|records are made to be broken, but break them the right way
||[Apr. 4th, 2011|11:14 pm]
My favorite hockey player of all time is Dominik Hasek, who currently holds the record for best save percentage in a single season, at 93.66% (1,758 saves on 1,877 shots) and in a career, at 92.23%.
The single season record is on the verge of being broken by a spectacular year from Boston's Tim Thomas. There are 3 games left in his team's season, and he currently has a save percentage of 93.76% (1,638 saves on 1,747 shots).
That 0.1% difference currently equals two goals allowed, over the course of the entire season. It will be very interesting to see if Thomas plays in any of his team's 3 remaining games, or if they keep him out so as to not risk him losing the record, which could happen with one bad, or even average, showing.
Goalies keep getting better. Only 3 times in the past 20 seasons have 10 or more goalies had save percentages of 92% or higher. Those 3 times are in the past 4 seasons, with 12 this year, which is the most ever. When you look at career save percentage, Hasek is the only player in the top 14 who is not active.
This data makes me think that it's only a matter of time until Hasek's records are broken. Save percentages are like the 100m in track. Given enough time, the numbers will always get better.
That said, Thomas should follow in the footsteps fellow Boston athlete Ted Williams, who showed tremendous sportsmanship and respect for the game of baseball by playing until the final day of the 1941 season even when he could have sat out to protect his .400 average. Williams finished that season batting .406, and will probably be the last baseball player to ever achieve that mark.
Congrats to Tim Thomas. He broke the record, and he did it the right way, ending the season with a save percentage of 93.82% (1,699 saves on 1,811 shots).