Simple and Practical Goal Importance Metrics for Ice Hockey


  • Rasmus Säfvenberg Linköping University, Sweden
  • Niklas Carlsson Linköping University, Sweden
  • Patrick Lambrix Linköping University, Sweden



To capture that not all goals are of the same importance, a new performance metric called the Game Points Importance Value (GPIV) was recently proposed. While this metric takes into account the expected impact that a goal has on the outcome of a game based on the context when the goal was scored, it relies on a relatively fine-grained state space. To address this problem, this paper presents simplified and more practical variations of the GPIV metric. Motivated by our analysis of the relative importance of different dimensions of the state space, we present two metrics that capture the most important component(s) of GPIV. Our evaluation shows that the metrics are relatively stable and capture most of the relative differences between GPIV and traditional metrics (e.g., goals, assist, points, and +/-). These results suggest that these simple and practical metrics are intuitive, capture most of the desirable variations that GPIV captures, and that the value of a goal can be well estimated using GPIV data based on historic data.