‘NUCKS DMEN: SHOOTING PERCENTAGES

by Ron Spence

I sometimes live in denial. I’m not as bad as Gary Bettman, but who is? I see myself as ten years younger than I really am and 2 or 3 belt notches smaller. I live in denial.

But, I’m trying to change and I’m going to start with the ‘Nucks’ D.

I have considered them to be in the NHL’s top 5 – four man units – for the past half a decade. Part of it is that Mattias Ohlund is my favourite Canuck, and I always see a healthy Sammy Salo and a young and fiesty Kevin Bieksa.

But, this season they are forcing me to remove my rose coloured glasses. They have frustrated me, in particular, with their play when they have the man advantage.

So, I decided to look at their shooting percentage: versus the rest of the league and last season.

This campaign, there are 88 NHL Dmen who have shooting stats – the rest haven’t scored and thus are shooting zero. So, there are 30 NHL teams, with 6 Dmen who dress for each game, some others who are on the roster, and some who get called up from the AHL – that’s 88 out of anywhere from 225 to 250 players.

Now, we must remember with shooting stats, that they don’t include shots that have missed the net, or have been blocked, etc.

And the type of shots can vary. Some guys wait for the perfect shot and thus have a better chance of a higher percentage. And others just fire away.

One thing that we can compare, however, is a player’s stats from one year to the next – the veterans tend to play the same way from year to year.

With regards to the comparisons with the other teams – this season – I have done some colour coding to make things a easier to assimilate.

You will note that the Norris candidates aren’t necessarily the most accurate shooters. Although Zdeno Chara is making a case for himself this season.

The Rangers have 5 of their 6 Dmen in the league’s top 88 percentage shooters – like the Canucks – which is the best.

Both Detroit and San Jose have 4 Dmen on the list.

The team that has impressed me with this stat is the Panthers who have 4 good shots on the list – better than any of the Canucks’ Dmen, with the exception of Kevin Bieksa.

Toronto also has 3 good shooters.

It also should be noted that when you have a couple of good shots on the D, it makes it easier for the other two – if the coach has spread out the talent. With a partner whose shot is a rocket with eyes, the defense is keyed in on him, so that the second player has more time and space – which should translate into a higher shooting percentage.

As mentioned, Kevin Bieksa is the top Canuck with a .072 average. So, with a hundred shots, he will score a little over 7 times.

Next is Sami Salo – although he hasn’t been included on the list due to some anomaly in their computer program – with .61.

After that is Willie Mitchell – who wasn’t on the list last season – with .05.

Finally,  there’s Alex Edler at .44 and Mattias Ohlund at .34.

Sami finished slightly higher last season, with .66. Ohlund was .7 and Edler .65.

So, this season Vancouver’s D is average, while last season they were quite good – at shooting accurately.

2008-09

Name Team Pct. GP SOG G A Pts
Adrian Aucoin CGY 0.119 49 67 8 16 24
Bryan McCabe FLA 0.114 39 79 9 12 21
Mike Green WAS 0.114 38 132 15 25 40
Dennis Wideman BOS 0.106 50 104 11 24 35
Brian Campbell CHI 0.106 48 66 7 27 34
Dan Boyle SAN 0.103 44 126 13 25 38
Alex Goligoski PIT 0.102 43 59 6 13 19
Marek Zidlicky MIN 0.099 44 91 9 18 27
Shea Weber NAS 0.094 48 149 14 18 32
Lubomir Visnovsky EDM 0.093 49 86 8 23 31
Jay Bouwmeester FLA 0.092 49 120 11 16 27
Marc-Andre Bergeron MIN 0.09 39 78 7 14 21
Michal Rozsival NYR 0.089 50 79 7 18 25
Alexandre Picard OTT 0.087 45 69 6 8 14
Mark Streit NYI 0.085 49 94 8 29 37
Trevor Daley DAL 0.085 48 71 6 13 19
Zdeno Chara BOS 0.083 51 132 11 19 30
Ian White TOR 0.08 39 87 7 9 16
Jordan Leopold COL 0.079 51 63 5 12 17
Anton Babchuk CAR 0.078 41 51 4 7 11
Sheldon Souray EDM 0.076 48 157 12 20 32
Brian Rafalski DET 0.075 50 93 7 29 36
John-Michael Liles COL 0.073 49 96 7 19 26
Pavel Kubina TOR 0.072 50 111 8 16 24
Kevin Bieksa VAN 0.072 41 83 6 20 26
Matt Niskanen DAL 0.071 46 56 4 13 17
Chris Phillips OTT 0.07 48 57 4 6 10
Andrei Markov MON 0.067 50 104 7 33 40
Chris Pronger ANA 0.067 53 134 9 23 32
Brent Seabrook CHI 0.066 48 76 5 10 15
Mike Commodore COB 0.065 50 62 4 17 21
Nicklas Lidstrom DET 0.064 47 109 7 26 33
Paul Martin NJD 0.063 45 64 4 11 15
Derek Morris PHO 0.063 48 63 4 6 10
Duncan Keith CHI 0.063 44 95 6 23 29
Joe Corvo CAR 0.062 51 129 8 14 22
Keith Yandle PHO 0.062 42 65 4 16 20
Johnny Oduya NJD 0.062 50 65 4 16 20
Braydon Coburn PHI 0.06 48 83 5 13 18
Brent Burns MIN 0.057 45 123 7 13 20
Keith Ballard FLA 0.057 49 70 4 16 20
Mathieu Schneider ATL 0.057 38 70 4 7 11
Nick Boynton FLA 0.056 44 71 4 10 14
Rob Blake SAN 0.055 46 127 7 24 31
Zbynek Michalek PHO 0.053 51 57 3 14 17
Paul Mara NYR 0.053 51 76 4 11 15
Kimmo Timonen PHI 0.052 48 58 3 26 29
Barret Jackman STL 0.052 49 58 3 12 15
Scott Niedermayer ANA 0.051 53 118 6 30 36
Tomas Kaberle TOR 0.051 49 78 4 26 30
Christian Ehrhoff SAN 0.051 47 98 5 17 22
Ron Hainsey ATL 0.051 51 99 5 20 25
Willie Mitchell VAN 0.05 50 60 3 13 16
Tom Gilbert EDM 0.049 49 61 3 22 25
Marc-Edouard Vlasic SAN 0.048 48 62 3 21 24
Steve Montador ANA 0.048 53 84 4 12 16
Fedor Tyutin COB 0.045 50 111 5 16 21
Ruslan Salei COL 0.045 49 66 3 13 16
Peter Harrold LOS 0.044 40 68 3 8 11
Alexander Edler VAN 0.044 48 91 4 16 20
Ryan Suter NAS 0.042 49 95 4 22 26
Drew Doughty LOS 0.041 47 74 3 12 15
Joni Pitkanen CAR 0.041 43 98 4 18 22
Kris Letang PIT 0.039 46 76 3 13 16
Daniel Girardi NYR 0.037 51 81 3 13 16
Marc Staal NYR 0.036 51 56 2 6 8
Mattias Ohlund VAN 0.034 50 89 3 12 15
Kyle Quincey LOS 0.034 45 89 3 24 27
Niklas Kronwall DET 0.032 48 63 2 25 27
Paul Ranger TAM 0.032 39 63 2 10 12
Brett Clark COL 0.03 51 66 2 9 11
Dion Phaneuf CGY 0.029 49 171 5 26 31
Jaroslav Spacek BUF 0.029 50 68 2 21 23
Mark Giordano CGY 0.029 49 69 2 15 17
Dan Hamhuis NAS 0.028 49 72 2 12 14
Dennis Seidenberg CAR 0.027 43 73 2 15 17
Roman Hamrlik MON 0.027 49 73 2 14 16
Andrej Meszaros TAM 0.024 50 84 2 14 16
Stephane Robidas DAL 0.022 45 93 2 17 19
Ed Jovanovski PHO 0.022 51 134 3 20 23
Wade Redden NYR 0.02 50 99 2 15 17
Andrej Sekera BUF 0.019 43 53 1 12 13
Toni Lydman BUF 0.017 50 59 1 13 14
Kim Johnsson MIN 0.017 48 58 1 12 13
Filip Kuba OTT 0.016 40 61 1 24 25
Brad Stuart DET 0.013 45 78 1 7 8
Luke Schenn TOR 0 38 58 0 5 5
Robyn Regehr CGY 0 47 55 0 5 5
2007-08
PLAYER Team Pct GP SOG G A P
Tom Gilbert EDM 0.133 82 98 13 20 33
Andrei Markov MON 0.11 82 145 16 42 58
Michal Rozsival NYR 0.102 80 127 13 25 38
Ryan Whitney PIT 0.101 76 119 12 28 40
Paul Ranger TAM 0.095 72 105 10 21 31
Brent Burns MIN 0.095 82 158 15 28 43
Jaroslav Spacek BUF 0.095 60 95 9 23 32
Marc-Andre Bergeron MIN 0.094 46 96 9 9 18
Scott Niedermayer ANA 0.092 48 87 8 17 25
Tom Preissing LOS 0.086 77 93 8 16 24
Mathieu Schneider ATL 0.086 65 139 12 27 39
Jeff Finger TOR 0.086 72 93 8 11 19
Steve Montador ANA 0.083 73 96 8 15 23
Adrian Aucoin CGY 0.083 76 121 10 25 35
Jay Bouwmeester FLA 0.082 82 182 15 22 37
Zdeno Chara BOS 0.082 77 207 17 34 51
Pavel Kubina TOR 0.081 72 136 11 29 40
Duncan Keith CHI 0.081 82 148 12 20 32
Braydon Coburn PHI 0.08 78 113 9 27 36
Joni Pitkanen CAR 0.079 63 101 8 18 26
Mark Streit NYI 0.079 81 165 13 49 62
Mike Green WAS 0.077 82 234 18 38 56
Dennis Wideman BOS 0.076 81 171 13 23 36
Brian Rafalski DET 0.074 73 175 13 42 55
Matt Niskanen DAL 0.071 78 99 7 19 26
Mattias Ohlund VAN 0.07 53 128 9 15 24
Sergei Gonchar PIT 0.069 78 173 12 53 65
Daniel Girardi NYR 0.068 82 147 10 18 28
Sami Salo VAN 0.066 63 122 8 17 25
Chris Pronger ANA 0.066 72 182 12 31 43
Alexander Edler VAN 0.065 75 124 8 12 20

courtesy of sports.yahoo.com

How has this  difference impacted the team? Let’s just look at one player.

Last season, my man Mattias scored 9 goals on 128 shots. This season – so far – he has scored 3 goals on 89 shots, and if he was shooting at his 2007-08 accuracy rate, he would have 6 rather than 3 goals so far this year.

And this is a double whammy, because the opposition knows that Mattias’ shot is off and they can key in on the ‘Nucks down low.

Who is the player with the NHL’s best shot percentage?

Kyle Wellwood has 14 goals on 53 shots for a .264 average.

But, Rick Rypien‘s percentage is even better. It’s .667. He scored twice on three shots.

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One response to “‘NUCKS DMEN: SHOOTING PERCENTAGES

  1. Great article, Ron. I think we all over-rated our D-men this year. Matty Ohlund, as your stats show, seems to have a particularly hard time getting the puck on net. I really think the Nucks need a PP QB more than anything else.

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