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Fan vote: Allen and Montembeault excluded from the top-40 NHL goaltenders

I’ve been pointing out for some time now that the Habs don’t really have a top-notch goalie or a worthy successor to Carey Price. Samuel Montembeault and Jake Allen are not an all-star goaltending duo. Nobody’s going to argue with me on that… at least, I don’t think so. Today, I’m in a position to confirm that I’m not the only one who thinks Montreal is in a bit of a pickle on that front.

JFresh is a contributor to and specializes in advanced statistics. However, for this exercise, he didn’t use his mathematical formulas. Instead, he turned to collective intelligence and, in the form of a poll, asked fans to rank NHL goaltenders from best to worst. Many brains are better than one, as they say.

With his reach on social media, over 355,000 field hockey fans gave their opinion and, by extension, reinforced mine.

The result is this:

And here the comparison with last year’s ranking:

You have to go all the way to the third column to find the first CH logo, which is a bit sad, isn’t it?

At 41st, we find Jake Allen and, a little further on, we can finally see that Samuel Montembeault ranks 47th. How’s that for a law!

But, because yes, there’s a big BUT, just because this survey says what I say in my analysis doesn’t mean I’m not going to dig a little deeper, and I see a lot of things that make me cringe.

I don’t mind that the two Canadiens’ representatives aren’t great goalies, but no one is going to make me believe that these 355,000 respondents have seen the Habs in action this season. Because no way is Jake Allen better than Samuel Montembeault. It’s not even close!

If you want to undermine the credibility of your rankings, you do business the same way.

I also notice that there seems to be a lot of recency bias in the results. Good performances in the last playoffs have boosted the approval ratings of some of the players. In my opinion, this is the case for Adin Hill (21st) and Akira Schmid (34th). They were good in the playoffs, but they’re not even established in the NHL yet.

I also find Thatcher Demko very high, in eighth place, even though he had a goals-against average of 3.16 and an efficiency rate of just .901 this season in 32 games. He’s clearly not in the top-10 in the league in my opinion.

It just goes to show that this kind of exercise should always be taken with a grain of salt. In this case, it’s possible that a team’s fans have mobilized to positively influence the standings for their favorite team’s representatives. In other words, there’s a way of tipping the scales one way or the other, and skewing the results.

Basically, it’s interesting and allows us to see trends in people’s opinions, but we mustn’t take it as if it were an absolute truth.

Where do you think Jake Allen and Samuel Montembeault should be in this ranking?

In short

– Interesting analysis of the Canadiens’ prospect pool.

– For a behind-the-scenes look at the latest Blues draft, click here.

– Will there be an investigation into possible collusion between the Oilers and Jeff Jackson? The latter has become CEO of field hockey operations in Edmonton, while he has just negotiated a deal for his former client Connor Brown with the team. Did the two negotiations take place at the same time? If so, there’s a possible conflict of interest. Jackson was also Connor McDavid’s agent prior to this appointment.

– What a nice gesture from Sidney Crosby. 😮

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