clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

For third straight postseason, Penguins allowing more goals against than expected

In 2021, it was Tristan Jarry. Enter Louis Domingue.

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Five
Louis Domingue battles the New York Rangers in Game 5 on May 11.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Penguins goaltending is becoming their postseason Achilles heel.

This is not the only problem with this team. Some guy named Sidney Crosby hasn’t been around lately. The best chances on the Penguins’ power play are coming for the Blueshirts.

But for the third postseason in a row, goals which should have been stopped are entering the Penguins’ net— and it’s sent the team to Game 7.

“Expected goals” rate the statistical chance a shot has of becoming a goal by weighing shots based on everything from distance to angle to shot type. According to Money Puck, Louis Domingue has allowed 3.4 more goals than this model would expect from the Rangers’ shot quality.

That’s second worst in the NHL only to the swept Nashville Predators’ David Rittich (-3.7 xGA above expected.)

The Penguins saw a similar storyline play out in 2021. Stats from Natural Stat Trick:

Penguins playoff goaltending, 2013-2022

Goaltenders Season GP SV% Goals saved above expected
Goaltenders Season GP SV% Goals saved above expected
Louis Domingue / Casey DeSmith 2022 7 0.939 -3.13
Tristan Jarry 2021 6 0.888 -7.08
Matt Murray / Tristan Jarry 2020 4 0.933 -0.3
Matt Murray 2019 4 0.906 1.23
Matt Murray 2018 12 0.908 2.84
Marc-Andre Fleury / Matt Murray 2017 26 0.931 7.23
Jeff Zatkoff / Marc-Andre Fleury / Matt Murray 2016 25 0.902 3.01
Marc-Andre Fleury 2015 5 0.927 3.33
Marc-Andre Fleury 2014 13 0.915 1.05
Marc-Andre Fleury / Tomas Vokoun 2013 16 0.908 -1.07

When Penguins face “soft” chances against, expected goals models say they should be saved. Experience says they might not be.

For the second year in a row, those soft chances are making the difference. Because they’re available so often, not even a three-goal lead feels safe.

The Penguins will have to see, if Tristan Jarry is healthy enough to play, if he can paint over 2021 by becoming a Game 7 hero. If Louis Domingue remains in net, they’ll learn if the team can score at least four goals one more time.