A Somewhat Statistical analysis of Evgeni Nabokov during his time in San Jose (Spoiler Alert:He's pretty good)

As Nabby is my favorite goalie and I have missed him so much. I suddenly had an urge to look at his SV% compared to league average over his tenure in San Jose.

I am comparing his stats to goalies who started at least 40 games because I feel he should only be compared to starters as he is one. I also included notable goalies that he had better numbers than.

An * denotes a season he was the best goalie in the Pacific Division, a + indicates best in California.


League average

Nabokov's SV%

Nabokov's rank

Goalies Nabby was better than





PR .913, MB .906, EB .905





DH RL .915, CO .91, MB .906, EB .895





Shitty season was shitty , yet CO .892





EB .918, MB .917, JSG .914, CO .910





Moving on





DH .913, RM .911, EB .902, CW .897





RM MK .906, CW .904, DH .902





CP .905, MK .903, JSG .9, CO .887





Better than all ^(exept RM) + JQ .907





PR=Patrick Roy MB=Martin Brodeur EB=Ed Belfour DH=Dominik Hasek CO=Chris Osgood JSG=Jean-Sebastion Giguere RM=Ryan Miller CW=Cam Ward MK=Mikka Kiprusoff CP=Carey Price JQ=Jonathen Quick

I think 3 of the 4 seasons Nabby had that were off by his standards can be explained by factors out of his control. The 2002-2003 season was just bad, the whole team sucked, Lombardi and Sutter were fired and Kiprusoff was traded after the season (none of these decisions would ever come back to haunt the Sharks and their fans.) It was also the last time we missed the playoffs, and the only time since the PC was invented (I think so, it was a long ass time ago.) In 05-06 he was injured for a while and had to share starting duties with Toskala (back when he was really good, yes, there was a time when Toskola and good goaltending could be used in the same sentence, before the Maple Leafs killed his soul.) Nabby needs to be the starter to be good, he needs to be in a rhythm to be at his best, rotating with Tusk really hampered his playing, not to mention the injury he had. O7-08 Wilson worked him to death, he started 77 games, all but 5. And you could easily tell that he looked exhausted in the playoffs. You could make the argument that since Wilson left it up to Nabby to decide when he needed a break so it was Nabby's fault, but you have to remember two things. At that time we did not have a halfway decent backup. Greiss was still young, untested, and very unreliable in net. Wilson almost seemed terrified of using him. And two, relying on a goalie to know when he needs a break is like relying on Neutral to not go to an advanced stats convention across the street even though he has much more important things to do that weekend.

I think if you account for those three seasons that were partially out of his control (not to mention the lockout) you could make the argument that Nabby was a great goalie, not hall of fame worthy, but great none the less.

At the same time, there does seem to be a fairly significant difference in his numbers before and after the lockout. How much of that has to do with him being 30 years old when the 05-06 season started is up for debate.

The fact that there are people out there that still think Osgood was a good goalie is mindboggling. If anyone ever compares Osgood and Nabby, punch them in the face and then kick them in the balls/ovaries.

Although Kiprusoff had some really great seasons, he always followed a really good season with a really bad one, but Nabby had a longer more consistent and productive career without dropping off the cliff at the end. Giguere has a somewhat similar comparison to Nabby too, except replace wildly inconsistent with dropped off a cliff after only about seven seasons. Seriously, he couldn't even hold down a starting job in fucking Toronto.

Nabokov's career SV% is .912, Brodeur's over that time frame is .911. Factor in that before the lockout Brodeur played on some of the top 5 most stacked teams in history and two of those years he had a .906 SV%. In the 10-11 season when Broduer was 38, his SV% was .903. Nabby is a better goalie than Brodeur. There, I said it, now deal with it.

I think it is sacrilegious that Nabby did not get his 300th win in San Jose! HERESY I SAY!!! HERESY!!!!!

In Part 2, I'll look at his playoff numbers.

Edit: Since I haven't been on Fear the Fin much over the past month or so. I completely missed a few fanposts using more advanced means to look at goaltenders. This has rendered my 4 1/2 hours of tedious number crunching and basic stats obsolete, thus rendering this whole article useless.

God damn it.

This item was created by a member of this blog's community and is not necessarily endorsed by Fear The Fin.

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