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Vulgar Statistics: Shooting, Taken Differently


Wayne Gretzky once said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” which as we can see with numerous missed passes to the point during empty net situations that resulted in goals, is wrong.  But you do fail to score on most of the shots that don’t hit that six foot by four foot rectangle.  So I wanted to know, which teams are best at doing just that, and what effect does it have?

Anyone who’s browsed’s Real Time Stats is familiar with their Missed Shots category.  While this does a good job of telling us the difference between, say,  Drew Stafford and Thomas Vanek, it doesn’t take into account the shots that are blasted into the opposition’s shin pads.  So I did just that, quantifying ‘Shots Taken that get Blocked’ for each team.  What this left me with was a ‘Net-Hitting Percentage.’

I thought that there might be some correlation between an ability to get shots on net, and the ability to score.  I was right, but I was also wrong.  The coefficient of determination of .0965 is pretty terrible, but it’s also the largest one that I found utilizing other shot data (total shots, shots on goal, blocked shots, missed shots, etc.).

Final Thoughts:  Like so many things, this was interesting, but not particularly useful.  My favorite part was how Buffalo is pretty good at hitting the net, and yet can’t score.

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