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Descriptive Statistics

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Goalie Stats
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Goalie Stats

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

This goalie is a professional hockey player. His job is to keep the puck out of the net. Just as a baseball batter keeps track of his home runs, a hockey goalie keeps track of his saves. If the puck is shot toward the net five times in a game and the goalie deflects all five of the shots, that’s a perfect record. Does this mean the goalie is ready for the pros?

The Back Story

  • Not necessarily. Five out of five is a perfect record. But what if the opposing team shot the puck toward the net ten times and the goalie still deflected only five of the shots? That’s not a very good record at all.
  • How well a goalie does obviously depends not only on how many saves he makes. It also depends on how many goals are attempted by the other team. On the other hand, a really good goalie won’t be able to show how well he can make saves if he doesn’t get many chances.
  • Credit: Rob Kennedy
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rgk27/393266022/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    It's important to remember that not all saves are the same. Some are easier than others [Figure2]

     

  • So how can you compare one goalie with another? That’s where goalie statistics come in. You can calculate values such as the save percentage and goals against average.
  • Watch this video to see how and why these statistics are calculated: http://www.nbclearn.com/nhl/cuecard/56636

Can You Apply It?

With the links below, learn more about goalie statistics in hockey. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What is the save percentage in hockey? How is it calculated?
  2. In one season, a goalie had to defend against a total of 280 shots. He made 252 saves. What was his save percentage?
  3. What is the goals against average (GAA) statistic in hockey? How is it calculated?
  4. The same goalie from question 2 played a total of 600 minutes in the season. He allowed 28 goals. What was his goals against average for the season?
  5. A hockey game is 60 minutes long. How many goals per game, on average, will the goalie in question 4 allow?
  6. At the second link below, you can find GAAs for the top 100 all-time goalies in hockey. What is the average GAA for the top five goalies? What is the median? What is the mode?
  7. What is the range of GAA values for the top 100 goalies?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Rob Kennedy; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rgk27/393266022/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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