Which goalie is starting for the OTHER team?

I've been noticing the last several seasons that the Islanders end up playing against the other team's "back-up" goalie a lot.

Last season for example, they went against Alex Auld (Price's back-up) twice. For good or bad, Brent Johnson started 3 or the 6 games for the Penguins. The West Conference was worse! McElhenney (twice), Niitymaki, Garon, Lindback, LaBarbera, Karlsson, Theodore, and Bishop.

So I did some research. In 2010-11, the Islanders went against a back up goalie 31 times! Their record was 11-16-4 in those games, compared to 19-24-8 against "#1" goalies.

To me, this has been a sign of disrespect that these teams decided to rest their #1 against the Islanders. But taking my research a step further, I found two things:

1) Even elite teams play many games against back-ups. Pretty close to a 55-60/20-25 split that a #1 goalie would see.

2) To become an elite team, you have to take advantage of the back-ups when they start.

Their winning percentage against the back-ups was 0.419. Against #1 goalies is was 0.450. Not too far off. Their 'Goals For' was eerily close also at 2.80 against the #1's and 2.81 against the back-ups.

For purposes of comparison, I looked at the Capitals and Canucks to see what their splits were.

Capitals: 21 games against back-ups. 15-4-2 record (0.761). 59 games against #1's with a 33-19-7 record (0.618)

Canucks: 27 games against back-ups. 23-2-1 record (0.870). 51 games against #1's with a 30-13-8 record (0.666)

See the dominance over the back-ups? It goes even further...

Capitals: 3.38 goals for versus back-ups, 2.52 against #1's

Canucks: 3.96 goals for versus backs-ups, 2.90 against #1's

Interestingly, the Islanders goal scoring prowess against the #1's was better than the Capitals, but just a touch below the Canucks.

If they had mirrored the dominance against the back-ups losing only 3 games against the back-ups, they would have had an extra 25-30 points. that would have put them in the 100 point neighboorhood.

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