What is a Good Save Percentage in Hockey

What is a Good Save Percentage in Hockey?

Wouldn’t you agree performance is the key everywhere? Organizations, big or small, have  developed their key performance indicators to determine the level of their performance. Similar  is the case for individuals.  

What determines a good game? The performance indicates the level of interest in any game. So, everyone is concerned about performance. In hockey, the goalie plays one of the key roles. Which goalie is performing well? Who is the top  goalie in the NHL? Hockey teams and fans wonder. 

The difference between a top goalie and the one still struggling lies in their performance. One of  the methods to measure a goalie’s performance is to find out his save percentage, the number of  times a goalie successfully made a save. 

So, what would be a good save percentage? Generally, a good goalie’s save percentage should be  0.915% or greater than this. In the NHL, the average save percentage has been 0.910. So, if you  want to stand out and perform better, you need to have a save percentage greater than the  average. And this is what all goalies try to do. 

What is Save Percentage and How is it Calculated? 

Save percentage is one of the NHL statistics that define the percentage of the total shots a goalie  has saved. To calculate the save percentage, you need to divide the number of saves by the total  number of shots the goalie saved. 

The following table will help you understand the concept of the save percentage. 

PlayerSavesShots Against Save Percentage
Carey Price30301.000
Hendrik Lundqvist23250.920
Marc-Andre Fleury21270.778

Let us analyze the table. 

Carey Price has shown exceptional performance and stopped all the shots that he faced, so he  stands on top. 

Hendrik Lundqvist was able to save 23 shots against the total 25 shots that he faced and missed  two shots. That makes his total save percentage 0.920%. 

Marc-Andre Fleury saved twenty-one shots out of the total twenty-five shots and missed  six shots. Therefore, his percentage is 0.778%, which is lower than the average goalie’s save  percentage. And that is how we look at the save percentages of the goalies in the NHL.

What is a Good Save Percentage?

So, what do you think will be a good save percentage? Good is always above average, isn’t it? A good goalie has a save percentage above the average.  So, a good save percentage will be 0.915% or even more. The average percentage is 0.910%. 

Best Save Percentage of NHL 2018-2019

The table below shows the top 10 best save percentages in the NHL season 2018-19

NameTeamSave Percentage Goals Against Average
Ben BishopDAL0.9341.98 
Robin LehnerNYI0.930 2.13
Jack CampbellLA0.9282.30
Thomas GriessNYI0.9272.28
Jordan BenningtonSTL0.9271.89
Andrei VasilevskiyTB0.9252.40
Darcy KuemperARI0.925 2.33
Anton KhudobinDAL0.9232.57
Jaroslav HalakBOS0.9222.34
Matt MurrayPIT0.9192.69
Top 10 Best Save Percentage of NHL 2018-2019

Ben Bishop stands as the top goalie of the NHL season 2018-19 with a save percentage of  0.934%, which is a terrific performance.  

The goalies who showed the worst performance were: 

  • Johnathan Quick with a 0.888% 
  • Keith Kinkaid with a 0.891% 
  • Cam Talbot with a 0.892% 
  • Martin Jones with a 0.896%

All the goalies must have a save percentage of at least 0.910 with 0.915% being preferable. A percentage under 0.900 is not acceptable and if continued, it may send the goalie out of the team. 

The reason for this is that such a low save percentage is dangerous for the teams. Teams cannot  win if a goalie lets in so many goals and has such a low save percentage. To help your team win,  you need to make more saves, and more saves result in a higher save percentage.

Just a 0.01% difference in the percentage equals ten to twenty goals per year. This decides a  team’s position in the NHL standings, which in turn determines if your team will qualify for the  playoffs or not.  

Hence, these save percentages are extremely crucial for goalies and the teams as a whole. The  impact is huge. 

Save Percentage vs Goals Against Average

Save percentage and the Goals Against Average GAA are important statistics in ice hockey for  determining how well the goalies are performing in the hockey games. 

The goal against average statistic is used to determine how many goals on average were let in in  a single game. The goal against average shows a team’s performance collectively while the save percentage is  about an individual goalie’s performance. Both are essential in knowing the overall performance  picture. A good goalie has a low goals-against average and high saves percentage. 

High Danger Shots and High Danger Save Percentage 

As the hockey world is advancing, new methods and points of view are also developed. The save percentage is now also analyzed by the high danger shots and the high danger  percentage. 

This means that not all shots are the same. There are some shots that the goalie must save  because they are quite simpler and easy. On the other hand, some shots are high-danger shots  originating from high slot areas. These are the shots that are difficult to stop. 

For example, Ben Bishop has a 0.878 HD save percentage and Jaroslav Halak has a 0.889%.  Whereas the lowest HD save percentage was of Roberto Luongo which was 0.787 HD%. (Source)

Best Save Percentage for Career 

The following table will show you the best save percentages of players careers.

Player NameYearsSave Percentage
Dominik Hacek1990-080.9223
Johnny Bower1953-700.9219
Ken Dryden1970-790.9215
Tuukka Rask2007-220.9210
Ben Bishop2008-200.9205
Tim Thomas2002-140.9199
Jacques Plante1952-730.9197
Andrei Vasilevskiy2014-220.9192
Roberto Luongo1999-190.9187
Henrik Lundqvist2005-200.9180

So, this is all about the save percentage, which is one of the key performance indicators of the  goalie’s performance in the NHL.

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