A statistic in hockey that is awarded when a shot that a player takes or a redirection of the puck towards goal resulting in the puck either being stopped by the goaltender or the puck beating the goaltender and a goal is scored. Shots on goal by an individual player and for a team as a whole are counted and kept as a statistic during every NHL game played, whether a pre-season, a regular season or a playoff game.
Not every shot directed towards the net is a shot on goal. For example, a shot that is intended towards goal but is blocked by an opponent is not a shot on goal. Any shot that is intended towards the net but misses the net or hits the posts or the crossbar is also not counted as a shot on goal. The shots on goal statistic allows for the calculation of many other NHL statistics. For example, to calculate a player's shooting percentage (a statistic measuring a player's shooting efficiency), the number of goals scored by that player is divided by the total number of shots on goal and multiplied by 100 to return a percentage. A goaltender's save percentage, one of the most important goaltender statistics, is also calculated by dividing the number of saves made over the total number of shots on goal faced.
The player who holds the NHL record for most shots on goal in a season is Phil Esposito with 550 (1970-71 season).