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It seems like a lot of shots hit the crossbar in hockey. Is this just my mind playing tricks on me, or do more shots hit the crossbar than might be expected for a bar a few inches wide set above a goalie's shoulders.

First, what percent of shots hit the crossbar in the NHL?

And is it higher than would be expected?

The "expected" rate, I'd imagine, is the same rate as any other space on goal of equal size to the crossbar.

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1  
what would be expected? –  Nicholas V. May 5 at 12:15
    
@NicholasV. Good question. I added a little clarification. –  SamtheBrand May 5 at 14:24
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@SamtheBrand I cannot find anything out there officially on this topic. The tough thing is that a shot off the post or the cross bar in hockey is not technically a shot on goal. There isn't an official stat that keeps track, so aside from an independent study I think it would be tough to find/calculate. Here is an article that talks about it. –  diggers3 May 5 at 18:20
    
I suspect that more shots are directed at the top part of the net by shooters since most goalies use the butterfly technique. This technique (or style) blocks the bottom part of the net. So two things: 1) goalies make more saves on low shots thus preventing the puck from hitting the lower parts of the posts; and 2) shooters know that the upper portion of the net is more open so they choose to shoot high more frequently. This is just a hypothesis. Without running an independent study as diggers3 suggests, it's not possible to determine an answer. –  John Cullen May 7 at 17:21

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