contracts outstanding.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:39 PM   #19
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It's still too soon for me. I've already said it'll take him playing like this in February before I start to feel comfortable that it isn't just an extended hot streak.

It's not that I don't have confidence in him. I just don't want to get my hopes up too soon and then be disappointed.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:40 PM   #20
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I think he probably is. Goalies are funny, but he doesn't look like flash in the pan. He is just a strong, sound goaltender - with just the right amount of weirdo great goalies seem to possess.
Iím in the Ďprobablyí boat too. I was pretty skeptical at the beginning of the year but here are my reasons for changing my mind after a closer look:

- his biggest attribute is the ability to track the puck. He can find the puck quickly even in traffic and frequently puts himself in a position to do so... heís not a guesser but is also a very active goalie. Good balance there.
- very strong lower body strength that results in good five hole coverage. This basically puts him in dependable backup territory at worst.
- battles hard for loose pucks.

Iím still undecided on his coverage up high, especially when it comes to top six forward level shooters. But the reasons listed above puts him at least on average starter territory. When I watch goalies, I try to ignore the flashier saves and the bad goals... I try to see what he does on the routine saves and what happened on good goals. Basically, heís pretty solid.
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