NHL Stats and Acronyms

Pro Hockey's Mysterious Statistics Sheet Explained

NHL goalie save
Goalie Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens makes a save in an NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on March 4, 2017. Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

The NHL stats sheet can be confusing for new fans. Some numbers are obvious -- most fans can guess what "G" or "A" indicates. But "SPCT" is likely to be a mystery for those who are new to the game. Statistics such as a goalie's save percentage or goals-against average can also be confusing.

This quick list of hockey stat sheet abbreviations and explanations will help you survive the season.

Forwards and Defensemen

Forwards and defensemen, all the position players who are not goaltenders, have their own set of statistics and acronyms.

Even the specific positions they play are denoted by a one- or two-letter acronym, as explained below.

  • POS - player position. The positions are C (center), LW (left wing), RW (right wing), D (defense) or G (goaltender).
  • NO - player jersey number
  • GP - games played
  • G - goals. A goal is awarded to the last player on the scoring team to touch the puck prior to the puck entering the net.
  • A - assists. An assist is awarded to the player or players (maximum of two) who touch the puck prior to the goal, provided no defender plays or possesses the puck in between.
  • P or PTS - points; the sum total of goals and assists
  • +/- - plus-minus
  • PIM - penalty minutes
  • PP - power play goals
  • SH - short-handed goals
  • GW - game-winning goals. After the final score has been determined, the goal that leaves the winning team one goal ahead of its opponent is the game-winning goal.
  • S - shots on goal. If a player shoots the puck with the intention of scoring and if that shot would have gone in the net had the goaltender not stopped it, the shot is recorded as a shot on goal.
  • PCT or SPCT - shooting percentage. Divide the number of goals scored by the number of shots taken.
  • ESP - points scored at even strength
  • SHP - points scored while short-handed
  • PPP - points scored on the power play
  • HmP - points scored on home ice
  • RdP - points scored on the road
  • DvP - points scored against teams within the division
  • ODvP - points scored against teams outside the division
  • P/G - average points scored per game
  • SHFT - average number of shifts per game
  • ATOI - average time on ice per game
  • FW - faceoffs won
  • FL - faceoffs lost
  • FWP or FWPCT - percentage of faceoffs won

Goaltenders

Goaltenders have their own package of numbers. Here are the hockey stats most commonly used to evaluate a goalie's performance.

  • GP - games played
  • W - wins. A goaltender receives a win if he is on the ice when his team scores the game-winning goal.
  • L - losses. A goaltender receives a loss if he is on the ice when the opposing team scores the game-winning goal.
  • T ties. A goaltender receives a tie if he is on the ice when the game-tying goal is scored.
  • OT - overtime or shootout losses
  • GA - goals against. Empty-net goals do not count toward a goaltender's goals against.
  • SA - shots against
  • GAA - goals-against average
  • S - saves
  • SV PCT or SV% - save percentage
  • SO - shutouts. If two goaltenders combine for a shutout, neither receives credit for the shutout. Instead, it is recorded as a team shutout. If a regular season game is tied 0-0 at the end of overtime, both goaltenders are credited with a shutout, regardless of how many goals are scored in the shootout.
  • PIM - penalty minutes