Frozen Tool Forensics: I’m Not Throwing Away My Shot

chriskane

2020-05-15

How many ways can you categorize a shot? Well it turns out many, and each one tells us something a little different. It can be a great way to learn a bit more about a player's habits, which can help us when considering their future.

We are talking about shots (cue LMFAO if you please) and as per usual the Tool's page has a report for that. It is appropriately titled, Shots. Once we export for future manipulation and sort for total shots here is what we get.

Name Pos Age Team GP G S% EV SOG PP SOG SH SOG SOG 0-15 SOG 16-30 SOG 31-45 SAT SOG
NATHAN MACKINNON C 24 COL 69 35 11 235 83 0 39 90 115 552 318
ALEX OVECHKIN L 34 WSH 68 48 15.4 218 92 0 50 74 127 602 311
MAX PACIORETTY L 31 VGK 71 32 10.4 242 65 0 62 82 93 549 307
AUSTON MATTHEWS C 22 TOR 70 47 16.2 214 76 0 58 121 92 504 290
DAVID PASTRNAK R 23 BOS 70 48 17.2 199 80 0 61 83 81 507 279
PATRICK KANE R 31 CHI 70 33 12 207 68 0 56 109 84 464 275
ROMAN JOSI D 29 NSH 69 16 6.2 185 69 6 15 33 58 525 260
BRADY TKACHUK L 20 OTT 71 21 8.1 220 39 0 117 53 43 431 259
TYLER SEGUIN C 28 DAL 69 17 6.9 185 59 1 57 68 72 395 245
KYLE CONNOR L 23 WPG 71 38 15.9 182 53 4 91 68 57 369 239

 

It is a little bit much all at once, so as we go, we will lose some columns to make it easier to read. Basically, we have shot counts broken down by total, distance, and situation. I have listed here the top ten for total shots on goal.

There are a couple of things surprising right off the bat. Roman Josi right up there at #7? He was averaging 3.77 shots per game over the course of 2019-20. It is his highest shot pace of the last four seasons (and has been creeping up over that time period). One other thing I wanted to point out about Josi here is his ridiculous shot attempt number (SAT). He has the fourth-highest total on this list, but his shot totals are closer to guys who have 150 fewer shot attempts (more on this in a second).

One other player of note here is Max Pacioretty. He has historically been a good shooter, so it isn't really that surprising, except for the fact in 2018-19 he shot under three shots per game versus 4.33 per game in 2019-20.

If we take a quick look at shots attempted instead of total, we see a little reordering of the above list but it generally stays the same. That makes sense, as the guys who are attempting the most shots likely will end up with the most shots on goal.

Name Pos Team GP SAT SOG
ALEX OVECHKIN L WSH 68 602 311
NATHAN MACKINNON C COL 69 552 318
MAX PACIORETTY L VGK 71 549 307
ROMAN JOSI D NSH 69 525 260
BRENT BURNS D S.J 70 517 225
DAVID PASTRNAK R BOS 70 507 279
AUSTON MATTHEWS C TOR 70 504 290
PATRICK KANE R CHI 70 464 275
SHEA THEODORE D VGK 71 460 219
BRADY TKACHUK L OTT 71 431 259

 

An interesting exception here is defense. Shea Theodore and Brent Burns pop up all of a sudden as attempting quite a few shots, but not having them translate to actual shots on goal. A pretty reasonable theory here is that these guys are shooting from further away, so are more likely to miss or to have their shots blocked. Using the shot distance columns above we can add a little bit to the puzzle here.

Name Pos Team GP SAT SOG SOG/SAT % 31-45
ALEX OVECHKIN L WSH 68 602 311 0.52 50.60%
NATHAN MACKINNON C COL 69 552 318 0.58 47.13%
MAX PACIORETTY L VGK 71 549 307 0.56 39.24%
ROMAN JOSI D NSH 69 525 260 0.50 54.72%
BRENT BURNS D S.J 70 517 225 0.44 64.20%
DAVID PASTRNAK R BOS 70 507 279 0.55 36.00%
AUSTON MATTHEWS C TOR 70 504 290 0.58 33.95%
PATRICK KANE R CHI 70 464 275 0.59 33.73%
SHEA THEODORE D VGK 71 460 219 0.48 60.44%

 

The column all the way to the right is the percent of a player's total shots that were made from the farthest-tracked distance. We can see immediately the impact of being a defenseman. Josi, Burns, and Theodore are the only players in the top 10 who have more than 51% of their shots from that distance. It makes it even more impressive that Josi still ranks in the top ten for overall shots on goal.

As you may have noticed we now have another great opportunity to talk about Alex Ovechkin. He leads the league in shot attempts, but not just shot attempts, but shot attempts from the distance. Not coincidentally, he also leads this group in having the largest amount of his total shots taken from a distance. Only Patrik Laine takes more shots from distance percent wise.

Anyone who has been reading this column, or who has watched Caps games likely isn't surprised by this.

We looked at power-play time a few weeks ago and Ovechkin was on the ice for Washington’s entire power play. And where does he play on that power play? The blue line. Additionally Ovechkin's patented spot is at the top of the circles, which again is at distance from the net (Steven Stamkos occupies a similar spot for Tampa and that is reflected in his 49% share of shots from distance).

Another note from the above chart is the column comparing shots on goal to attempted shots. It references the percentage of total shot attempts that made it to the net. Again it is pretty clear that guys like Burns and Theodore are ranking pretty low comparatively, while Nathan MacKinnon, Auston Matthews, and Patrick Kane occupy the high end.

These guys are all volume shooters though, and definitely aren't the most selective. The table below is sorted by shot efficiency, with at least 250 shot attempts on the season.

Name Pos Team GP SAT SOG SOG/SAT S%
WILLIAM NYLANDER R TOR 68 295 197 0.67 15.7
BOONE JENNER C CBJ 70 271 179 0.66 6.1
CRAIG SMITH R NSH 69 280 184 0.66 9.8
BLAKE COLEMAN C T.B 66 306 200 0.65 10.5
BO HORVAT C VAN 69 274 178 0.65 12.4
KYLE CONNOR L WPG 71 369 239 0.65 15.9
ALEKSANDER BARKOV C FLA 66 267 172 0.64 11.6
ANDERS LEE L NYI 68 303 195 0.64 10.3
BROCK NELSON C NYI 68 272 175 0.64 14.9

 

Surprisingly, not a lot of big scorers on this list. I would have also expected to see some higher shooting percentages, and while there are a few, there are definitely notable exceptions.

Boone Jenner's shooting percentage is pretty low, and while it does represent a recent low for him, he hasn't crested 10 percent in four seasons. It shouldn’t be too shocking then for me to reveal he does have the highest percentage of shots from distance of this group (at 31 percent).

The rest are more or less between 20 and 25 percent, with the exception of Anders Lee and Brock Nelson in the mid-teens. Apparently, they are very selective and don't shoot unless they are close. Given that I would definitely have expected higher shooting percentages, particularly with Lee. Over the last three seasons his shooting percentage has been up around 17 percent, so we could just be looking at an aberration in 2019-20.

There is a lot to unpack here, but hopefully this started the juices (or shots) flowing.

That is all for this week. Thanks for reading.

Stay safe out there.

Want more tool talk? Check out these recent Frozen Tool Forensics Posts.

Frozen Tools Forensics: How predictable are game-winning goals?

Frozen Tools Forensics: Scoring Wars – Young Guns and the Old Guard

Frozen Tools Forensics: Power-play production and Alex Ovechkin

UPCOMING GAMES

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STARTING GOALIES

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HOT PLAYERS

  Players Team GP G A P
EVGENI MALKIN PIT 5 4 7 11
ADAM FOX NYR 4 1 6 7
JAKUB VORACEK PHI 6 0 10 10
NATHAN MACKINNON COL 5 2 6 8
MIKA ZIBANEJAD NYR 29 25 19 44
NIKITA KUCHEROV T.B 24 16 20 36
KEVIN FIALA MIN 11 9 7 16
KYLE CONNOR WPG 7 8 2 10
EVANDER KANE S.J 7 5 5 10
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS EDM 17 8 16 24

LINE COMBOS

  Frequency VGK Players
24.3% WILLIAM KARLSSON MAX PACIORETTY NICOLAS ROY
19.6% JONATHAN MARCHESSAULT REILLY SMITH PAUL STASTNY
16.3% WILLIAM CARRIER NICK COUSINS BRANDON PIRRI

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