We did a similar column last season, but I thought we would look at each category this time instead of by the team. All shots are not equal and this kind of analysis is focused on the bigger picture and the philosophy that you can't score if you don't shoot. All stats are taken from Dobber's Frozen Tools and NHL.com.
So far this season NHL teams have averaged 3.00 goals per game (up slightly from last year's 2.90) on an average of 29.88 shots per game (29.97 last year) which is a 10.05 shooting percentage (up from 9.67 last season).
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The average number of shot attempts (SAT) per game is 56.29 (52.53 last year) of which 13.45 (12.62) are blocked (23.9 percent of SAT) and 11.42 (10.78) miss the net (20.28 percent). The NHL average for shot attempts that result in shots on goal is 55.81 (55.46) percent.
Individually, I'm going to focus on some of the leaders from each category and some players that stand out for good and bad reasons.
Shots on Goal
Last season, Auston Matthews led the NHL in SOG with 222, followed closely by Brady Tkachuk at 220, Nathan MacKinnon at 206 and Connor McDavid at 200. Alex Ovechkin leads this season so far with 166 followed by Kyle Connor.
Top Five in the West
Kyle Connor – Winnipeg – 138 in 33 GP
Nikolaj Ehlers – Winnipeg – 134 in 33 GP
Timo Meier – San Jose – 130 in 31 GP
Connor McDavid – Edmonton – 126 in 33 GP
Roman Josi – Nashville – 122 in 34 GP
The leader in the NHL is Alex Ovechkin with 325 shot attempts (SAT) in 36 games, with the leader in the West a little surprising in that it is Nikolaj Ehlers on Winnipeg with 263 SAT in 33 games. Last season, Nathan MacKinnon led the NHL with 374 SATs in 48 games, so it looks like Ovechkin should pass that pace.
Top five in attempts in the West:
Nikolaj Ehlers – Winnipeg- 263 in 33 games
Roman Josi – Nashville – 235 in 34 games
Timo Meier – San Jose – 226 in 31 games
Matthew Tkachuk – Calgary – 220 in 33 games<