What does SOG mean in hockey? (with stats)

You will see the abbreviation SOG or S in a number of different spots in hockey. It will be on the scoreboard and with individual players stats – both goalies and skaters! Why is this showing up everywhere you look and how important is it? 

What does SOG mean in hockey? SOG stands for shots on goal, which is used to track the number of shots a player takes, a team takes, or the number of shots a goalie faces. A shot on goal is registered if the goalie is required to stop the puck which otherwise would have resulted in a goal. 

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A shot on goal is not counted if the player shoots the puck and either hits the post or misses the net. The determining factor for it to be registered as a shot is if the shot would have resulted in a goal if the goalie had not saved it. And, also, it is considered a shot on goal if the player scores. 


Is a certain type of shot required to count?

This stat does not take into account the position the shot is taken from, how hard the shot is or the difficulty of the shot taken. All that is required for it to be counted for a shot is that the goalie had to make a save on it or it be a goal. 

For instance, the shot could be a slow rolling puck along the ice or a laser beam headed towards the top corner. In either case both count the same towards the stat – one shot for. 

There will be instances where shots are taken towards the net that may have gone wide, however the goalie has made a save on the puck. It would be too difficult for the person counting shots to have to make a judgement on these types of shots.

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Let’s look at some of the shot stats over a course of a season. 


How many shots on goal are taken by players or teams?

For a typical game there will be a range of shots taken by individual players from 0 to 8.

There will be many players who only get zero or one shot per game – think of a player who plays on the 4th line or a defensemen.

Whereas the top players will get somewhere around the 5 to 8 mark. It is unusual for a player to have more than 10 shots in a game. 

Here is a list of the top 10 players in shot totals in the NHL for the 2018-19 season and the average per game. 

PlayerShotsShots/Game
Nathan Mackinnon3654.45
Patrick Kane3414.2
Alex Ovechkin3384.2
Tyler Seguin3344.1
Jack Eichel3033.9
Brendan Gallagher3023.7
Brent Burns3003.6
Cam Atkinson2953.6
Dylan Larkin2873.6
John Tavares2863.5


How many shots on goal does a goalie usually face in a game or year? 


For a typical game a goalie will face about 30 shots per game. It is considered high for a goalie to face 40 or more shots and low if it is around 20.

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