Scoring in hockey is a thrilling experience that fans and players alike look forward to. For those who are new to the game, understanding how points are earned can be confusing. Even seasoned players may feel there’s more to learn when it comes to scoring.
Learning the secrets of scoring in hockey involves more than just having good aim or strength. There are strategies and techniques involved that make all the difference between success and failure on the ice. Whether you’re an aspiring player wanting to sharpen your skills, or simply a fan interested in the intricacies of the sport, this guide will help demystify the process.
“The greatest hockey players know how to effectively get points regardless of their position on the ice.” -Wayne Gretzky
In this article, we’ll explore some of the fundamental ways to score in hockey, including goals, assists, and penalty shots. We’ll also discuss the role of various positions on the team and how they influence point-scoring opportunities. Understanding the key factors that contribute to earning points not only makes the game more enjoyable but could also give you a competitive edge.
Are you ready to increase your knowledge of the beloved national winter sport? Let’s lace up our skates and hit the rink!
The Basics of Hockey Points
Understanding the Point System
In hockey, points are used to determine a team’s standing in the league standings. The point system rewards teams for winning games and losing games in overtime or shootouts.
Each game is worth two points, with one point awarded to the winner and no points awarded to the loser. If the game is tied at the end of regulation time, both teams earn one point and the game proceeds to overtime or a shootout format.
The team that wins in the overtime or shootout format is awarded an additional point. This point is referred to as the “overtime loss” or “shootout loss” point, respectively.
How Points are Awarded
To understand how points are awarded, it is important to know that there are three types of player positions in hockey: forwards, defensemen, and goaltenders. Each position has different ways of earning points.
- Forwards: Forwards are known for their offensive skills and typically earn the most points on a team. They earn points by scoring goals and assisting in goal-scoring plays. A goal earns the scorer one point, while an assist earns the player one-half point.
- Defensemen: Defensemen play a more defensive role but can also contribute to their team’s offense. They earn points by scoring goals and assisting in goal-scoring plays. A goal earns the scorer one point, while an assist earns the player one-half point.
- Goaltenders: Goaltenders have a unique way of earning points. In addition to making saves and preventing goals from being scored against their team, they can also be credited with an assist if they pass the puck to a teammate who then scores a goal. A goaltender cannot score a goal and earn points for themselves.
It is important to note that not all players on a team will earn points in every game. Players must actively participate in goal-scoring plays to be credited with a point, and some games may not have any goals scored by the player’s team.
“In hockey, everyone knows that stats can be deceiving at times.” – Wayne Gretzky
The point system in hockey has been in place since the 1999-2000 NHL season, where it replaced the previous system of ties. The purpose of this change was to create more exciting and competitive games by incentivizing teams to win in regulation time rather than playing conservatively for a tie.
Winning a game earns a team two points, losing in overtime or shootout earns them one point, and losing in regulation earns them zero points. Players earn points by scoring goals or assisting in goal-scoring plays, with forwards typically earning the most points.
Scoring Goals and Assists
Goal Scoring Points
In hockey, a point is awarded to the player or players who score goals during the game. When the puck crosses the goal line completely between the posts, it is counted as a goal. The player who scores the goal receives one point added to their personal stats. However, if someone else on the team assisted in setting up the goal, they also get a point.
The NHL has two types of goals: an even strength goal and a power-play goal. An even strength goal refers to a goal scored by both sides when they have an equal number of players on the ice. In comparison, a power-play goal happens when there are more defenders than attackers following a penalty. They happen when the attacking team takes advantage of the extra man (or woman), leading them to be more likely to score a goal. This distinction affects how many points each player gets:
- An even-strength goal will secure one point for the scorer and potentially another point for the assistant(s).
- If it were a power-play goal, the point goes solely to the person who scored; the assistants do not receive any additional points.
An assist is a pass that directly leads to a goal. If one or multiple assists led to a goal being scored by a teammate, then they shall be given a point toward their stat totals. Similarly, like with goals, there are differences depending on game circumstances.
A primary assist counts for scoring situations where the assisting passer makes the most significant play leading to the goal. At the same time, various other assist types can come into play, such as secondary and tertiary assists based on involvement. The breakdown within different teams may also vary. Still, typically a scoring player’s primary assist will account for one point while secondary and tertiary assists will not towards the individual scorer’s stats.
“Scoring is always fun; it’s great to get that feeling of having helped the team out.” – Dustin Byfuglien
In hockey games scoring goals and obtaining assists are counted toward players’ stat totals. An even-strength goal adds a plus-one to both the goal scorer’s personal stats and up top two assisting players, if any. However, with power-play goals, only the goal scorer can receive full points added to their record. Additionally, passing assists can lead to different points assigned based on how significant each was to enabling the score. Despite these intricacies, Hockey fans agree that seeing your favorite player or team obtain new scoring milestones throughout the season is always exciting!
Power Play Points
What are Power Play Points?
In hockey, a power play occurs when one team has fewer players on the ice due to penalties. When a team is on a power play, they have an advantage and are more likely to score. A player who gains points during a power play is awarded with a “power play point.”
A power play point is given to a player who either scores or assists in a goal while their team is on a power play. This statistic can be used to demonstrate a player’s ability to perform under pressure, as well as their importance to their team’s success on the power play.
How Power Play Points are Awarded
The concept of power play points is relatively simple – they are awarded to players who contribute towards goals scored by their team while on a power play. However, there are certain nuances that determine how these points are distributed.
Firstly, a player must have been on the ice during the power play for at least one of the two minutes before a goal was scored. If a goal is scored within the first 15 seconds of a power play, only the players on the ice during those 15 seconds will receive a power play point.
Furthermore, if multiple players from the scoring team were on the ice during the power play, then all players who directly contributed with a goal or assist will receive a power play point. For example, if Player A passes to Player B who subsequently scores a goal during a power play, both players are awarded with a power play point.
“The power play is such a crucial part of the game nowadays, so having guys who can create opportunities and put pucks in the net is so important.” -Duncan Keith
In addition to scoring goals and contributing assists, players can also receive power play points for secondary assists. Secondary assists occur when a player contributes to the buildup to a goal, but not directly. For example, if Player A passes to Player B who then passes to Player C as they score on a power play, both Player A and Player B will receive a power play point.
It’s worth noting that only one power play point is awarded per goal scored during a power play. This means that even if three players were involved in a single goal, only three total power play points will be distributed (one each).
“The most important thing about a power play is that it builds momentum.” -Brett Hull
Power play points serve as an important statistic in evaluating individual performance and contribution towards their team’s success on the power play. By understanding how these points are awarded, hockey fans can gain further insight into which players are truly making a difference while their team has the man-advantage.
What are Shorthanded Points?
Shorthanded points in hockey refer to the number of goals or assists a team scores while playing with one fewer player than their opponents. These points define a statistic calculated for each game and can be essential for players as they accumulate statistics throughout their career.
In most cases, shorthanded points foster an environment of cooperation among teammates, creating scoring opportunities when it is least expected. Skilled teams use this time to create high-pressure situations forcing mistakes from their opposition. When achieved successfully, it results in a quick-response shot on goal contributing towards the team’s performance.
How Shorthanded Points are Awarded
When a short-handed situation occurs, teams will fight hard to keep possession of the puck and clear it away from their zone, preventing their opposition from taking advantage of the powerplay. In some scenarios where the defensive team efficiently maintains the puck, they might even have a chance to make a move that leads to a counter-attack play onto the other end of the ice.
Shorthanded points come into play when a person on the defensive side either scores a goal or contributes to one by assisting his teammate score a point during a penalty kill. Similar to regular goals and assists, these points help improve a player’s overall statistics, strengthening their position both physically and figuratively in the league.
“A Shorthanded tally speaks volumes about the caliber of player you’re facing against,but similarly highlights the importance of teamwork and discipline needed to achieve your own successes” – PK Subban
To receive a shorthanded point, there must not only be a successful defense effort but also quick thinking and communication amongst teammates. Professional athletes trains extensively and work towards perfecting positional skills, footwork and knowledge of the game to achieve shorthanded points that will differentiate them from their competition.
Shorthanded points not only reflect on a specific game but also show how successful a player or team is throughout each regular season. It can be challenging to know when the stars might align so perfectly as they did during one impressive play. But it takes those who are quick on their skates, making split-second decisions, and able to capitalize on every opportunity given to become an elite level player and consistently make significant contributions towards team performance.
Regular Season Overtime Points
In the National Hockey League (NHL), teams earn two points for a win, one point for an overtime or shootout loss, and zero points for a regulation loss. In the regular season, if a game remains tied after three periods (60 minutes), the game goes into overtime.
Overtime in the regular season is five-on-five hockey played in a sudden death format. The first team to score wins, and the winning team earns two points while the losing team earns one point.
“They matter a lot because it’s so tight,” said Tampa Bay forward Anthony Cirelli about earning overtime points. “At the end of the year, you look at the standings and see how many games we went into OT or the shootout.”
Playoff Overtime Points
In the NHL playoffs, overtime rules differ from those in the regular season. There are no shootouts, and every game must have a winner. If a playoff game is tied after three periods, the game enters sudden death overtime until one team scores a goal and is declared the winner.
Unlike in the regular season, there is no point awarded to the losing team in the playoffs. Instead, the winning team gets two points towards their overall playoff record.
“There is nothing better than scoring a big goal in overtime in the playoffs,” said former NHL player Jeremy Roenick. “It’s not as simple as putting the puck in the net. You need that split-second timing to connect with your linemates, and it’s often a grueling shift.”
If the game remains tied after overtime during the regular season, the game proceeds to a shootout. Each team selects three skaters to take penalty shots against the opposing goaltender. The team with the most goals after these three rounds earns an additional point on top of the one already earned for reaching overtime.
If the game remains tied after three rounds, a sudden death shootout continues until one team scores and wins the game. The winning team earns two points in total while the losing team earns one.
“Shootouts are tough because anything can happen,” said Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg. “You practice all kinds of moves and try to read the goalie, but it’s still unpredictable.”
The NHL introduced regular season three-on-three overtime play during the 2015-16 season as a means of increasing scoring chances and reducing games that end up going into shootouts.
During this format, each team plays with three skaters and their respective goaltenders. If a team scores within the five-minute period, they earn two points, and the losing team earns none. However, if no goal is scored, both teams earn one point towards their overall record.
“Three-on-three is exciting because of the open ice,” said Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly. “It’s such a different look for players and gives us the chance to express ourselves creatively.”In conclusion, there are several ways to earn points in hockey depending on whether it’s the regular season or playoffs. Teams can earn two points for a win, one point for an overtime or shootout loss, or zero points for a regulation loss. During overtime in the regular season, the first team to score wins, and the winning team gets two points while the losing team gets one. In playoff games, there are no shootouts, and every game must have a winner. The team that scores the winning goal gets two points towards their overall playoff record. Shootouts and three-on-three play are additional ways to earn points depending on whether it’s the regular season or playoffs.
The Importance of Points in Hockey
Points are everything in hockey. Whether you’re a player on the ice or a fan watching from the stands, points determine standings, recognition, and playoff qualification.
A team’s standing is determined by the number of points they’ve earned throughout the season. In the National Hockey League (NHL), teams earn two points for a win and one point for an overtime loss or shootout loss.
A team’s position within their conference is based on their total points earned. The team with the most points at the end of the season earns the top position and the title of conference champion. This means home-ice advantage for that team during playoffs.
“We play to win, just one more game than our opponent. That’s what we strive for.” -Mike Babcock, former NHL coach
The importance of each game in the regular season cannot be overstated. Every point matters when it comes to positioning in the standings.
Hockey players are often judged by the amount of points they earn in a season. A player earns a point by either scoring a goal or assisting another player’s goal.
Players who consistently rack up points are recognized as offensive threats. These players are highly valued by coaches and fans alike for their ability to put the puck in the net or provide crucial passes to other players on their team.
“A scorer does not create goals alone, he uses his skill.” -Wayne Gretzky, NHL legend
Scoring leaders are awarded accolades like the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for most goals in a season and the Art Ross Trophy for the most overall points in a season. Getting recognized for individual performance can lead to personal endorsements and higher salaries for players.
The ultimate goal for any NHL team is to make it to the playoffs. Playoff qualification is determined by a team’s final point total at the end of the regular season.
Out of 31 teams in the NHL, sixteen qualify for the playoffs: eight from each conference. The top three teams within each division automatically earn a playoff spot. The remaining two spots go to the teams with the highest points earned regardless of their position in the standings.
“In hockey, it doesn’t matter how many shots you get – it’s how many go in.” -Unknown
With such high stakes, every game during the regular season counts. Teams must earn as many points as possible to ensure they get a shot at the Cup.
Points are crucial in determining success in hockey. Not only do they determine a team’s standing and playoff qualification, but they also recognize individual player achievement. So whether you’re a fan or a player, always remember that every point matters!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you score a goal in hockey?
To score a goal in hockey, the puck must cross the goal line between the two goal posts and under the crossbar. A player can shoot, deflect, or redirect the puck into the net using their stick or any part of their body except their hand. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins.
What is considered a point in hockey?
A point in hockey is awarded to a player who scores a goal or assists on a goal. The player who scores the goal is awarded one point, while the player who assists on the goal is awarded one point as well. Points are used to track a player’s offensive production throughout the season, and are often used to determine award winners and All-Star selections.
Can a player get multiple points on one play?
Yes, a player can get multiple points on one play. For example, if a player scores a goal and is assisted by two other players, they would be awarded two points for the goal. Alternatively, if a player scored a hat trick (three goals in one game), they would be awarded three points for the goals.
Are there different ways to get a point in hockey?
Yes, there are different ways to get a point in hockey. In addition to scoring a goal or assisting on a goal, a player can also be awarded a point for a shootout goal or shootout assist. Additionally, goaltenders can be awarded a point for an assist on a goal scored by their team.
How do assists contribute to a player’s points in hockey?
Assists contribute to a player’s points in hockey by adding one point to their season total. If a player assists on a goal, they are awarded one point, and if they score a goal, they are awarded one point as well. Assists are an important statistic in hockey because they measure a player’s ability to create scoring opportunities for their teammates.