On Mackenzie Blackwood and how we talk about goalies
Be sure to join the Discord channel to talk hockey, and everything else, with me and fellow subscribers.
By CJ Turtoro (@CJTDevil)
You need to roll a 6 on a normal 6-sided die. First roll: 1. Next roll: 5. The roll after that: 4. And so on. You roll 100 times and the 6 never comes up. This would be surprising, yes? In fact it’d be so shocking you’d probably guess the die was loaded in some way.
Should the first roll have been a 1? Well no that only had a ⅙ chance. What about the second roll? Nope, still just a ⅙ chance. Such is that paradoxical nature of probability. It is shocking that none of the dice ended up a 6, and yet, for each individual event, that most likely result (not 6) is what occurred.
I’m writing this article because, after losing to Columbus Saturday, I said Blackwood had a bad game. For probably the 5th time this year – and the 50th since I started writing about the Devils – I had a bunch of people responding that the goals Blackwood allowed were not bad goals or that they weren’t his fault – therefore he did not have a bad game.
Sure enough, you could blame someone more than Blackwood on each of the four goals. Bjorkstrand’s two shots were both great, Ty Smith got manhandled on one goal, and the other was a fluky bounce of Jack’s skate. It’s absolutely reasonable to say none of the goals were bad goals and that none were his fault. And we should stop saying that because it will mislead you as to the overall quality of his game. Why? Because every attempt at scoring is a dice roll.