In the lull between the Expansion Draft and the Re-Entry draft (and by lull I mean total dearth of relevant news), we at The Bent Musket have decided it is time for our 2011 season grades. Corey, Matty, and I have looked at the four major areas of the team - goalkeeping, defense, midfield, forwards - and assigned our grades on a 4.0 scale.
Unfortunately for the New England Revolution, we don't curve based on the rest of the league.
So, without further ado, our Goalkeeper grades will be after the jump. Don't forget to vote in the poll and leave your reasoning in the comments section.
Corey: If there was any area of the pitch that I thought we did pretty well at this season, it's in the net. Matt Reis looked like a younger and more agile version of himself and played a pivotal role in keeping the Revs in a number of games (despite probably losing said games). If he had a more consistent and experienced back line in front of him, I'd imagine that his success this season would have been demonstrated even more and perhaps he would have even worked his name into the Goalkeeper of the Year conversation. Yes, I thought he played THAT well.
Bobby Shuttleworth was no slouch either. In the handful of games that Bobby started, particularly at the end of the season, I saw great moments of talent and brilliance. If you told me that Reis wasn't going to be back next season, I can't say that I'd be too concerned. Reis is a true asset, but I see a lot of promise in Shuttleworth. Still, I'd like to see him get some more experience and some more mentoring in under Reis.
Matty: Far and away the bright spot of the Revolution season had to be the resurgence (both health-wise, and form-wise) of Matt Reis. The Revolution netminder enjoyed what many called his finest season on the pitch and managed for the most part to stay on the field for New England. While Reis was still plagued by a few glaring errors that marred an otherwise brilliant season (that freak goal in Colorado sticks out in my mind) 2011 was still by far a huge positive for both player and club.
Shuttleworth, however, doesn't instill the same confidence in me as Reis does. When filling in for Reis, it was evident there was not only a dropoff in skill, but in communication and command of the players in front of him. The physical tools are there, perhaps it's just regular first team play that Shuttleworth will need to progress to that "next level".
Steve: 2011's lone bright spot was between the sticks, and I'm not just talking about Matt Reis's prodigious dome. After a shaky year marred by injury in 2010, Reis totally turned back the clock and channeled performances of yesteryear. Had he not missed games at the end of the season he would have run away with the league lead in saves, and his 1.59 goals-against average is pretty admirable when you consider the shambolic and error-prone defense in front of him.
In fact, Reis's worth to the team can be easily measured in how the team fared in his absence. Reis finished with 27 starts, 43 goals conceded, 111 saves and 5 shutouts, making for a 1.59 GAA and 4.11 saves per game ratio. Bobby Shuttleworth, meanwhile, made 7 starts and conceded 15 goals while only making 17 saves, and no shutouts. For those of you keeping score at home, that's a 2.14 GAA and 2.42 saves per game, meaning he wasn't just getting peppered during his starts, he was letting by a lot of shots that Reis would have stopped.
To be honest, Shuttleworth doesn't really inspire any confidence in me as a number one. He's a serviceable backup and, when called upon, does decently enough, but I just do not see him as the future in goal. I'm not sure he's any upgrade over Tim Murray at this point. Make no mistake - if the Revs make no moves at goalkeeper next season and Reis goes down, it's going to be a long and difficult road for this team.
Overall Grade: A-