Brad Thiessen Signs 1-Year, 2-Way Deal With Pens: Please Stop Saying He Should be the NHL Back-up this Year

So Brad (Tiffany Amber) Thiessen has signed on for one more year with the Penguins organization. This is a really good signing for both the Pens and for Thiessen. The Pens get a known entity that can be the third goalie and has played (with some success) at the NHL level. Thiessen gets one more year to be the man at Wilkes Barre and to try to rekindle the unreal success he had in 2010-11 and assert himself as an NHL capable goalie for some other team next year.

Without further ado though, please everyone shut up that this guy is capable of being the full-time back up to Marc Andre Fleury at the NHL level this year. I’ve seen it from complete strangers; people that I know fairly well; and even from one of my best friends of all time that the Vokoun signing was a “waste” and that Thiessen can do it at the NHL level. You’re wrong.

Yes I know that his record was 3-1 this past season, but do you know the rest of his stats? He had a staggering .858 save percentage and a 3.72 GAA at the NHL level. Even his Wilkes Barre numbers were a very pedestrian 23-15-2 and 2.82 GAA.

For a little perspective the “horrendous” Brent Johnson had a save percentage of .881 and a GAA of 3.11, and Thiessen was little better than that even at the AHL level.

If you need any more statistical proof I’ve got it. Overall Thiessen played in 5 games in the NHL last year, 4 of the games were against non-playoff teams, the only playoff team he faced was the Ottawa Senators who scored 8 goals on 30 shots. 30 shots was the most that Thiessen faced in that time. Overall the average shots per game he faced was 22.6 (113/5). Last year MAF faced an average of 26.4 SPG (1,768/67), and over his career MAF has faced an average of 28.0 SPG (12,155/434). Tomas Vokoun? Over his NHL career which spans nearly 700 games, and although his career S% and GAA are slightly better than MAF’s, Vokoun has faced an average of 29.1 shots per game (19,794/680).

So in other words, the Penguins coaching staff carefully insulated Thiessen by only playing him against crappy teams, the Penguins defense truly insulated him by limiting the opposing team to 4 fewer shots per game than they managed for Fleury, and despite that Thiessen still isn’t even close to being in the same ballpark as the scapegoat Brent Johnson. That’s why the Penguins signed Tomas Vokoun. Sorry Brad.

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