The official website of the National Hockey League named Chris Osgood as the Second Team All-Star goalie on the NHL's All-Decade Team (hat tip to an anonymous poster on this blog for passing along the link).
That is so mind-boggling that it really shouldn't require much further comment for any rational individual. But if you want to see some numbers just to drill the point home, here are the GAAs of Chris Osgood and Roberto Luongo in both the regular season and the playoffs from 1999-00 to 2009-10:
Regular Season: Osgood 2.56, Luongo 2.56
Playoffs: Osgood 2.05, Luongo 2.09
Even if one was so crazy as to use goal prevention as the sole criterion, it's still barely possible to make the argument for Osgood over Luongo, when you consider that Luongo played in a lot more games. Think for more than a nanosecond about their respective teammates and team situations and it's completely obvious who is far better.
If you want to argue about the value of save percentages for someone like Martin Brodeur, who brings more to the table than just stopping pucks that's fine, but this is Chris Osgood. Over the last decade Osgood's numbers read .912 at EV and .871 on the PK. Luongo's .929 at EV and .887 on the PK. And we're talking about a sample size of over 13,000 shots for Osgood and nearly 18,000 shots for Luongo, i.e. no doubt at all that there is a massive gulf between the two goalies.
Multiply the save percentage differential over Luongo's workload, and you get a difference of 275 goals, or nearly 30 goals per season. That's the equivalent of something like 50-55 wins. A team would be 10 points better in the standings every year with Luongo in net than with Osgood. On a per-game basis, that's a difference of about half a goal per game. Yet somehow a difference in playoff winning percentage of .073 between the two goalies is enough to make up for all of that.
Basically, this guy is saying that the scoring proficiency of a goalie's team means an awful lot more than saving an extra half a goal per game, based on the time-worn journalistic principle of assigning all team results to the account of their goaltender. Yet I'm sure nobody would dare rank one skater ahead of another if the first guy had averaged 30 fewer points per season than the other guy for an entire decade, regardless of any difference between them in terms of Cups or team success.
For illustrative purposes, here are the players who averaged 0.5 PPG less over the past 10 years than All-Decade First Team All-Star Joe Sakic:
And the same thing for fellow First Team All-Star Jarome Iginla:
Now obviously scoring totals are not complete assessments of player values, but I think the point is pretty obvious. I'm not sure Osgood would make my Fifteenth All-Decade Team, as I'd take any of Luongo, Brodeur, Giguere, Kiprusoff, Hasek, Roy, Vokoun, Kolzig, Belfour, Nabokov, Lundqvist, Turco, Roloson, Khabibulin, Thomas or Theodore ahead of him. Maybe a couple of others as well.