Goaltender Value: A New Metric

Photo: Mark J. Terrill / AP

Put simply, hockey can be broken down into two key components–scoring goals and saving shots. As the main proponent of stopping these goals is the goalie, we can undoubtedly say that they have a substantial role on any hockey team, far more valuable than any single player on the ice.

This being said, it should be a given that there are a number of goalkeeper metrics available to measure what goalies are the best. While yes, the few statistics that are available are very useful, SV% probably being the most useful, especially as it connects directly to PDO.

Below is one metric I developed through some statistical analysis and another I found from Natural StatTrick.

  • wSV%: Weighted save percentage is a metric that weighs the different saves each goalie makes. Taking save percentages for high danger shots, medium danger shots, and low danger shots, we can create an improved save percentage that rewards goalies who are making more difficult saves than others. Not only is this a great way to differentiate most goalies from each other, but it also gives us a way to see how talented goalies on bad teams are performing.
  • dSV%: This metric simply shows us the goalie’s saver percentage on all the high danger shots they have faced.

*Both of these metrics can also be measured for each goalie while their team is down a man or killing a penalty.

We can assume goalies worth by using the equation:


The metric creates a scenario in which netminders are on a team with 20 players who are all shooting at an average 9%. (For a more in-depth explanation as to why we can do this, read my previous article, Most Undervalued Players in the NHL: A new Metric.)

Below are four undervalued and under-used goalies who are currently in the NHL, based on the metrics above and SV% as well.

*These stats cover the 2016-2019 seasons.

*Anton Khudobin will be an Unrestricted Free Agent at the end of the 2019-2020 season. *Laurent Brossoit will become an Unrestricted Free Agent in 2021

Of course, as these goalie’s adjusted salaries are extremely high, they are a bit exaggerated. But if they were to keep their SV% statistics at the same level, as they are currently after playing more games, then these salaries would be quite reasonable.

All these goalies not only boast incredible save percentages, but wSV%’s and dSV%’s well above the average for even-strength play and during the penalty kill.

Anton Khudobin is the most impressive goalie out of this bunch, for he has played the most games out of these four and excelled especially on the penalty kill.

It will be interesting to see where Brossoit goes in free agency next year, as he holds the highest SV% and wSV% of these four and yet has seen very limited ice time in the past three years despite his excellent performances.

By: Sam DiSorbo

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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3 Responses to Goaltender Value: A New Metric

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    Khudobin’s been a great backup. I recall he vied for the #1 job for Carolina at one point but got injured and it was a long road back for him

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great article!!

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