Sunday, November 05, 2006

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)


Anonymous said...

Im not a big fan of Pothier on the PP and Ill tell you why. He is terrible at getting the puck in the zone. Every single time the Caps need to enter the offensive zone Pots just flips the puck into a corner. Its a joke, with all the talent we have on this team. When the Caps break out of the zone and Pots has the puck he never makes a pass, he just skates up the ice and flips it into th corner as soon as he reaches the blueline. With shifty skaters such as OV and Semin, you cant tell me fliping the puck into the corener is the best strategy. He also doesnt know how to run a PP, you got OV and semin waiting for a onetimer pass that never arrives. Its really sad. We have so much talent out there and its not being utilized.

I would rather have Heward or Green on the point. At least they can make first passes.

JP said...

I agree to a certain extent, but when teams are standing you up at the blueline, you have to dump it in and go get it. Too often if AO is carrying the puck and the D is stacked, he tries to carry it in and turns it over at the line.

This isn't a blanket defense of Pothier, but you have to react to how the D is playing you.

Anonymous said...

That is true, when the d are stacked a dump and chase strategy is effective. But it seems to me that dumping the puck in is something that Pots does every time. I watch this closely and I see a pattern.

Anonymous said...

Good analysis of the missed shots, but Pothier was making some sweet passes on the PP last night - especially on that 5 on 3, he totally set up Semin about 4 times and OV a few as well - it wasn't Pothie's fault they didn't score....just a thought.

JP said...

Oh, I agree, John - Potsy definitely passes the puck well. But five missed shots stood out at me and then the 50/50 split on shots hitting/missing the net did as well.

But on that 5-on-3 Semin missed the net a couple of times, as did AO. It's crucial to get the puck on net on a PP, especially on a 5-on-3. The team needs to work on that.