Looking at hockey standing and statistics can be confusing. To make this process easier we have written a handful of articles explaining statistics in hockey. This article is going to break down what PPG means in ice hockey.
PPG in hockey means powerplay goal. This statistic refers to how many goals a player has scored while his team is on the powerplay. A powerplay occurs when one team takes a penalty resulting in a man advantage for their opponents.
On a powerplay, teams have a much higher chance of scoring due to the man advantage. The top powerplay team in the 2021 regular season were the Edmonton Oilers who scored on a whopping 28.1% of their powerplays.
This goes to show how lethal powerplays can be when they are run effectively.
When a player is able to score a goal while the opposing team is on a powerplay this is called a shorthanded goal. This type of goal is displayed in the acronym SHG which is another piece of hockey terminology that can leave fans confused.
What To Know About Powerplay Goals In Hockey
Now that you understand what a PPG is in hockey it’s time to learn a little more about this statistic in hockey.
No Effect On Plus Minus
One thing you need to know about powerplay goals is that they do not have any effect on a player’s plus-minus. This is also true for the opposing team when goals are scored against them.
Since there is a man advantage when these goals are scored it simply does not make sense to include these goals in plus-minus. Since so many goals are scored on the powerplay including these goals into plus-minus would skew the statistic.
Players that play on the powerplay would be able to artificially increase their plus-minus. And the players stuck playing on penalty kill would have their plus-minus negatively affected due to the powerplay goals.
Empty Netters Are Not PPGs
Another thing you should know about powerplay goals is that they do not include empty netters. Some people would describe powerplay goals as goals that are scored when you have more players on the ice than the other team.
This is mostly true but powerplay goals do not include empty netters. Despite having more players on the ice these goals do not fit under the PPG umbrella.
Though a powerplay goal can still be scored on an empty net if the team is playing short-handed with their goalie pulled.
Elite Scorers Rely On Powerplay Goals
Powerplays goals are also a huge part of most elite goal scorers production. The top scorers on a team are almost always going to be on the top powerplay unit.
This means that when a penalty is called the top goal scorers are almost always going to be the first players onto the ice for the powerplay.
As we stated earlier powerplay percentages can get as high as 28% per cent of powerplays resulting in a goal. And with only five players on the top powerplay unit it is quite likely that these players are going to earn themselves some points.
In the 2021 NHL season, Austin Matthews led the league with fourty one goals in fifty two games. Ten of those fourty one goals were scored on the powerplay. Meaning that just under twenty-five percent of his goals were PPGs.
The second top scorer that year was Connor Mcdavid who was able to put away thirty three goals in fifty two games. Nine of those thirty three goals were PPGs. This means Mcdavid scored twenty seven percent of his goals that season while on the powerplay.
These statistics go to show how much the leagues top scorers rely on man advantages like this. If you are looking to become the next big goal scorer in hockey you need to know how to convert a powerplay.