A shot on goal is a shot that will enter the goal if it is not stopped by the goaltender. A shot on goal must result in either a goal or a save.
Every goal and every save count as shots on goal. This leads to an exception to the definition of a shot on goal. If the ball or puck hits the goal post or crossbar, ricochets off the goaltender, and into the net, it is a goal, and therefore a shot on goal, with the exception of NHL or ice hockey. However, had the goaltender not been present, the shot in question would not have resulted in a goal, and therefore would not be counted as a shot on goal.
In the NHL, a shot that is deflected wide or blocked before it reaches the goaltender is not counted as a shot on goal.
Shots that sail wide or high of the net and shots that hit the goal post or crossbar are not considered shots on goal, but are scored as shots. If a goaltender blocks a shot that would have missed the net or hit the post, it is not considered a shot on goal. It is the judgment of the official which shots are counted as shots on goal. Additionally, attempted shots that go wide are not recorded as an official statistic in the NHL, so shots on goal are often referred to simply as shots in that league
The statistical category that tracks shots on goal is abbreviated SOG. In a typical NHL game, each team will get close to 30 shots on goal.
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