In ice hockey, points occur when a player scores a goal. Goals happen when the puck goes into the goal area on the ice. For a point to count, the puck must go under the top bar of the goal, between the two posts of the goal, and across the goal line. The puck may also have to make it past the goalie too.
But how exactly does a goal occur in a hockey game? And what happens if the puck stops directly on the goal line? Some fans may wonder just how vital assists are or what a goal violation is.
Here is the complete breakdown of ice hockey scoring.
How Does a Goal Occur in a Hockey Game?
Three primary qualifications must occur for a play to be a goal and for points to go to a team in hockey. First, the puck must pass under the top bar of the goal, also called the crossbar. No points occur if the puck stops before it crosses the crossbar.
Second, the puck must pass between the two posts on either side of the goal. If the puck sails by outside of these posts to the end of the rink, no points will be awarded.
And third, the puck must cross the goal line. Anything short of those results in a missed goal and a missed opportunity at points.
What Happens if the Puck Is on the Goal Line in the Net?
The puck must cross the goal line for points for the offensive team. No points occur if the puck stops short of the goal line. Also, if the puck stops directly on top of the goal line, there will be no points in this case.
Even a tiny portion of the puck cannot be resting on the line. If this is the case, there are still no points awarded. Once the entire puck crosses the goal line, the team scores a point.
How Many Goals Occur During an Average NHL Game?
Within the 2021-22 National Hockey League season, an average of 3.14 goals occurs for each team per game, which means about six goals per game. During this season, the leader for the number of goals was Auston Matthews, with the Toronto Maple Leafs with 60.
However, it is essential to remember that scoring goals are not the only way a player can earn points for their stats. The points leader for the 2021-22 NHL season was Connor McDavid, with 123 total points scored.
What is a Goal Violation in Hockey?
Sometimes, getting the puck into the goal is not good enough to count as an actual goal when a violation occurs. When a goal violation occurs, the referee may wave off a goal, which no longer counts as a score. For instance, players may not use their skates to kick the puck into the goal. Kicking the puck is a goal violation and will not count, even if it is a slight kick from their skate. However, this goal will be if the player is stationary when the puck bounces off their skate.
Another goal violation occurs when the scoring team interferes with the goaltender. A skater can also not score a goal if their hockey stick is higher than the crossbars of the goal when it hits the puck. Having your hockey stick above the crossbars is a high stick infraction and counts as a goal violation.
If the puck hits the referee before it skates into the goal, the point will not count, and a goal violation occurs. Finally, the last example of a goal violation is if the puck has not crossed the goal line before the period expires. If it did not, there is no point awarded.
Are Assists Important in Hockey?
Though assists will technically not add points for a team, they will add points to that individual player’s stat sheet. An assist in the National Hockey League is worth the same amount as a goal toward a player’s point total. That is why there can be different leaders for goals and points in the stats.
An assist credit can only go up to two players at most for each goal. These must be hockey players who touched the puck before the scorer. This rule benefits the stat sheets of goalies, who might not see any points awarded to them without it.
If two hockey players receive an assist credit for the same goal, one will get the primary assist, and the other will get the secondary assist. The primary assist goes to the hockey player who most recently passed the puck.
How Does the Point System Work in the NHL?
Within the National Hockey League, a point system helps determine a team’s placement in the standings. There are two ways to earn points within this point system. First, a regulation win during the regular season will result in that team earning two points in the standings. Sudden death overtime wins, or shootout wins also earn that team two points.
A regulation loss will result in that team earning zero points, though if a team experiences an overtime loss or a shootout loss, that team will earn one point in the NHL standings. At the end of the season, the three teams in each division with the most points will automatically make the playoffs.
Conclusion: How Does Scoring Work in Hockey?
In conclusion, scoring in hockey is fairly straightforward: the puck must enter the goal and pass the goal line to be considered a goal. The puck cannot stop on the goal line, and no goal violations may occur. Several goal violations may occur, including a hockey player using their skates to kick the puck into the goal. Another goal violation is when a hockey player interferes with the goaltender.
An average of about six goals took place in the 2021 season. Each team had over three goals per game, which comes out to a total of six per match. Assists are also points, which explains why there are sometimes different leaders for goals and points.
The National Hockey League uses a point system to determine which teams will make the playoffs. The winning team will be awarded points at the end of each game, and the opposing team will only be awarded points in the case of a shootout or overtime. It is important to keep all of this in mind if you want to be the one to make a power play during your next faceoff.