How Does A Goalie Get A  Win In Ice Hockey? (Simplified)
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How Does A Goalie Get A Win In Ice Hockey?

If you have watched ice hockey matches before, you must have heard of wins or losses. Most times, when these stats are used, they refer to the performance of teams or goalies. Unlike a goalie, it is easy to know when a team wins or loses. For a team to win, they need to defeat their opponent, either if it is by a goal or more than 1.

What Does It Mean For A Goalie To Get A Win?

How Does A Goalie Get A  Win In Ice Hockey?

A goalie is said to have a win when he/she is guarding the net when the final goal that puts his team one goal ahead of their opponent is scored. In simpler terms, a win for a goalie is gotten when the final game-winning goal is scored by a goalie’s team while the goalie is guarding the net.

A goalie guarding the net when the final goal that makes his team one goal ahead of the opposing team receives a winning point. The reason why the term “final goal” is used is because teams might be one goal ahead of each other several times in a match.

However, the goalie that is in the net when the final goal that makes his team one point ahead of the opponent team is scored receives the win.

Wins And Losses: NHL Goalie Stats

Wins in an NHL goalie stat is the number of games a goalie has won. However, to win means he was in the net when the game-winning goal was scored.

Similarly, a loss is another goalie stat that shows the number of games a goalie has lost. Wins and losses are both NHL stats, showing how good a goalie is.

Explained: Which Goalie Gets The Win In These Scenarios?

When more than one goaltender competes in a game, how do you know who wins since the rules state that the goalie who guards the net when a game-winning goal is scored receives a win?

When a team only has one goaltender for the duration of a game, this rule is simpler to understand. After the goaltender is replaced, it then becomes a matter of which goalie wins the game.

The following five scenarios will help you determine which goalie will win even when a substitute is made.

Example 1

Let’s imagine that the Coyotes and Rangers are competing in a game, and the Coyotes are up 4-2. At the start of the third period, the Rangers switch goalies, which alters the result of the contest.

Later, Rangers come alive in the second period and start making spectacular scoring efforts after the replacement goaltender makes some incredible stops for them. Fortunately, the Rangers were able to tie the game at 4-4 during the opening 10 minutes.

The Rangers did, however, manage to score the game-winning goal in the waning seconds of play to put them one goal ahead of the Coyotes. When the game is finally over, the Rangers triumph with a score of 4-5.

If a goalie earns a victory, it will go to the one who was on the field when the most recent game-winning goal was scored. As a result, the winning goalie was his replacement rather than the one who started the game.

Who Gets the Win: Substitute Goalie

Example 2 

Let’s imagine a different scenario where the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers square off.

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead over the Penguins in the first period thanks to a goal during that period. Assume that the Penguins were able to score two goals in the second period to make the score 1-2.

With the third period resuming and the Penguins in the lead, the coach of the Penguins decided to substitute the goalkeeper. The Penguins continued on to score their third goal to win the game after replacing the goalie.

The starting goalkeeper will receive the victory if it is awarded to one.

He contributed to the game-winning goal (and this is the second goal) because he was in the goal net at the time. The Penguins’ third goal was merely an extra point; the second goal was the one that decided the game’s outcome.

Who Gets the Win: First (Starting) Goalie

Example 3 

For the third scenario, let’s assume the Oilers and the Bruins are facing each other in an epic battle. At first, the Bruins controlled the game, taking an early 0-1 lead over the Oilers. 

Then, after a few intense minutes, the scores are equalized by the Oilers, who then go on to score another goal to make the score 2-1. Then, a few minutes into the game, the goalie is replaced by the Oilers coach due to injury, and a substitution is brought into the game.

Later on, the Oilers go for a third goal to dominate the game (3-1) a few minutes to the end of the second period. If the game ends like this, it will be the same as in the second scenario, and the win will go to the first goalie

However, if during the third period, the Bruins score a goal and the game ends with a score count of 3-2, the win will go to the substitute goalie. Why is this?

This is because the third goal has become the game-winning goal, and it was scored when the substitute goaltender was guarding the net. 

Who Gets the Win: Substitute Goalie

Example 4

Now for a fourth possibility:

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens are playing. The Maple Leafs came out strong in the opening three minutes of the game and scored a goal, sending the crowd wild.

When the Canadiens decide to attempt an equalizer, the situation becomes extremely tense, and the Maple Leafs’ goalkeeper sustains an injury. A replacement is sent after the goaltender is brought to the bench.

Finally, the Leafs would control every aspect of the contest and win 3-0. Now, between the two goalies, who do you predict will win?

Actually, the award belongs to the game’s initial goalie, who was hurt shortly after it began. Because the Canadiens were unable to score, the initial goal ended up being the game-winning goal.

But if they had won, the situation would have been exactly like the one in the third scenario.

Who Gets the Win: First (Starting) Goalie

Example 5

But in a situation where the goalie is never changed or replaced, the same goalie guards the net from the start to the end of the match. So, in this case, the win will automatically go to him. 

5 Goalies With Most Wins In NHL History 

5 Goalies With Most Wins In NHL History 

The NHL has been blessed with exceptional talent over the years, from forwards to goalies and more. But here are five goalies in the NHL with the highest amount of wins in their careers. 

Martin Brodeur

Martin Brodeur has the highest number of wins in the NHL. He was one of the most skilled goalies during his time and even had a rule made by the league because of him. The rule is called the Brodeur Rule but is also known as the Trapezoid Rule. 

Martin Brodeur, in his career, had 691-point wins with a save percentage of 0.90. He also carried his team, the New Jersey Devils, to win three Stanley Cups. He also has five Eastern Conference championships, along with two Olympic gold medals. 

Martin Brodeur is also regarded as the best goalie in NHL history because of his achievements and feats. 

Patrick Roy

Patrick Roy, the goalie known as “Saint Patrick”, is the next. Roy has precisely 551 victories in his career, making him the second goalie with the most victories.

Roy’s victories pale in comparison to Broduer’s career triumph by a stunning 140 points. This is roughly twice as many games as a team plays in the regular season of the NHL (82 games).

Nonetheless, Patrick Roy has won four Stanley Cups, two with the Colorado Avalanche and two with the Montreal Canadiens. Throughout his 1029 career games, Roy recorded a save percentage (SV%) of 0.910.

Marc-Andre Fleury

Marc-Andre Fleury is ranked third. One of only three NHL goalies with more than 500 wins is Fleury, a former goalkeeper for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pittsburgh Penguins selected Fleury first overall in the NHL draft, and he went on to win three Stanley Cups with the NHL team.

He presently has a scoring percentage of 0.913 and 984 games with 544 points won. He still competes as a goalie in the NHL and is presently a Minnesota Wild player. It’s possible that Fleury may break Patrick Roy’s record for most victories points.

Roberto Luongo

The NHL goalie with the fourth-highest number of victories in a career is Roberto Luongo. From his time in the QMJHL, where he twice won the President’s Cup Championships, the skilled goalie has demonstrated remarkable promise.

Along with winning two gold medals at the Olympics for Canada, Luongo also won the Hockey World Cup. In 1044 NHL games, he won 489 games in total before his retirement in 2019.

Ed Belfour

The fifth position belongs to Ed Belfour. Goaltender, Stanley Cup champion, and member of the Hall of Fame is Ed Belfour. The Chicago Blackhawks signed Ed Belfour as a free agent, unlike previous goalies who were drafted into the NHL.

In 963 games throughout the course of his career, Ed Belfour won 484. He also has a 0.906 scoring percentage. Also, 2011 saw his addition to the NHL Hall of Fame.

NHL Player With The Most For The 2022-23

Linus Ullmark came out as the goalie with the most number of wins during the 2022-23 season. The goalie of the Boston Bruins recorded 40 wins and a save percentage of 0.938 during the season’s games.

Next to him is Alexandar Georgiev in second place with 39 wins and a save percentage of 0.919.

NameWinsSave Percentage
Linus Ullmark400.938
Alexandar Georgiev390.919
Connor Hellebuyck370.920
Igor Shesterkin370.916
Jake Oettinger370.919
Andrei Vasilevskiy340.915
Juuse Saros330.919
Vitek Vanecek330.911
Ilya Sorokin310.924
Stuart Skinner290.913
NHL goalie with most wins for the 2022-23 season. SOURCE


Ladies and gentlemen, this brings us to the end of this amazing journey on what it means to get a win in ice hockey. By now, you should be able to know which goalie gets a win if there is a need to substitute a goalie in between the matches. 

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