Shot (ice hockey)

A shot in ice hockey is an attempt by a player to score a goal by striking or snapping the puck with their stick in the direction of the net.

Types of shots

There are four basic types of shots in ice hockey.


The shovel shot (also referred to as a flip shot) is the simplest and most basic shot in a shooter's arsenal. Its execution is simply a shoveling motion to push the puck in the desired direction, or a flick of the puck (be it on the forehand, backhand, or in a spearing motion). Players typically resort to shovelling the puck to push loose pucks past a sprawling, or out-of-position goaltender.


The wrist shot is executed by positioning the puck toward the heel-middle of the blade. From that position the shooter rolls his back wrist quickly, while thrusting the puck forward with the bottom hand. As the blade propels the puck forward the movement of the wrist rolls the puck toward the end of the blade, causing the puck to spin. The tightness of the spin of the puck has an effect much like the spin a quarterback puts on their football pass, resulting in more accuracy. The puck is aimed with the follow-through of the shot, and will typically fly perfectly in the direction of the extension of the stick, resulting in an extremely accurate shot. At the same time, the stick flexes, so the moment the puck is released from the stick, the snap of the stick will propel the puck forward at high speeds. Current and former NHL players known for their wrist-shot include Joe Sakic, Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Auston Matthews, Marián Gáborík, Jeff Carter, Evgeni Malkin, Jack Eichel, Teemu Selänne, Alexei Kovalev, Pavel Datsyuk, Phil Kessel, Wayne Gretzky, Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Peter Forsberg, Sidney Crosby, Artemi Panarin, Markus Näslund and Vladimir Tarasenko.


The snap shot is a combination of both the slap-shot and the wrist shot. The shooter begins by cocking the stick back like a slap-shot (however with not such an exaggerated motion), and finishes with a flicking of the wrist like a wrist shot. The resulting shot has more speed than a wrist shot, while increasing the time it takes to release the shot, balancing its effectiveness. Current and former players noted for their snap-shot include Joe Sakic, Ilya Kovalchuk, Phil Kessel, Thomas Vanek, Nathan Horton, Anže Kopitar, Vincent Lecavalier, Alexander Ovechkin, Mike Bossy, Evgeni Malkin and Dany Heatley. Many consider Joe Sakic to be the father of the modern snapshot, as he demonstrated incredible scoring ability while utilizing this quick-release shot throughout his career. He much preferred it to the wrist shot, which he was less known for. During his career, Phil Kessel has perfected a variation of the snap shot where the player transfers their weight to their "puck foot", or "back foot", and shoot in stride. He has used this to become one of the NHL's most dangerous shooters.


The slapshot is the hardest, yet most telegraphed, shot. The player draws their stick back away from the puck, then forcefully brings it forward to strike the ice just behind the puck (5–10 inches behind puck). This causes energy to be stored in the stick as it flexes against the ice. When the stick finally contacts the puck, the energy stored in the stick is transferred to the puck, providing additional force that would not otherwise be possible by hitting the puck directly. The height and positioning of the follow-through determines the trajectory of the puck. Current and former NHL players known for their slap-shot include Bernard "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, Al MacInnis, Zdeno Chára, Daniel Alfredsson, Ilya Kovalchuk, Dustin Byfuglien, Alexander Ovechkin, Shea Weber, Sami Salo, Mario Lemieux, Guy Lafleur, Christian Ehrhoff, Brian Rolston, Evgeni Malkin, Sheldon Souray, P. K. Subban, Nikita Kucherov, Al Iafrate, Ray Bourque and Jason Garrison.


The backhand shot is a wrist shot released from the back of the blade, and on the player's backhand. This shot is not as powerful or accurate as any of the other shots, but often comes unexpectedly. Players can also take backhand slapshots. Backhand shots are primarily taken close to the goal, and are most commonly used on breakaways. Current and former players known for their backhand-shot include Joe Sakic, Sidney Crosby, Marián Hossa, Milan Hejduk, Patrick Marleau, Mike Richards, Pavel Datsyuk, Paul Stastny, Henrik Zetterberg, Derek Roy, Claude Giroux and Daniel Brière.

Other shots

One timer

The one timer can be any of the above shots, when fired in a continuous motion off an incoming pass. One player passes the puck to another, and while the pass is incoming the player chooses not to stop the puck, instead firing it as it reaches the shooter. This is the lowest accuracy shot, but makes up for it in the difficulty it creates for a goaltender to properly position himself to defend against it. Due to the elasticity of the rubber (albeit frozen) puck, it can also generate significantly more energy, giving it more speed and faster elevation. When executed as a slapshot (also called a one-time-slapshot) and finding its way into the goal, it is often known as a "goal-scorers goal" due to the difficulty of the timing and placement of the shot. Current and NHL players known for their one-timers include Steven Stamkos, Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Nikita Kucherov, Brent Burns, Shea Weber, Brett Hull, P. K. Subban, Evgeni Malkin, Artemi Panarin and Patrik Laine.

Shot on goal

A shot on goal is a scoring attempt. A count of how many shots are taken by a team is kept and this is often used as rough guide to which team is being more aggressive and dominant. A scoring attempt in hockey (as opposed to soccer) is officially counted as a shot only when it is directed on goal, resulting in a goal or requiring the goaltender to make a save. The numbers of shots and saves in a game are especially relevant to goaltenders, whose save percentage is based on how many shots did not get past them. The number of shots taken by skaters and the percentage on which they score is also measured, but these numbers are generally given less weight. Some shots on goal are considered more likely to result in a goal and are called scoring chances.


A deke, short for "decoy", is a feint, a shot, or both, intended to confound a defender. Many players, such as Pavel Datsyuk, Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Evgeni Malkin, Bobby Orr, Gilbert Perreault, Bobby Ryan, Alexei Kovalev, John Tavares, Rick Nash, Artemi Panarin, Denis Savard, Jaromír Jágr, Joe Sakic, Nikita Kucherov, Pavel Bure, Mikael Granlund and Patrick Kane have picked up the skill of "dangling", which is more fancy deking and requires more stick handling skills.


Lacrosse shot, also known as Michigan dangling maneuver, can be considered as a special type of deke. It involves a player flipping the puck on the blade of the stick and then whipping the puck while carrying it on the blade. The shot is rarely witnessed due to its requirement for refined stickhandling skills and vulnerabilities for defensive maneuvers. Advantages of this shot are in an element of surprise and capacity to position the puck accurately in to the top corner from odd angles. Consequently, the lacrosse shot is usually attempted from behind the net by surprising a goaltender from a blindside while using the net as a cover from defense. The shot was first used in 1996 NCAA Tournament by a Michigan player Mike Legg, though the invention of the maneuver has been credited to Bill Armstrong. Since then lacrosse shot has been attempted by players such as Sidney Crosby, Mikael Granlund, Ryan Getzlaf, Tyler Ennis and Miks Indrašis.[1]


Tipping the puck involves positioning oneself in the vicinity of the net and redirecting an incoming shot with, generally, the blade of the stick. The shaft of the stick and even body parts (legs, posterior, chest, back, even head and face) may also alter the trajectory of the puck and result in a valid goal, although scoring this way generally involves as much chance as deliberate effort. Tips careening off an offensive player's skate will count if no deliberate kicking motion was made. At close distance a well-directed tip that maintains some modicum of speed will pass by the goalie and into the net without the keeper having any possibility to react to the change in direction. Proponents of the tip have largely disappeared from today's NHL, although players such as Phil Kessel, Joe Pavelski, Sidney Crosby, James van Riemsdyk and Thomas Vanek still use it. Retired tip specialists include Tim Kerr, Dino Ciccarelli, Joe Nieuwendyk, Dave Andreychuk, Mario Lemieux, Keith Tkachuk, Tomas Holmström, John LeClair and Ryan Smyth.


A player's handedness is determined by which side of their body they hold their stick. A player who shoots left (alternatively called a left-handed shot) holds the stick such that the blade is (normally) to the left of their body, with the left hand on the bottom and the right hand on top; a player who shoots right (a right-handed shot) holds the stick such that the blade is to their right, with the right hand at the bottom and left hand on top. The bottom hand delivers most of the power while the top hand is responsible for control and stickhandling, as well as the "whip" of your shots. Of the 852 players who skated in the 2007–08 NHL regular season, 554 of 852 (65%) shoot left. Many natural right handed players shoot left and vice versa. This is due to the fact that if someone is naturally right handed, they may shoot left because the top hand (right hand on a lefty stick) controls most of the stick's action.


  1. ^ Hruby, Patrick (2010-04-08). "The coolest goal ever scored in hockey". ESPN. Retrieved 2011-05-18.

External links

Backhand (disambiguation)

A backhand is a stroke used in racquet sports, especially tennis.

Backhand may also refer to:

Flying_disc_techniques#Backhand, a form of flying disk throw, used in sports such as Ultimate.

Backhand (comics), a superhero in the Marvel universe

Backhand slapshot, a type of shot in ice hockey

Backhand shot (ice hockey), a shot from outside the hockey stick

Backhanded compliment, an insult disguised as a compliment

Back Hand, a 1974 album by American jazz musician Keith Jarrett

A slap using the back of the hand as opposed to the palm

Backhand shot (ice hockey)

In ice hockey, a backhanded shot (or backhander) is a shot taken from the backside of the blade. This type of shot is often used on breakaways, penalty shots and in shootouts and is used for deking. Compared to a forehand shot, it is less accurate, less powerful, but more confusing to goaltenders. It is also used when a player can not pass the puck to someone who is facing the outside bend of the stick.

The setup of this shot begins with the puck on the backhand heel side of the hockey stick. The puck location at this point will be even with or on the outside of the skate opposite of the intended direction of the shot. There will be a weight transfer from one skate to the other, also in the shot direction, when shot commences. At this time the puck will slide along the blade from the heel towards the toe with the eventual release of the puck toward the net. With a backhand shot it is much easier to release the puck from the middle of the blade, rather than the toe, because when shooting backhand the curve is in the opposite direction. The shooter does have some control over the direction of the backhand shot -- by pointing the stick blade during the follow through, the player can direct the action of the puck. This shot can obviously be used with a straight stick, but can have different shot results.

Breakaway (ice hockey)

A breakaway is a situation in ice hockey in which a player with the puck has no defending players, except for the goaltender, between themselves and the opposing goal, leaving them free to skate in and shoot at will (before the out-of-position defenders can catch them). A breakaway is considered a lapse on the part of the defending team. If a player's progress is illegally impeded by an opposing player or if the goalie throws their stick at the oncoming player, the breakaway player is awarded a penalty shot. If a player faces an empty net (i.e. the opposing team has pulled their goalie) and is illegally impeded by an opposing player, they are automatically awarded a goal for their team instead of taking a penalty shot.

Penalty shot (ice hockey)

In ice hockey, a penalty shot is a type of penalty awarded when a team loses a clear scoring opportunity on a breakaway because of a foul committed by an opposing player. A player from the non-offending team is given an attempt to score a goal without opposition from any defending players except the goaltender. This is the same type of shot used in a shootout to decide games in some leagues.


A slapshot (also spelled as slap shot) in ice hockey is the hardest shot one can perform. It has four stages which are executed in one fluid motion to make the puck fly into the net:

The player winds up his hockey stick to shoulder height or higher.

Next the player violently "slaps" the ice slightly behind the puck and uses his weight to bend the stick, storing energy in it like a spring. This bending of the stick gives the slapshot its speed. Just like a bow and arrow, the stick's tendency to return to being straight is transferred to the puck, giving it much more speed than just hitting it alone could.

When the face of the stick blade strikes the puck, the player rolls his wrists and shifts his weight so that the energy stored in the stick is released through the puck.

Finally, the player follows through, ending up with the stick pointed towards the desired target.The slapshot is harder than other shots and, because of the violent motion involved, somewhat less accurate. It also takes longer to execute; a player usually cannot take a slapshot while under any significant pressure from an opposing player because the opponent could easily interfere during the windup. The slapshot is most commonly used by a defenceman at the point, especially during a power play, although a forward will sometimes find an opportunity to use it.

The invention of the slapshot is credited to Eddie Martin of the Halifax Eurekas of the Colored Hockey League of Maritimes in Nova Scotia in 1906. Bernard "Boom Boom" Geoffrion (a nickname alluding to the thunderous clack of his slapshots) of the Montreal Canadiens, is also credited with popularized the technique in more modern times, though the tactic had been in use long before Geoffrion's spectacular shots captured the popular imagination.

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}} Dick Irvin, who was a star player in the WCHL and PCHA – and who later coached Geoffrion with the Montreal Canadiens – was also renowned for having a hard and accurate slap shot. Growing up in Winnipeg in the 1890s and 1900s, he would practice shooting against a doorknob in his attic during the winter months for accuracy. In the summertime, Irvin would draw a chalk outline of a net onto his family's sled garage, and practice one-timers off a piece of wooden board embedded into the ground.During a hockey game, a puck can reach the speeds of 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) or more when struck. The current NHL speed record is held by Zdeno Chára of the Boston Bruins clocked 108.8 miles per hour (175.1 km/h)

Alexander Riazantsev of KHL's Spartak Moscow slapped a puck at the 2012 KHL All Star Game skills competition in Latvia with a speed of 114.127 mph (183.67 km/h); however, the NHL does not recognize this as breaking Chára's record, as the puck travels a shorter distance to the goal net in KHL competitions than in those of the NHL.

Snap shot (ice hockey)

A snap shot is an abbreviated wrist shot in ice hockey.

The purpose of the snap shot is to combine the main advantages of the wrist shot (shot accuracy and quick delivery) and slap shot (puck speed).

The snap shot is accomplished with a quick snap of the wrists while the puck rests in place. The difference between a snap shot and a wrist shot is that the stick blade is accelerated towards the puck from a small distance behind it. This allows the player to flex the shaft on the ice and strike the puck at speed – although not to the degree of a full slap shot. The stick is usually not lifted higher than the knee during the shot, which makes this shot legal in most old-timer hockey leagues despite its rapid pace. Snap shots are the most common shot taken when the crease player receives the pass and decides not to one-time the puck.

The snap shot is often considered a compromise between the wrist shot and slap shot, and can sometimes be mistaken for one or the other due to its inherently deceptive nature. Consequently, while many players are renowned for their wrist shots (e.g. Alexei Kovalev, Joe Sakic, Teemu Selänne, Pavel Bure, Paul Kariya) or slap shots (heavy claps) (e.g. Zdeno Chára, Al MacInnis, Bobby Hull, Brett Hull, Shea Weber, Sheldon Souray), few players are known for exceptional snap shots. Among the players who often score on snap shots are Joe Sakic, Teemu Selänne, Steven Stamkos, Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk and Phil Kessel.


Snapshot, snapshots or snap shot may refer to:

Snapshot (photography), a photograph taken without preparation

Wrist shot

A wrist shot is a type of hockey shot that involves using arm muscles (especially those in the wrist and forearm) to propel a puck forward from the concave side of the blade of a hockey stick. Generally, when the puck is shot in a similar manner using the convex side of the blade, it is referred to as a backhand shot. The power of a wrist shot comes from lower body strength more than arm strength. The advantage of a wrist shot over a slap shot is the minimal amount of setup required, creating an element of surprise. Moreover, a wrist shot is far more accurate than a slap shot. Conversely, the reliance on wrist and forearm muscles to propel the puck causes the wrist shot to be less powerful than the slap shot, though this is not true for all players, even those with "big shots". Transfer of bodyweight and the flex of a hockey stick are also key factors for a wrist shot. Weight should shift from the back leg to the front leg for maximum power. The flex of a stick is also key for a powerful wrist shot. Applying energy and weight onto your stick gives a whip like motion and thus provides your shot with even more power. The lower the flex number on a hockey stick, the more bend the stick creates.

The snap shot is a cross between the wrist shot and the slap shot. The shooter uses a small wind up involving other muscles and the flex of the shaft of the hockey stick in order to propel the puck. The snap shot has a strength and accuracy somewhere between those of a wrist shot and a slap shot.

The wrist shot has several phases:

The bottom hand slides down the shaft of the stick and brings the blade behind the back leg (the leg furthest away from the target).

Weight is transferred to the front leg as the arms sweep forward.

The puck is then rolled along the blade of the stick, ending with a flick of the wrist which accelerates the puck thanks to the curve in the stick.

As the puck is released in the forward motion, the follow through of the stick determines the height and direction of the shot.

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