Player: Tristan Jarry
Born: April 29, 1995 (26 years old)
Weight: 194 lbs.
Hometown: Surrey, British Columbia
Draft: 2013, 44th overall (2nd round) by the Penguins
2020-21 Statistics: 39 games played, 25 wins, 9 losses, 3 OT/SO losses
Contract Status: Under contract for two more seasons at a cap hit of $3.5M, will be an unrestricted free agent following the 2022-23 season.
2019-20 Pensburgh Season in Review - 51% Grade A, 47% Grade B, 1% Grade C
This doesn’t need to be elaborated on too much. Jarry was the reason the Penguins faltered in the first round of the postseason. Average goaltending would’ve been more than enough to see the Penguins through to a second-round series with the Boston Bruins, but Jarry allowed goals in several of the team’s losses that simply cost them the game.
The goals allowed in Game 1 when the Penguins came out firing set them behind in the series and then the goal to give away Game 5 in double overtime was just brutal.
Story of the Season
The story of the season is his postseason. While his regular season numbers were impressive and indicative of those of a starting goaltender for a contending team like this year’s Penguins roster was and should have been, the postseason overshadows everything else.
Regular season 5v5 advanced stats
Save Percentage - .923%
Goals Against Average - 2.25
Goals Saved Above Average - -1.38
Shots Against - 888
Saves - 820
Goals Against - 68
Expected Goals Against - 64.16
High Danger Shots Against - 242
High Danger Saves - 198
High Danger Goals Against - 44
High Danger Save Percentage - .818%
Average Shot Distance - 34.77 feet
Average Goal Distance - 18.97 feet
Seeing how Jarry’s game seemed to fall off of a cliff at the end of the 2019-20 season, this recent campaign was just the opposite of that. His game got stronger as the season went on, peaking when it comes to a rolling average, at the end of the regular season.
We often saw situations in the past where it seems like the Penguins played differently for their goaltenders.
That was not the case this year. The Penguins’ defense performed almost identically defensively, regardless of goaltender. They allowed an expected 2.27 goals against per 60 when Jarry played (left chart) and pretty much had the same looking chart on the right when Jarry didn’t play. Overall, Pittsburgh’s defensive system is generally very good at restricting shots from between the circles and in close, but will allow teams perimeter shots from the point and further out shots.
Jarry excelled at stopping wrist and snap shots this season, saving six goals for the Penguins over the course of the season based on location of shot expectations for goals. He was about as expected on backhands but really struggled with slapshots (allowing almost three more goals than expected). Tips and deflections were also above expectation, a common and understandable issue for goaltenders across the board.
Overall, Jarry has been just an incredibly average goalie. That is all that the Penguins needs with the current roster composition. When Jarry played very well, it showed. When he played very poorly, like in the postseason, it showed even more.
Jarry’s goaltending cost the Penguins the first-round series against the Islanders, and that’s not just an opinion. Data backs that up.
Look at Game 1, when the Islanders won in overtime. And look at Game 5 when the Penguins dominated and the double overtime giveaway was the story. Game 6, the Penguins played well enough to force a Game 7 but Jarry couldn’t keep the puck out of the net behind him.
Here's the story of the series right here. In the first four games, both the Pens and Isles got below-average goaltending, but Tristan Jarry singlehandedly cost Pittsburgh two games they should have won, while Sorokin was steady. pic.twitter.com/Q9JQU72XHz— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) May 27, 2021
Sadly, in this business, it’s “What have you done for me lately?” and Jarry’s regular season, as good as it was, does not matter.
We’ve discussed the three games above, but:
Jarry’s postseason defined the Penguins postseason. There have been a plethora of reactions as to what the Penguins need to do. Suggestions of trading Jarry, forcing Seattle to take Jarry in the expansion draft, and re-acquiring Marc-Andre Fleury have all been discussed.
In the immediate aftermath of the series loss, there was much chatter that Jarry can never play for the Penguins again. I don’t personally subscribe to that theory. We saw a time period where the Penguins’ goaltending tanked (or tried to tank) their postseason in 2012 and 2014 against the Flyers and Blue Jackets (with the team prevailing to win the Blue Jackets series anyway), and tolerated terrible postseason goaltending because Marc-Andre Fleury was a nice guy....but suddenly, Matt Murray needed shipped out immediately and now the same case applies for Jarry. I disagree. I say he should get another chance.
Ideally, Jarry just.....reverts to his regular season form and doesn’t turn into a pumpkin as soon as “Stanley Cup Playoffs” gets painted on the ice, but who knows how likely that may or may not be.
You’ve seen the data— now it’s time to share your thoughts!
How would you grade Tristan Jarry’s 2020-21 season?
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