In hockey, there is a stat where players get +1 when their team scores while they are on the ice, and -1 when the opposite team scores when they are on the ice. (Cant remember the exact name of the statistic, if someone could inform me)

If a goal happens while there are not the expected number of players on the ice (like during a change of players, there is, at some point (for like a second) 4 or 6 players on the ice) who gets the +1/-1 in their stats?

Is it the outgoing player of the change? The incoming player? or does every player that has their skates on the ice at the precise moment the puck goes in gets the +1/-1?

1 Answer 1


The exact name of the statistic is called plus-minus. Nothing fancy here for the name. It does get complicated when players are changing as you may have 6 players on the ice at the same time. For this reason, the player ending his shift should be credited with the plus whereas the player coming onto the ice should remain even, even though they are on the ice at the same time. Note that this happens within split seconds and it is hard to know. But in the NHL, this statistic is often reviewed to make the appropriate changes on the score sheet.

When an even-strength or shorthanded goal is scored, every player on the ice for the team scoring the goal is credited with a "plus." Every player on the ice for the team scored against gets a "minus."

A player's overall total is calculated by subtracting the minuses from the pluses. A high plus total is taken to mean that a guy is a good defensive player.

But it's a very broad measurement and there has always been disagreement over how useful a statistic it is.

  • Power play goals are not used in calculating plus-minus.
  • Shorthanded goals are used in calculating plus-minus.
  • Penalty shot goals are not used in calculating plus-minus.

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