SOG Hockey: What does SOG mean in Hockey? Explained with Stats!

If you look at the hockey statistics, you will find a lot of abbreviations. It is essential to know what an abbreviation means to understand these stats. One of the ice hockey abbreviations you frequently see is SOG or S. This abbreviation is there not only on the scoreboard but also in the statistics of the individual players. 

So, what does SOG mean in hockey? SOG stands for “shots on goal”. The SOG statistic tracks how many shots a player or a team has taken or a goalie has faced. If a goalie stops such a puck which would have been a goal, the shot on the puck is counted.

There will be no shot on goal if the puck has missed the net or hit the post only. A shot on goal is registered only when a shot would have been scored into a goal had it not been stopped by the goalie. If the player succeeds in scoring, a shot on goal is considered. 

Is a specific type of shot required to count?

The only determining factor for this stat to be counted is that either the goalie has saved a goal or the player has scored the goal.

sog in hockey

SOG does not consider the position of the shot or the difficulty with which a player has shot it. So, it does not matter if the shot came slowly to the goal or came with lightning speed. If it was a goal, it adds to the shot-on-goal statistic.

Similarly, it is difficult for the goalie to save some shots, but he succeeds. In that case,  there might be some difficulty in judging those shots.

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

In a usual game, players may take 0-8 shots. Players like the defensemen or those playing on the fourth lines may have zero shots in a game, while the top category players can have 5-8 shots in a single game, which is a maximum. Players do not have more than eight shots usually in a  game.

Players with the most SOG (NHL Season – 2022-2023)

Below is the list of the top 10 players with the most shots on goals (SOG) of the NHL season 2022-2023.

RankPlayerTeamGames PlayedShots on Goal (SOG)
1David PastrnakBOS42211
2Timo MeierSJS44199
3Alex OvechkinWSH45198
4Jack HughesNJD43192
5Roman JosiNSH42183
6Connor McDavidEDM45183
7Brady TkachukOTT42180
8Auston MathewsTOR42176
9Jason RobertsonDAL44176
10Tage ThompsonBUF41176

Teams with the most SOG (NHL Season – 2022-2023)

Below is the list of the top 10 teams with the most shots on goals (SOG) of the NHL season 2022-2023. (source)

RankTeamGames PlayedShots on GoalsSOGShots Per Game
1Florida Panthers44157535.80
2Carolina Hurricanes44157135.70
3Calgary Flames44153434.86
4Los Angeles Kings46149732.54
5New Jersey Devils43148434.51
6Edmonton Oilers45147932.87
7New York Rangers44144832.91
8Boston Bruins42144334.36
9Vegas Golden Knights44142732.43
10Washington Capitals45142031.56
Teams with the most SOG (NHL Season – 2022-2023)

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

The goalies have one of the critical positions in ice hockey games, and they have to face a lot of shots. Usually, in any ordinary game, the goalies face up to 30 shots in the game. Forty shots are a  maximum, while twenty are considered too low.

Why is SOG tracking important?

Besides goals, shots on goals (SOG) are also more critical, being the success predictor than goals. SOG tracking helps coaches check a player’s performance and how well their offensive players perform.

importance of sog in hockey

If an offensive player does not have good SOG, then it is an indicator for the coaches that he is not shooting the puck on the goal net in the game, and there is a need to change the offensive player or make improvements to that player. Hence SOG helps in uplifting and improving individual performance.

Hence higher SOG means the team is playing a very offensive game. A team that outshoots the opposing team and does more shots is more likely to score goals throughout the season.

Aside from offensive checking of offensive players, SOG also determines the opposing team’s defence. This means if a team has a higher SOG and still does not succeed in scoring a goal, then that means the opposing team’s goalie is strong and bravely defending his net. And at that time, coaches need to devise a strategy to break the other team’s defence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do blocked shots come in SOG? 

Yes, any shot played by a player on nets and then blocked by any opponent will count as SOG.

How are save and SOG different?

A SOG is whenever a shot hits on goal regardless of whether it results in a goal. While a SAVE is whenever a goaltender stops the puck from going into the net is called SAVE.

Does a penalty shot count as a SOG?

No, a penalty shot is not taken as SOG – shot on goal in ice hockey. SOG is only tracked during overtime and regulation, not when there is a penalty shot or shootout.

Conclusion

And this information is all about the shots on goal or the SOG. It is the SOG that makes an ice hockey game interesting. You either save a goal or you miss it. That is the simple definition of SOG.

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