Save Percentage: What Is It And How Is It Calculated?

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Save percentage is one of the two most important statistics a goalie is graded on. The calculation used to determine Save Percentage is to take a total number of saves a goalie made and divide it by the total number of shots a goalie faced (Save Percentage = Saves/(Goals Allowed + Saves). The resulting number will be lead by a decimal, rounded to the 3rd digit. For example, 223 saves out of 227 shots is a Save Percentage of .982.

Unlike GSAA which takes a league average into consideration, a goalie’s Save Percentage is a concrete number belonging to each individual goalie.

Sample Save Percentage Calculations

For the sake of a math, we’ll give some sample save percentage calculations. Remember, Save Percentage is calculated by using only two numbers. Shots and saves. To correctly calculate save percentage for goalies, the number of saves + the number of goals must equal the number of shots. Empty net goals are not taken into consideration when calculating save percentage.

Scenario #1: 22 shots, 2 goals given up.

Math: 20 divided by 22 = .909 save percentage.

Scenario #2: 100 shots over 3 games, 4 goals given up.

Math: 96 divided by 100 = .960 save percentage.

Scenario #3: 39 shots, 2 goals given up, 1 empty net goal.

Math: 37 divided by 39 = .948 save percentage.

Since empty net goals are not counted against a goalies save percentage or goals against average, it is not counted as a shot on the goalie. A shot counted against a goalie takes place while the goalie is in the game.

What Is A Good Save Percentage?

A good save percentage at the NHL level is between .905 and .920. Anything above .920 is considered an elite save percentage and generally puts a goalie into the NHL All Star Game. On the other hand, anything below a .900 is considered to be a below average save percentage.

What Constitutes a Shot on Goal in Hockey?

A shot on goal in hockey is counted when one of two scenarios takes place. First, a goalie makes a save on a puck that prevents a puck entering the net. Second, when a puck enters the net. Shots that hit a post without first touching the goalie are not counted as an official shot on goal and should not be tallied as such.

Does a Puck Hitting The Crossbar Count As A Shot on Goal?

No. At the NHL level, a shot on goal is not counted when a puck hits the goalpost or crossbar. This is because shots are only counted if a goalie makes a save, or the puck enters the net.

How Is Save Percentage Different from Goals Against Average?

Where Goals Against Average differs is in the caluclation of the statistic. GAA uses the number of minutes played by each goalie, whereas Save Percentage uses the number of shots. In some leagues, games are not 60 minutes long as they are in the NHL, so GAA is calculated on a lesser number of minutes, giving a goalie a worse chance for a better score.

Which Is Better Save Percentage or GAA?

There is a direct corrolation between an above average Save Percentage (SVS%) and Goals Against Average (GAA). Generally speaking, if a goalie has a GAA below 2.00, their Save Percentage will be above .910. Save Percentage is a better measure of a goalies statistical performance as it uses just shots and saves as compared to minutes played, which can impact the stat in a negative way.

Do Empty Net Goals Count Against Save Percentage?

Empty net goals do not count against save percentage as goaltenders pulled before an empty-net goal are not charged with a goal against. When a goalie leaves the crease for the bench, statistically speaking, they are no longer considered to be in the game. If a goalie leaves the net with exactly 1 minute remaining in a 60 minute game, their minutes played will be 59:00.