Shots On Goal And Shots At Goal

As Wayne Gretzky famously said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." Well, you also miss 100% of the shots that never make it on net. In this morning's Roundup I noted that "[t]he Caps need to work on getting pucks to the net on the powerplay. Too many shots either don't get through or are off target." A quick look at the stats from last night's game confirmed what my eyes had told me - that Brian Pothier couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat (he was "credited" with five missed shots). A deeper look at the numbers (again, me messing around with Google spreadsheets) shows that Pothier's lack of accuracy is perhaps troubling for an alleged powerplay quarterback.

We all know that Brian Pothier doesn't have a goal yet on the season. But did you know that of the 38 shots he's taken through 13 games, only 19 (50%) have even been on goal? In fact, Pothier is 6th in the NHL among defensemen in missed shots, and has fewer shots on goal than any defenseman in the fifteen in missed shots.

Now, this doesn't mean that Potsy isn't a good point man on the power play. In fact, he's only one back of the League lead in power play assists among blueliners, and this is an admittedly small sample. But if more of his attempted shots were either not getting blocked out front or going wide of the net, there would almost definitely be more rebound opportunities for the forwards crashing the net up front, and then the guys with the good shooting percentages could help Pothier's assist totals - and more importantly the Caps' power play - get even better.

(Cross-posted at Southeast Shootout)


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