What Is SOG In Ice Hockey? Explained
There are numerous stats in ice hockey and each has a different meaning or attribute it represents. But of all these stats, today we are going to be looking at the meaning of SOG in ice hockey. We will be looking at what counts as a SOG and also the difference between a SOG and shots in ice hockey.
What Does SOG Mean In Ice Hockey?
In ice hockey, SOG is a stats attribute that means Shot on Goal. It is used to represent the number of shots made by hockey players that led to a goal or could have led to a goal if the shot was not stopped by a hockey goalie.
SOG is both a player and team stats. For players, it shows the individual number of shots on goal in a game, season, or career. However, for teams, it shows the collective shot-on-goal point of every player on a team.
In ice hockey, shots on goals can be represented by the symbol S or SOG.
What Counts As A Shot On Goal (SOG)?
SOG in ice hockey is not based on the nature of the shot. It doesn’t matter if the shot is a slapshot, wrist shot, one-timer, or even if it was a light shot that makes the puck glide toward the net slowly. As far as a shot is directed towards the net and meets one of the two conditions mentioned below it is accepted as a SOG (shot on goal).
The first is, if a shot leads to a goal, it is recorded as a shot on goal. Also, if a puck is deflected or tipped into the net by a teammate aside from the player that made the shot, the last player to hit the puck is given a shot on goal, while the other player that made the shot is given an assist.
In addition, any shot that would have led to a goal if it was not stopped by the goalie is counted as a shot on goal. A player does not get a SOG in ice hockey if:
- The puck does not get to the goalie
This means if the puck is deflected by a defenseman or any player changes its direction from the net. When this happens the player from the opposing team responsible for stopping the puck is awarded points for the number of blocked shots.
- The puck misses the net
This can happen if the shot is too high or the shot angle is too wide. In this case, the goalies didn’t need to stop the puck.
- The puck hits the goal pole without entering the net
If the puck hits the goal pole but does not enter into the net, it is not counted as a shot on goal.
Average Number Of Shots On Goal (SOG) In An NHL Game
The number of SOG a player will have in a game depends on the level of the player (top-rated or low-ranking player). Top-rated players in a team are more likely to play for a longer period on the ice giving them more opportunities to perform shots.
Aside from players ranking, the position players occupy largely influences their chances of finding a shot at a goal. Goalies are not expected to be able to shoot the puck toward the goal net as they can’t even cross the center red line into the opponent’s side of the ice. Read more on: Where Can Goalies Play The Puck In Ice Hockey?
Defensemen can sometimes take shots in ice hockey, but not as often as forwards. So this means that forwards are more likely to take shots in a game when compared to defensemen or goalies since that is the primary role of the position they carry.
Typically, top-ranking forwards can perform as high as 4-8 SOG in a single game. Most times, ice hockey players don’t usually have the chance to perform more than an average of four shots on goal (SOG) in a game.
In addition, goalies typically save about 40-50 shot-on-goals per game. Anything more than this is considered to be a lot. However, whenever a game surpasses the 60-minute regulation time, there is a high chance of more shots.
Team With The Most SOG In An NHL Game
The regular season game with the most SOG in NHL history occurred on the 21st of March 1991 in a game in which the Boston Bruins faces the Quebec Nordiques. Ron Tugnutt, the goaltender of the Nordique saved 17 shots in the first period, 18 out of 19 shots in the second period, and 23 out of 25 shots in the third period.
The game would eventually move on to the first overtime where he yet again save 12 shots on goal. The total number of shots on goals made by the Boston Bruins in the game was 73 and this would go on to the most SOG in the NHL history. Of the 73 SOG 70 of the shots were saved by the goalie while 3 were goals.
|Ranking||Team||Opponent||Date||SOG (Shot On Goal)|
|1||Boston Bruins||Quebec Nordiques||20th March 1991||73|
|2||Boston Bruins||Buffalo Sabres||10th December 1970||72|
|3||Minnesota North Stars||Los Angeles Kings||24th March 1981||68|
|4||Carolina Hurricanes||Nashville Predators||5th January 2023||67|
|5||Boston Bruins||Minnesota North Stars||7th February 1971||67|
Player With The Most SOG In The NHL
The player with the most SOG in an NHL game also came from the same matchup. Ray Bourque of the Boston Bruins made 19 shots on goal in the game against the Quebec Nordiques. This still stands as the most shot on goal in an NHL game.
The table below shows a list of the top 5 NHL players with the most shots on goal in an NHL regular game in history.
|1||Ray Bourque||Boston Bruins||Quebec Nordiques||20th March 1991||19|
|2||Marian Hossa||Atlanta Thrashers||Carolina Hurricanes||1st November 2006||16|
|3||Rod Gilbert||New York Rangers||Montreal Canadiens||24th February 1968||16|
|4||Auston Matthews||Toronto Maple Leaf||Carolina Hurricanes||25th March 2023||15|
|5||Alex Ovechkin||Washington Capitals||Detroit Red Wings||10th November 2015||15|
NHL Shot On Goals Leaders
Just like the NHL has leaders in the number of goals, assists, and saves among other stats, the NHL also ranks the SOG leaders in the league each season. The leader of each year is the player that records the highest number of shots for the season.
NHL Shot On Goals Leaders 2021-22
For the 2021-22 season, the player with the most SOG in the regular season was Auston Matthews with 348 shots on target. The center of the Toronto Maple Leafs held the position with a difference of 14 shots from the second player on the leaderboard, Alexander Ovechkin.
|Ranking||Players||Team||Games Played||SOG (Shot On Goals)|
|1||Auston Matthews||Toronto Maple Leafs||73||348|
|2||Alex Ovechkin||Washington Capitals||77||334|
|3||Timo Meier||San Jose Sharks||77||326|
|4||Kyle Connor||Winnipeg Jets||79||317|
|5||Connor McDavid||Edmonton Oilers||80||314|
|6||David Pastrnak||Boston Bruins||72||312|
|7||Nathan MacKinnon||Colorado Avalanche||65||299|
NHL Shot On Goals Leaders 2022-23
The NHL leader in SOG for the 2022-23 regular season is David Pastrnak with 407 shots on goal in 82 games. The right winger for the Boston Bruins topped the leaderboard leaving a 49-SOG point gap between himself and the second player on the SOG leaderboard, Nathan MacKinnon.
The table shows the shot on goal leaderboard for the 2022-23 regular season.
|Ranking||Players||Team||Games Played||SOG (Shot On Goal)|
|1||David Pastrnak||Boston Bruins||82||407|
|2||Nathan MacKinnon||Colorado Avalanche||70||358|
|3||Connor McDavid||Edmonton Oilers||82||352|
|4||Brady Tkachuk||Ottawa Senators||82||347|
|5||Jack Hughes||New Jersey Devils||78||336|
|6||Auston Matthews||Toronto Maple Leafs||74||327|
|7||Timo Meier||San Jose Sharks||78||327|
Shot on goals can be compared with the number of goals scored by a player to give the score percentage. A score percentage is the percentage of goals scored to shots taken. It shows the accuracy hockey players have when they shoot the puck.
In an ice hockey game, the SOG is often shown on the screen as the game goes on. The data on the screen merely shows the aggregate shots of the goal of all the players on a team. After the end of the game, each of the shots is reviewed to know the players whose stats the points will be allocated.
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