What does SOG mean in hockey? (Explained)

Hockey is a sport played by two teams of five players each. The objective of the game is to score goals by shooting the puck into the opponent’s goal.

The term SOG stands for shoot on goal. It is a metric used to track the amount of shots a player or a team has on goal. Additionally, SOG can be used to determine how many shots a goalie faces.

What is considered a shot on goal?

By definition, a shot is only considered a shot on goal if the shot:

a) Goes into the net

b) Is on net and forces the goalie to make the save.

A puck that is sent on net without the intention of scoring, as the result of a player dumping in the puck for example, will not be registered as a shot on goal.

Furthermore, if a player shoots the puck, and it’s going wide of the net, but the goalie decides to jump in front of it and make the save, it is not registered as a shot on goal.

Average number of shots on goal per game

During the 2020-21 NHL season, the average number of shots on goal per game was 29.8 per team. This means there was an average of roughly 60 shots per game between both teams on the ice.

On any given night, it is not uncommon for a player to register between 1-5 shots on goal by themselves.

Shots on goal leader

The player in the NHL who had the most shots on goal during the 2020-21 NHL season was Auston Matthews. Matthews led the league with 222 shots in 52 games. That’s an average of 4 shots per game!

Team with the most shots on goal

The Florida Panthers lead the National Hockey League for shots on goal last season with 1,954 shots on goal over the course of 56 games. That’s an average of 35 shots per game, good for roughly 5 shots above league average!

Shots on goal standings (2020-21 season)

Players

TeamPlayerGamesShots on goalper game
Toronto Maple LeafsAuston Matthews522224.2
Ottawa SenatorsBrady Tkachuk562203.9
Colorado AvalancheNathan Mackinnon482064.2
Edmonton OilersConnor McDavid562003.5
San Jose SharksEvander Kane561943.4
Chicago BlackhawksPatrick Kane561913.4
Boston BruinsPatrice Bergeron541823.3
Washington CapitalsAlex Ovechkin451824
Carolina HurricanesDougie Hamilton551803.2
Colorado AvalancheMikko Rantanen521773.4

Due to games lost, Nathan Mackinnon does have fewer shots than Auston Matthews, however they are tied for most shots per game in the league.

Teams

TeamShots on goalShots per game
Florida Panthers195434.89
Colorado Avalanche193734.58
Boston Bruins186633.32
Vegas Golden Knights182932.66
Carolina Hurricanes179432.03
Toronto Maple Leafs175131.26
Montreal Canadiens174631.17
Dallas Stars169930.33
Tampa Bay Lightning169230.21
Philadelphia Flyers169230.21

All data provided by hockey-reference.com

 Why are shots on goal important tracked?

It’s important that shots on goal is a tracked statistics because it provides use with a piece of the puzzle that can show how productive an offensive player was offensively on any given night.

If a player comes out of a game with, let’s say, 4 shots, it’s a good indicator that they had the puck on their stick for much of the night.

Keep in mind, you wouldn’t use shots on goal to evaluate a more defensive minded player.

Shots on goal is also a variable in hockey fantasy contest scoring. For example, if a player in your lineup on a given night registers 5 or more shots on DraftKings, you obtain the 5 shot bonus which can help you win a contest.


Enjoy the post? You may be interested in learning what PPD means in hockey.

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What’s up! I’m Shayne, and I’ve been immersed in the world of winter sports since before I could walk. My dad was a hockey player who had a passion for snowmobiling, which he passed down to me, and my mom was a figure skater who loved to take us on snowboarding and skiing trips as kids. Safe to say, I’ve learned so much about most winter sports over the years and have a passion for passing on my knowledge to others, as my parents did with me.