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What Is a Good Save Percentage in Hockey?

What Is a Good Save Percentage in Hockey?

In ice hockey, the save percentage is a crucial metric that measures a goalie’s performance by calculating the percentage of shots they stop. A good save percentage typically aims for 0.915% or higher, while the NHL league average hovers around 0.910%. Let’s explore how this stat shapes the game.

Hey there, fellow puck enthusiasts! If you’ve ever found yourself shouting at the screen, “Who’s the top-dog goalie in the NHL?” or maybe pondering, “Why’s that netminder struggling?” – well, fret not, you’re in good company. Just like in any high-octane pro sport, we’re all about quantifying performance. And in the wild world of ice hockey, one key measure reigns supreme: the illustrious save percentage. It’s that magic number that reveals just how often a goalie thwarts those pesky pucks. So, buckle up – we’re diving deep into the realm of save percentages, and by the end, you’ll be the savviest stat-tracker in the rink!

Demystifying Save Percentage – It’s Simpler Than You Think

First things first – what’s all this jazz about save percentage, and how’s it even calculated? Well, folks, it’s a straightforward concept. This nifty number is essentially the percentage of shots a goalie stops in their tracks. The math? Easy peasy. Just divide the number of saves a goalie makes by the total shots that come flying their way.

Let’s toss a few examples on the ice, shall we? Imagine we’re in a heated game, and we’re peeking at some stellar goalies in action:

Player Saves Shots Against Save Percentage
Carey Price 30 30 1.000
Hendrik Lundqvist 23 25 0.920
Marc-Andre Fleury 21 27 0.778

Price? Shutout master! He’s boasting a flawless save percentage of 1.000. Lundqvist? Rocking a solid 0.920, meaning he let in only two goals. But hey, even the greats have their off days – Fleury’s struggling with a 0.778 after allowing six sneaky goals.

But, hey, we can’t slap a judgment on a goalie based on one match alone. We’re in it for the long haul – we need a broader picture to decipher the goalie’s true prowess.

Decoding the “Good” in Save Percentage

So, what’s the golden ticket? What’s a goalie’s holy grail save percentage? As a rule of thumb, we’re gunning for better than average. We’re setting our sights on that remarkable 0.915% mark or higher over a season. Just to put things in perspective, the league average nestles around 0.910%. But here’s the kicker – the real champs aim to surge beyond that average, to shine bright amongst their competitive peers.

Game-Changers of 2018-2019: Who Owned the Save Percentage Throne

Fasten your seatbelts, folks! Let’s roll out the red carpet for the save percentage champions of the 2018-2019 NHL season. These masked marvels were the guardians of their nets:

  1. Ben Bishop (DAL) – 0.934
  2. Robin Lehner (NYI) – 0.93
  3. Jack Campbell (LA) – 0.928
  4. Thomas Greiss (NYI) – 0.927
  5. Jordan Binnington (STL) – 0.927
  6. Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB) – 0.925
  7. Darcy Kuemper (ARI) – 0.925
  8. Anton Khudobin (DAL) – 0.923
  9. Jaroslav Halak (BOS) – 0.922
  10. Matt Murray (PIT) – 0.919

Leading this pack of puck-stoppers is none other than Ben Bishop, flaunting a jaw-dropping 0.934 save percentage. Talk about making those pucks shiver in their rubbery boots!

But hang tight, my fellow hockey aficionados, ’cause it’s not all sunshine and hat tricks. Even in the domain of goaltending, there’s a flip side. We’ve got the not-so-dazzling stats for regular goalies who didn’t quite make the cut:

Now, here’s the hard truth – anything south of 0.900? That’s the danger zone, where goalies are fighting an uphill battle. Staying below that bar? Well, let’s just say they won’t be donning that NHL jersey for too long.

Cracking the Code: Save Percentage vs. Goals Against Average

Ah, the age-old debate – save percentage versus goals against average (GAA). Back in the day, GAA was the poster child for evaluating goalies. It’s the average number of goals they let slide per game. In fact, there’s even a trophy in the NHL awarded to the goalie tandem with the lowest GAA – the prestigious Williams Jennings Trophy.

But as stats evolved, we realized that GAA is more of a team vibe than an individual’s anthem. Let’s break it down – two goalies both rock a 3.00 GAA. Yet, one faces 40 shots a night, while the other handles a breezier 25. Who’s the real MVP here? Well, the consensus leans toward the shot-stopper in the hot seat. They’re putting in the overtime, so to speak, for their team.

Now, while both save percentage and GAA dance in a tandem tango, my personal pick for gauging individual prowess? It’s save percentage all the way. GAA tends to reflect the team’s overall performance, while save percentage – that’s the goalie’s solo spotlight.

Navigating the High Danger: Shots and Save Percentages

Hold onto your helmets, because we’re diving into the arena of advanced stats. The gurus of numbers have cracked open a new angle on save percentages – high danger shots. Not all shots are created equal, folks. Some are cupcakes for the goalie, while others are akin to threading a puck through a needle’s eye.

These high danger shots? They’re the ones that pack a punch, often originating from the high danger zones like the slot to the high slot. To give you a taste of greatness, Ben Bishop crowned the charts with a .878 high danger save percentage. A close second? Jaroslav Halak, notching an impressive .889. But, alas, Roberto Luongo found himself at the other end with a .787 – the bottom of the barrel.

The Titans of the Past: Save Percentage Legacies

Ladies and gents, let’s take a stroll down memory lane. Who are the all-time greats in the realm of save percentage? Behold, the legends who etched their names into the annals of NHL history:

  1. Dominik Hasek (1990-2008) – 0.9223
  2. Johnny Bower (1953-1970) – 0.9219
  3. Ken Dryden (1970-1979) – 0.9215
  4. Tuukka Rask (2007-2019) – 0.9212
  5. Ben Bishop (2009-2019) – 0.9206
  6. Tim Thomas (2002-2014) – 0.9199
  7. Jacques Plante (1952-1973) – 0.9196
  8. Sergei Bobrovsky (2010-2019) – 0.919
  9. Cory Schneider (2008-2019) – 0.9189
  10. Roberto Luongo (1999-2019) – 0.9187

These are the trailblazers, the mask-clad maestros who commanded their creases with a save percentage that left opponents shaking their heads in awe.

How to Calculate Save Percentage?

Save Percentage = Saves ÷ Shots on Goal

A “save” refers to a halted shot on goal, while a “shot” propels the puck towards the net, either thwarted by the goalie or entering the net. Exclude shootout shots, blocked shots by non-goalie players, missed shots, and shots hitting goalposts. Exception: empty net shots, unless calculating team save percentage.

For instance, a goalie faces 219 shots and stops 192.

192 saves ÷ 219 shots = 0.877.

Resulting in a save percentage of 0.877, or 87.7%.

So, my fellow hockey zealots, there you have it – the save percentage saga, unwrapped and decoded. It’s a world where fractions of percentages can change the course of games, seasons, and even playoff hopes. As the puck flies and the saves stack up, keep an eye on those netminders – for they’re the silent heroes scripting the heart-stopping drama on ice.

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