NHL Stats Explained

Know your PIM from your GT. An explanation of NHL stats & all hockey statistics.

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 of us can guess what "G" or "A" indicate. But "SPCT" is likely to be mystery. And how many fans can figure out a goalie's save percentage or goals-against average?

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

Full NHL Coverage From About Sports

POS
Player position. The possible 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.
Note: Goals scored during a shootout do not count towards a player's goal total.

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. See an explanation of plus minus.

PIM
Penalty minutes.

PP
Power play goals.

SH
Short-handed goals.

Evgeni Malkin Backhand Spin-O-Rama Goal

GW
Game-winning goals. After the final score has been determinded, the goal which leaves the winning team one goal ahead of its opponent is the game-winning goal (example: if Team A beats Team B 8-3, the player scoring the fourth goal for Team A receives credit for the game-winning goal).


Note: Goals scored during a shootout are not credited as game-winning goals.

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.

Next page: NHL Stats for goalies.

On the previous page we dealt with statistics compiled for forwards and defensemen. Goaltenders, of course, 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.


Note: As of the 2005-06 NHL season, a goalie is credited with a loss only if the game is lost in regulation time.

T
Ties.
A goaltender receives a tie if he is on the ice when the game-tying goal is scored.
(As of the 2005-06 season, ties have been eliminated in the NHL.)

OT
Overtime or shootout losses.
As of the 2005-06 NHL season, a goalie is credited with an "OT" if he is on the ice when the opposing team scores the game-winning goal in overtime or during a shootout.

GA
Goals against.
- Empty net goals do not count towards a goaltender's goals against.
- Goals scored during a shootout do not count towards a goaltender's goals against.

SA
Shots against.

GAA
Goals-against average.
Find out how goals-against average is calculated.

S
Saves.

SV PCT or SV%
Save percentage.
Find out how save percentage is calculated.

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.

Previous page: NHL Stats for forwards and defensemen.