UPDATE ; DAY
We'll see what's in store for Friday's exotic All-Star Weekend Skills Contest in Florida, but today we're revealing the leaders in real-life NHL play . It's more relevant, let's say.
First of all, know that it would be impossible to do this exercise without the impressive micro-statistics of Clear Sight Analytics, the innovative company of former goaltender Steve Valiquette, who also became a New York Rangers game analyst.
Overall, side plays have the most impact having caused 1,048 goals heading into Sunday's games. Close behind are broken plays (901 goals), veiled shots (694), breakaways (533), rebounds (510) and shots on one reception (347).
Only the top 30 goalkeepers in each category were considered in our rating.
Unsurprisingly, Andrei Vasilevskiy (Lightning) was the best against passing or puck carrying through the center lane. Its recipe: explosiveness and compactness. His efficiency of .814 is above the mediocre par of .694. Jake Oettinger (Stars) and Karel Vejmelka (Coyotes) follow at .789 and .787 respectively. Poor Vejmelka suffered 108 cross games compared to 70 for Vasilevskiy and 71 for Oettinger.
Broken Games: Hellebuyck
What a challenge these broken games! Their unpredictability accounts for the dismal .738 overall efficiency rating. Think of scrums in front of the net, accidental deflections by teammates, as well as loose pucks that first ricochet off a leg, skate, or pant. In short, chaos.
A puzzle best solved so far by Connor Hellebuyck (Jets) who has yielded only 7 times in 65 upset games (.892). Stuart Skinner (.860/Oilers) and Alexandar Georgiev (.797/Avalanche) back him up. Luck is a factor here, but luck smiles more on intuitive goalkeepers who are close to the center of their net.
Voided shots: Oettinger
Obstructing the goalkeeper's view has become a science, and that's why the last thing the Cerberus need is an in-screen teammate. The browser par excellence is Oettinger (.899) which yielded only 7 times in 69 more or less opaque occurrences.
Tristan Jarry (.892/Penguins) and Saros (.869/Predators) are well above the average return of .800. Surprising that a small goalkeeper like Saros excels in this category. The important thing: fiercely looking for the puck and leading your teammates well.
Our top 30 leader, Linus Ullmark (Bruins), is the best against breakaways and half-breakaways with 31 saves on 35 solo forays for a rate of .896, which is significantly higher than the collective index of .761. Vitek Vanecek (.875/Devils) and Vejmelka (.857) occupy the other two podium places.
Patience, long legs and defensive back pressure are the natural helpers here. The diminutive Saros has suffered 66 breakaways so far. Phew! His slightly short rods limited him to .712 in efficiency.
Saros has a knack for tracking pucks bouncing off his body well and he's stopped 60 of the 67 rebounds (.896) that landed on an opponent's stick blade. He is ahead of Sergei Bobrovsky (.886/Panthers) and Ilya Sorokin (.877/Islanders). The average return is .796.
Tristan Jarry (Penguins) has best blocked one-timers uncovered with an efficiency of .971 (2 goals on 68 shots). Samuel Montembeault (.958/Canadians) and Joonas Korpisalo (.955/Blue Jackets) follow on the podium. The field is at .920.
Here, quick shots near the net are added to slap shots from outside. Again, standing near the center of the net pays off.
Shesterkin and DeSmith
Igor Shesterkin (Rangers) is the leader against the open shots from the slot with 82 saves on 83 shots. Casey DeSmith (Penguins) prevails against deflections by opposing players (26 saves in 26 occasions). As for our weekly top 30, Ullmark takes the lead for an eighth week in a row.