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Shot

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A shot in hockey is an attempt by a player to score a goal by striking the puck with his stick in the direction of the net. There are four basic types of shots in ice hockey:

  • The shovel shot is the simplest most basic shot in a shooter's arsenal. It's execution is simply a shoveling motion to push the puck in the desired direction (be it on the forehand, backhand, or in a spearing motion). Players typically resort to shovelling the puck to push loose pucks past a sprawling, or out-of-position goaltender.
  • The wrist shot is executed by positioning the puck toward the middle of the blade. From that position the shooter rolls his back wrist quickly, while thurusting the puck forward with the bottom hand. As the blade propels the puck forward the movement of the wrist rolls the puck toward the end of the blade, causing the puck to spin. The tightness of the spin of the puck has an effect much like the spin a quarterback puts on his football pass, resulting in more accuracy. The puck is aimed with the follow-through of the shot, and will typically fly perfectly in the direction of the extension of the stick, resulting in an extremely accurate shot. NHL players most known for their wrist-shot include Petr Nedved, Luc Robitaille, Teemu Selanne, Joe Sakic, and Pavel Datsyuk.
  • The snap shot is a combination of both the slap-shot and the wrist shot. The shooter begins by cocking the stick back like a slap-shot (however with not such an exaggerated motion), and finishes with a flicking of the wrist like a wrist shot. The resulting shot has more speed than a wrist shot, while increasing the time it takes to release the shot, balancing it's effectiveness. NHL players noted for their snap-shot include Wayne Gretzky, Pavel Bure, Paul Kariya, Patrik Elias, and Alexei Kovalev.
  • The slapshot is the hardest yet most telegraphed shot. The player draws his stick back away from the puck, then forcefully brings it forward to strike the puck. The height and postitioning of the follow-through determines the trajectory of the puck. NHL players most known for their slap-shot include:Ilya Kovalchuk, Brett Hull, Sheldon Souray,Al MccInis, and Mike Modano.
  • The backhand shot is a wrist shot released from the back of the blade, and on the player's backhand. This shot is not as powerful or accurate as any of the other shots, but often comes unexpectedly. Backhand shots are primarily taken close to the goal. NHL players known for their backhand-shot include: Pavel Bure, Luc Robitaille, Mark Messier, Marian Hossa, and Phil Esposito.
  • The one-timer can be any of the above shots, when fired in a continuous motion off an incomming pass. One player passes the puck to another, and while the pass is incomming the player chooses not to stop the puck, instead firing it as it reaches the shooter. This is the lowest accuracy shot, but makes up for it in the difficulty it creates for a goaltender to properly position himself to defend against it. Due to the elasticity of the rubber (albeit frozen) puck, it can also generate significantly more energy, giving it more speed, and faster elevation. When executed as a slap-shot (also called a one-time-slapshot) and finding it's way into the goal, it's often known as a "goal-scorers goal" due to the difficulty of the timing and placement of the shot. NHL players known for their one-timers include: Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull, Pavel Bure, Illya Kovalchuk, Paul Kariya, Joe Sakic, and Mats Sundin.

A count of how many shots are taken by a team is kept and this is often used as rough guide to which team is being more aggressive and dominant. A scoring attempt in hockey (as opposed to soccer) is officially counted as a shot only when it is directed on goal, resulting in a goal or requiring the goaltender to make a save. This is called a shot on goal. The numbers of shots and saves in a game are especially relevant to goaltenders, whose save percentage is based on how many shots did not get past them. The number of shots taken by skaters and the percentage on which they score is also measured, but these numbers are generally given less weight.

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