Noon Number (November 20th): 91.87%

Richard Wolowicz

Today's Noon Number is 91.87%, which is Josh Harding's average 5v5 Sv% between 2006 and 2013.

Josh Harding has been an amazing story this year; overcoming a career-threatening MS diagnosis which ruined his 2013 campaign, to post the best goaltending numbers in the NHL through the first 20-odd games of the 2013-2014 season. His 5v5 save percentage has been hovering between 96% and 97%, which is, as much as I hate to say it, completely unsustainable. Any Wild fan with a brain knows this, so the major question is: will the regression be slow and steady, or will Harding come rapidly crashing back to Earth? Last night's game in Montreal knocked his percentage down a bit and made it look a little bit more normal.

I'm not saying I don't think Harding is capable of finishing the year as one of the best, if not the best, goalie in the league, stats-wise, but his numbers are almost certainly going to drop-off, which makes me wonder how much they will regress, and how quickly.

Josh Harding

TIME PERIOD

MINUTES PLAYED

5v5 Sv%

2007-2013

4325:11

91.87%

2013-2014

746:12

95.7%

That's one hell of an improvement.

*

-Here's a look at the top-5 ranked goalies in terms of 5v5 Sv% each season from 2007-08 to 2012-13. This should give you an idea of the kind of numbers the cream of the crop put-up each year:

2007-2008

5v5 Sv% Leaders: 2007-2008 (1000+ Minutes)

Rank

GOALIE

MINUTES PLAYED

5v5 Sv%

1st

Ty Conklin

1356:35

93.94%

2nd

JS Giguere

2286:43

93.93%

3rd

Marc-Andre Fleury

1312:07

93.72%

4th

Tim Thomas

2515:58

93.62%

5th

Dan Ellis

1623:10

93.16%

Mean=93.668%

*

2008-2009

5v5 Sv% Leaders: 2008-2009 (1000+ Minutes)

Rank

GOALIE

MINUTES PLAYED

5v5 Sv%

1st

Tim Thomas

2457:58

94.44%

2nd

Roberto Luongo

2242:56

93.78%

3rd

Thomas Vokoun

2560:33

93.56%

4th

Martin Brodeur

1336:14

93.51%

5th

Nikolai Khabibulin

1812:45

93.48%

Mean=93.554%

*

2009-2010

5v5 Sv% Leaders: 2009-2010 (1000+ Minutes)

Rank

GOALIE

MINUTES PLAYED

5v5 Sv%

1st

Thomas Vokoun

2837:43

93.65%

2nd

Tukka Rask

2000:42

93.63%

3rd

Jaroslav Halak

2052:36

93.48%

4th

Semyon Varlamov

1179:20

93.27%

5th

Jonas Hiller

2536.13

93.23%

Mean=93.452%

*

2010-2011

5v5 Sv% Leaders: 2010-2011 (1000+ Minutes)

Rank

GOALIE

MINUTES PLAYED

5v5 Sv%

1st

Tim Thomas

2671:38

94.92%

2nd

Semyon Varlamov

1187:13

93.70%

3rd

Pekka Rinne

2951:56

93.50%

4th

Roberto Luongo

2747:41

93.40%

5th

Illya Bryzgalov

3142:00

93.32%

Mean=93.768%

*

2011-2012

5v5 Sv% Leaders: 2011-2012 (1000+ Minutes)

Rank

GOALIE

MINUTES PLAYED

5v5 Sv%

1st

Brian Elliott

1729:00

94.11%

2nd

Jaroslav Halak

2123:44

93.74%

3rd

Mike Smith

3106:44

93.67%

4th

Cory Schneider

1406:25

93.41%

5th

Jonathan Quick

3124:03

93.40%

Mean=93.666%

*

2012-2013

5v5 Sv% Leaders: 2012-2013 (1000+ Minutes)

Rank

GOALIE

MINUTES PLAYED

5v5 Sv%

1st

Sergei Bobrovsky

1744:19

94.18%

2nd

Craig Anderson

1070:27

94.03%

3rd

Jimmy Howard

1872:09

94.00%

4th

Jonas Hiller

1178:30

93.71%

5th

Tukka Rask

1695:15

93.65%

Mean=93.914%

*

2013-2014

5v5 Sv% Leaders: 2013-2014 (500+ Minutes)

Rank

GOALIE

MINUTES PLAYED

5v5 Sv%

1st

Josh Harding

746:12

95.7%

2nd

Tukka Rask

869:06

95.6%

3rd

Carey Price

833:48

94.5%

4th

Steve Mason

670:06

94.2%

5th

Jonathan Bernier

612:48

94.1%

Mean=94.82%

*

-Here are the mean Sv% numbers for the top-5 goalies each season from 2007-08 to 2013-14, and Josh Harding's Sv% for each of those seasons plotted on a line graph (the break in Josh's line is due to him not playing in 2010-11):

[Click to enlarge]

Es_sv__medium

Harding is currently saving roughly 2% more 5v5 shots than even the best goalies over the last few years. When that percentage regresses to the mean, where does it stop? Will he finish the year close to his average, which I think is around 92.5% (once you remove the outlier of 2013), or maybe he can keep his Sv% in the 93-94% range and still be up there with the best goalies come the end of the season. It's impossible to predict at this point. The only thing I can say is that he won't be finishing the season with a 5v5 Sv% of 95.70% (as much as I would love that).

The last few years have been pretty rough for Harding. He missed all of 2010-11 with injury, he missed some time in 2012 and then almost all of 2013. That makes me think that his ceiling could be higher than we think, he just hasn't had a long enough run as the starter without getting injured to really show what he can do.

Whatever happens, I just hope he stays healthy and keeps helping the team. I can't imagine a better story than Harding finishing the year in the running for some goalie hardware, which is definitely a possibility. We just need to be prepared for some games and stretches of games where things don't go so smoothly (much like last night in Montreal).

***

Anyway, that's enough rambling from me. Follow me on Twitter for opinions and inanities.

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