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What is Deflection?

A shot that changes direction because of the puck making contact with a player or a piece of equipment, for example a stick or skate. Deflections account for a significant number of goals in hockey. Deflected shots may be the most difficult shots for a goaltender to stop because of the unexpected trajectory a deflected puck can take.

Sporting Charts explains Deflection

In power play situations, attacking players will purposely stand in front of the goal to deflect the shots taken by their teammates. In the traditional five-man power play formation, one player - usually a big winger - will stand in front of the net, using their size to block the goaltender's vision and their stick to deflect shots. The presence of that player will draw the attention of a defender, creating more traffic in front of the net and increasing the possibility of a deflection when a shot is headed towards the goal.

The most unusual goals in hockey are scored as the result of deflections; goals have been scored as a result of pucks deflecting off the boards, off the glass, off the goaltender's mask, off players' helmets and even off players' faces.

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