Maybe it's a sign of how close they are, but I've been surprised at the wide array of very firm opinions on whether Martin Biron or Dwayne Roloson: a) is a better 'keeper, and b) has been better this season. I'm not talking just fans who have watched Islanders games, but fans of the Sabres and Devils who were alternately relieved that Biron or Roloson started against their team.
It's especially fun for me because I don't have yet have a preference -- not on this year's work. You can cite their (rather minimal) playoff histories, you can cite the teams they played behind, and you can talk about specific goals allowed this year that expose tendencies in their game. Plus, there's always: Roloson is old. But I'm unconvinced, at least for their performance thus far.
So I'll throw some figures out there -- there's a little more after the jump -- and you make your argument. One thing I'll concede, though it's very early: Continuing his recent trend, Roloson's save percentage on the penalty kill is quite strong (.925), whereas Biron's thus far is not (.867). On the other hand, the Isles have scored far more for Roloson than they have for Biron. (NYI-GF is goal support, or how many goals the Islanders have scored when they're in net.).
|2009 - Martin Biron||9||509||1||5||2||15||24||2.83||283||.915||.867||1|
|2009 - D. Roloson||9||526||5||1||3||28||24||2.74||278||.914||.925
Note: GF/GA totals don't match the team GF/GA you'll see in the standings, because for some insane reason the NHL counts shootout W/L as a GF or GA in the standings, just one of many reasons the shootout is an unholy affront to Western civilization.
Opponents: One more factor I don't put too much stock in, particularly at this point, but it's fun to toss out there: Which teams have they played against? Here are the combined records (as of today) of the teams Roloson and Biron have started against. (That means Buffalo is counted once for Roloson and twice for Biron.) The first record excludes the games these two started.
Biron opponents (minus his starts): 69-43-8 | Including Biron's starts: 74-44-8
Roloson opponents (minus his starts): 72-51-15 | Including Roloson's starts: 73-54-17
So what'll it be? I know many of you have expressed opinions already or over the summer, but has your opinion changed at all? Do these numbers influence you? And while I'm focused on this season's performance, you can consider this an open thread to debate the traditional "he's playoff-tested"/"He's old"/"His contract makes him better trade bait" ideas as well.