Monday, December 20, 2010

Shots Taken per Goal

In a battle along the half-boards a winger kicks the puck back to the blue-line. The defenseman throws it across the ice to his partner, who settles the puck down, takes a stride towards the net, raises his stick and sends a shot .... three feet wide and a foot too high, right off the windshield.

Missed shots tend to drive me crazy.  I've been known to fire off a quick frustrated tweet when someone (usually named Kris Letang) can't hit the net. And when I'm at work reminded myself how poor of a hockey player I am, there is nothing more likely to throw me into a Bruce Bodreau-esque tirade than not being able to put the rubber on net.

This isn't something the NHL takes into consideration with it's shooting percentage numbers. They simply divide a players Goals by Shots on Goal. Something Alexander Ovechkin, with a league leading 66 Missed Shots, might be alright with, but something surely Daniel Briere, who has a mere 27 Missed Shots, would feel is misleading.

And so here I've thrown together the On Goal % and Shots Taken per Goal statistics.

I have added Shots on Goal and Missed Shots to create Total Shots Taken. Based on that number I divided a players Shots on Goal by Total Shots Taken for the On Goal %. Then I divide Total Shots Taken by Goals to determine how many shots on average a player takes for a goal.

For example, Steven Stamkos scores a goal for every 6.6 shots taken. 74.4% of those shots taken are on goal.

My Thoughts:

- It comes as no surprise that Claude Giroux tops this list. As a Penguins fan I've seen more than enough of Giroux as he develops into an all-star caliber player

- Crosby and Stamkos. After cooling off for a bit, Stammer is back at it. Just maybe, with them nipping at each others heels, they can push each other further, like Magic and Bird. 50 in 50 looks out of reach, but someone, or both, might score 70 goals for the first time in 14 years.

- Even not accounting for the bevy of frozen rubber he's thrown wide of the net, Ovechkin's shooting percentage has taken a big hit so far this season.Taking all those missed shots into account, it isn't pretty for Ovechkin. You've gotta scroll for a while down that chart before you find his name.

- Same goes for Evgeni Malkin.

- As an Eastern Conference fan, I don't get to see nearly enough games from teams out west. This means I'm usually cautious of pontificating on guys that I haven't seen a ton of. That said, let's agree that Chris Stewart needs to take more shots. He is right behind Crosby and Stamkos at 6.9 Shots Taken per Goal, and he's put an insane 86.6% of his shots on net.

Complete stats available in a Google Spreadsheet

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