What is GSAA for Goalies? Understanding GSAA in hockey

What is GSAA?

GSAA is a hockey goaltending statistic that stands for “Goals Saved Above Average”. In the past decade, statistics have taken a much deeper dive than ever before. Not just in hockey, but with sports like Baseball and the “WAR” statistic.

Goals Saved Above Average is calculated by the league’s average save percentage with the number of shots a goalie has had. The resulting number is the average goals a goalie in whatever league you’re evaluating would’ve surrendered if they took the same number of shots as the goalie you’re evaluating.

Then, this number can be evaluated against the number of goals given up by the goalie in question, finally resulting in a plus / minus number, GSAA.

A positive GSAA is the number of goals the goalie has saved compared to a league average goalie. Negative numbers indicate that the goalie is performing worse than a league average goalie would.

Simple, right? Below, we’re going to list some fun facts, for the sake of debate, of goalies GSAA statistics and how their teams fared in the playoffs from that season.

NHL GSAA Leaders from the 2017 / 2017 Season 

Does GSAA have a meaningful impact on a teams finish in the playoffs? Of course, there are a number of different and impactful statistics that influence a teams finish, but we’ll take a deeper dive into how Goals Saved Above Average correlates to a teams post season finish.

2017 / 18 Playoff teams

The conference final teams in no order were the Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights, Washington Capitals and the Winnipeg Jets. Western Conference goalies ranked in the top 5, and were the majority starters for their respective teams. On the Eastern Conference side, Holtby ranked near the bottom of the NHL in GSAA, yet they made it to the Conference finals.

Also, interestingly enough, Holtby had the only SV% ranked under a .920 of these 4. Holtby’s SV% was in the bottom 4 of any goalie in the playoffs, tied with Corey Schneider.

Nashville Predators – Pekka Rinne | SV% .927 | GSAA 27.49 (1st in the NHL)

Anaheim Ducks – John Gibson | SV% .926 | 25.3 GSAA (2nd in the NHL)

Winnipeg Jets – Connor Hellebuyck | SV% .924 | GSAA 23.75 (4th in the NHL)

Vegas Golden Knights – Marc-Andre Fleury .927 SV% | GSAA 20.77 (5th in the NHL)

Columbus Blue Jackets – Sergei Bobrovsky | SV% .921 | GSAA 16.92 (7th in the NHL)

Los Angeles Kings – Jonathan Quick | SV% .921 | GSAA 16.86 (8th in the NHL)

Toronto Maple Leafs – Frederik Andersen | SV% .918 | GSAA 12.06 (12th in the NHL)

Minnesota Wild – Devan Dubnyk .918 SV% | GSAA 10.26 (17th in the NHL)

Boston Bruins – Tuukka Rask | SV% .917 | GSAA 7.79 (19th in the NHL)

Tampa Bay Lightning – Andrei Vasilevskiy | SV% .920 | GSAA 15.12 (9th in the NHL)

San Jose Sharks – Martin Jones | .915 SV% | 4.12 GSAA (24th in the NHL)

Colorado Avalanche – Jonathan Bernier | .913 SV% | .84 GSAA (30th in the NHL)

New Jersey Devils – Keith Kincaid .913 SV% | .55 GSAA (31st in the NHL) / Corey Schneider | SV% .907 | GSAA -6.22 (47th in the NHL). One thing worth noting, Kincaid and Schneider split time last season, both playing roughly 40 games.

Washington Capitals – Braden Holtby | SV% .907 | GSAA -.836 (54th in the NHL)

 

Goalie Statistics Table
GoalGoalGoalGoalGoalGoalGoalGoalGoalGoalGoalGoalGoal
RkPlayerAgeTmGPGSWLGASASVSV%GAASOMINQSGSAA
1Pekka Rinne35NSH5959421313418401706.9272.31834754027.49
2John Gibson24ANA6060311813918721733.9262.43434283925.30
3Antti Raanta28ARI474621179713881291.9302.24325993224.82
4Connor Hellebuyck24WPG6764441115620481892.9242.36639663923.75
5Marc-Andre Fleury33VEG4646291310013761276.9272.24426733120.77
6Roberto Luongo38FLA353318118111431062.9292.47319662219.32
7Sergei Bobrovsky29CBJ6565372215819931835.9212.42539123816.92
8Jonathan Quick32LAK6463332814718671720.9212.40536773716.86
9Andrei Vasilevskiy23TBL6564441716720751908.9202.62838253615.12
10Carter Hutton32STL322617756810754.9312.09316101915.09
11Corey Crawford33CHI282716960842782.9292.27215841713.90
12Frederik Andersen28TOR6666382118222112029.9182.81538893712.06
13Semyon Varlamov29COL5147241612815951467.9202.68228612811.99
14Ryan Miller37ANA282112653739686.9282.35413531311.86
15Curtis McElhinney34TOR181511535528493.9342.143979811.34
16Philipp Grubauer26WSH3528151073953880.9232.35318651910.64
17Devan Dubnyk31MIN6059351614517691624.9182.52534503610.26
18Juuse Saros22NSH262311561810749.9252.45314971410.09
19Tuukka Rask30BOS5453341412515131388.9172.3633173307.79
20Mike Smith35CGY5555252214116861545.9162.6533191326.98
21Ben Bishop31DAL5351261712014371317.9162.4952887276.12
22Darcy Kuemper27TOT292512767833766.9202.5241596126.11
23Henrik Lundqvist35NYR6361262617420361862.9152.9823503324.70
24Martin Jones28SJS6060302214516991554.9152.5543416364.12
25Casey DeSmith26PIT14116428356328.9212.40170073.25
26Alexandar Georgiev21NYR1094427331304.9183.15051552.05
27Michal Neuvirth29PHI22189745530485.9152.6011039101.52
28Aaron Dell28SJS292215567775708.9142.6421522111.02
29Anton Khudobin31BOS312916676876800.9132.5611781160.89
30Jonathan Bernier29COL37341913951092997.9132.8522001180.84
31Keith Kinkaid28NJD4138261010612141108.9132.7712298190.55
32James Reimer29FLA4442221412013731253.9132.9942411220.51
33Kari Lehtonen34DAL3730151483946863.9122.5611944190.03
34Antti Niemi34TOT24207963710647.9113.121121312-0.68
35Jacob Markstrom28VAN6057232615417451591.9122.712341429-0.84
36Malcolm Subban24VEG221913455614559.9102.68012308-1.11
37Ondrej Pavelec30NYR19124946510464.9103.0519045-1.24
38Charlie Lindgren24MTL14144842457415.9083.0328339-1.89
39Alex Stalock30MIN2823101071787716.9102.851149513-1.93
40Steve Mason29WPG13125637392355.9063.2416855-2.59
41Tristan Jarry22PIT262314663687624.9082.772136414-2.70
42David Rittich25CGY21168649512463.9042.920100810-4.06
43Anton Forsberg25CHI3530101685921836.9082.970171514-4.17
44Brian Elliott32PHI4342231111212281116.9092.661252220-4.22
45Jimmy Howard33DET6057222716017701610.9102.851336828-4.65
46Robin Lehner26BUF5350142614315601417.9083.013285224-6.08
47Cory Schneider31NJD4040171611412281114.9072.931233219-6.22
48Jeff Glass32CHI15133746452406.8983.3608215-6.33
49Al Montoya32TOT1384337346309.8933.2106921-6.63
50Jean-Francois Berube26CHI13103642398356.8943.7806673-7.07
51Cam Ward33CAR4342231411211871075.9062.732245921-7.82
52Jaroslav Halak32NYI5449202616117441583.9083.191302422-7.93
53Matt Murray23PIT4945271613314231290.9072.921273319-8.11
54Braden Holtby28WSH5454341615316481495.9072.990306830-8.36
55Joonas Korpisalo23CBJ18178858564506.8973.32010497-8.50
56Mike Condon27OTT312651788898810.9023.250162613-9.18
57Cam Talbot30EDM6767313118820361848.9083.021373032-9.30
58Anders Nilsson27VAN272471484850766.9013.44214648-9.40
59Laurent Brossoit24EDM14103740343303.8833.2407405-9.90
60Louis Domingue25TOT19167961578517.8943.41010746-10.27
61Jake Allen27STL5956272515216141462.9062.751331727-10.34
62Petr Mrazek25TOT393314131061080974.9023.034209711-11.21
63Scott Wedgewood25ARI20175963587524.8933.45110977-11.48
64Carey Price30MTL4948162614814871339.9003.111285521-17.49
65Thomas Greiss32NYI272513895879784.8923.82114929-17.85
66Maxime Lagace25VEG16146757430373.8673.9208745-19.26
67Chad Johnson31BUF36291016105962857.8913.550177412-20.57
68Craig Anderson36OTT5855232518017681588.8983.322325125-24.83
69Scott Darling29CAR4340132113111711040.8883.180247514-28.22
70Ken Appleby22NJD310135552.9451.4501240
71Reto Berra31ANA511179588.9262.3101821
72Peter Budaj35TBL873327217190.8763.7604302
73Jack Campbell26LAK542011145134.9242.4802672
74Eric Comrie22WPG3312129482.8723.9901801
75Jared Coreau26DET770527203176.8674.2603801
76Oscar Dansk23VEG433059388.9461.7811693
77Collin Delia23CHI221176356.8893.9601061
78Thatcher Demko22VAN111043026.8673.910610
79Dylan Ferguson19VEG1000121.5006.50090
80Scott Foster36CHI10000771.0000.000140
81Christopher Gibson25NYI882326284258.9083.6504275
82Jon Gillies24CGY1193529280251.8962.8806055
83Brandon Halverson21NYR1000165.8334.780130
84Andrew Hammond29COL110123331.9392.060581
85Adin Hill21ARI441314129115.8913.4902412
86Michael Hutchinson27WPG332177568.9073.2601292
87Eddie Lack30TOT852423177154.8704.0203431
88Marek Langhamer23ARI1000010101.0000.000290
89Alex Lyon25PHI1174222232210.9052.7504803
90Mike McKenna34DAL211155045.9002.9601010
91Calvin Pickard25TOR110042824.8573.830630
92Harri Sateri28FLA974424271247.9112.9204935
93Daniel Taylor31OTT110143430.8824.100580
94Linus Ullmark24BUF53128123115.9352.0002402
95Adam Wilcox25BUF1001014141.0000.000390
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/11/2018.

NHL GSAA Leaders from the 2016 / 2017 Season

Interestingly enough, Holtby ranked second on the league during this season.

Goalie Statistics Table
GoalGoalGoalGoalGoalGoalGoalGoalGoalGoalGoal
RkPlayerAgeTmGPGSWLGASASVSV%GAAGA%-GSAA
1Sergei Bobrovsky28CBJ6363411712718541727.9312.067933.45
2Braden Holtby27WSH6363421312716901563.9252.078719.25
3Devan Dubnyk30MIN6563401914118421701.9232.258818.41
4Carey Price29MTL6262372013817941656.9232.238917.25
5Craig Anderson35OTT404025119212471155.9262.288515.92
6John Gibson23ANA5249251610914371328.9242.228815.36
7Matt Murray22PIT4947321011114501339.9232.418814.48
8Robin Lehner25BUF5958232615219101758.9202.689213.29
9Cam Talbot29EDM7373422217121171946.9192.399312.21
10Jimmy Howard32DET2624101149675626.9272.10849.42
11Aaron Dell27SJS201711637533496.9312.00809.13
12Scott Darling28CHI322718567877810.9242.38888.90
13Frederik Andersen27TOR6666331616920521883.9182.67958.58
14Corey Crawford32CHI5555321813816911553.9182.55948.34
15Anders Nilsson26BUF2623101066857791.9232.67898.17
16Pekka Rinne34NSH6161311914417571613.9182.42958.05
17James Reimer28FLA433918169812221124.9202.53937.75
18Philipp Grubauer25WSH241913643585542.9262.04857.63
19Antti Raanta27NYR302616861782721.9222.26906.67
20Juuse Saros21NSH211910847614567.9232.35886.14
21Andrei Vasilevskiy22TBL5047231712314801357.9172.61965.08
22Peter Budaj34TOT6055302112014141294.9152.18982.37
23Keith Kinkaid27NJD262381365778713.9162.64972.33
24Tuukka Rask29BOS6563372013716101473.9152.23982.33
25Curtis McElhinney33TOT21158851616565.9172.70962.31
26Jake Allen26STL6160332013816201482.9152.42982.20
27Jonathan Bernier28ANA393321783982899.9152.50981.98
28Jaroslav Halak31NYI282612975885810.9152.80981.59
29Jonathan Quick31LAK17178535421386.9172.26961.43
30Mike Smith34ARI5555192615618191663.9142.92991.42
31Roberto Luongo37FLA4039171510412171113.9152.68991.32
32Mike Condon26TOT413819149611221026.9142.48991.10
33Ryan Miller36VAN5454182915017371587.9142.801000.32
34Thomas Greiss31NYI5149261812614531327.9132.69100-0.26
35Carter Hutton31STL302113858663605.9132.39101-0.62
36Al Montoya31MTL19188650569519.9122.67102-0.76
37Jacob Markstrom27VAN2623101162692630.9102.63104-2.11
38Martin Jones27SJS6565352315217251573.9122.40102-2.72
39Chad Johnson30CGY3636181587969882.9102.59104-3.14
40Joonas Korpisalo22CBJ14137538401363.9052.88110-3.30
41Anton Khudobin30BOS16147639405366.9042.64111-3.95
42Ben Bishop30TOT39371815941040946.9102.54104-4.00
43Marc-Andre Fleury32PIT3834181010711811074.9093.02105-4.80
44Louis Domingue24ARI3126111582888806.9083.08107-5.15
45Brian Elliott31CGY4945261812113381217.9102.55104-5.21
46Henrik Lundqvist34NYR5755312014816501502.9102.74104-5.21
47Eddie Lack29CAR20188748492444.9022.64113-5.42
48Darcy Kuemper26MIN18178555562507.9023.13113-6.36
49Michael Hutchinson26WPG282091267690623.9032.92112-7.29
50Steve Mason28PHI5854262114315561413.9082.66106-8.34
51Cory Schneider30NJD6059202716317811618.9082.82106-8.87
52Jared Coreau25DET14145441362321.8873.46131-9.67
53Connor Hellebuyck23WPG5653261914615721426.9072.89107-9.96
54Semyon Varlamov28COL242361776745669.8983.38118-11.53
55Michal Neuvirth28PHI2824111164586522.8912.82126-13.29
56Calvin Pickard24COL5048153114014611321.9042.98111-13.56
57Cam Ward32CAR6161262216217111549.9052.69109-13.93
58Kari Lehtonen33DAL5952222515115461395.9022.85113-17.21
59Petr Mrazek24DET5044182114514621317.9013.04115-18.48
60Antti Niemi33DAL3730121295880785.8923.30125-18.84
61Jorge Alves38CAR10000000.00
62Richard Bachman29VAN552313162149.9202.64
63Reto Berra30FLA740518145127.8763.45
64Jean-Francois Berube25NYI1473230271241.8893.42
65Antoine Bibeau22TOR221145551.9271.99
66Laurent Brossoit23EDM844111153142.9281.99
67Jack Campbell25LAK10000551.0000.00
68Eric Comrie21WPG111043935.8974.05
69Pheonix Copley25STL110152924.8285.09
70Chris Driedger22OTT100141511.7336.00
71Jhonas Enroth28TOR640318141123.8723.94
72Anton Forsberg24CBJ110142723.8524.10
73Jon Gillies23CGY111012827.9641.00
74Kristers Gudlevskis24TBL10000331.0000.00
75Jonas Gustavsson32EDM751317139122.8783.10
76Andrew Hammond28OTT6402148672.8374.08
77Magnus Hellberg25NYR211022826.9291.53
78Tristan Jarry21PIT110132522.8803.06
79Marek Langhamer22ARI1000187.8753.87
80Michael Leighton35CAR4322129280.8703.42
81Charlie Lindgren23MTL222035956.9491.48
82Spencer Martin21COL3302139683.8654.35
83Marek Mazanec25NSH4202148773.8394.73
84Zane McIntyre24BOS830422155133.8583.97
85Alex Nedeljkovic21CAR1000017171.0000.00
86Ondrej Pavelec29WPG884426233207.8883.55
87Justin Peters30ARI310177063.9003.16
88David Rittich24CGY10001109.9003.00
89Jeremy Smith27COL1081632286254.8883.54
90Alex Stalock29MIN221135451.9441.51
91Anthony Stolarz23PHI742113181168.9282.07
92Malcolm Subban23BOS110131613.8135.88
93Dustin Tokarski27ANA10000551.0000.00
94Linus Ullmark23BUF110133633.9173.06
95Jeff Zatkoff29LAK1382727223196.8792.94
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/11/2018.
Everybody loves to debate the top goalies in the league.
Take Devan Dubnyk, for example. When he originally came to the Minnesota Wild by way of the Arizona Coyotes and a third round pick, he was near the bottom of the league, just trying to find a way to stick around.
Today, despite the playoff woes of the Wild in recent years, he’s one of the top goalies in the NHL. During the 2017/18 season he ranked #17 in GSAA.
Yet, since 2013/2014 he has the 2nd best save percentage in the NHL, only behind the Ducks John Gibson.
So, is GSAA the best way to rank goalies? Maybe. Maybe not. At the end of the day, goalies will continue to be judged based on their save percentage and goals against average.
GSAA is a helpful stat, however, in our opinion, it’s a “fans stat”. It’s interesting to debate, but doesn’t necessarily rank the best goalies year over year.

 

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