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Where are all the goals coming from?

Every parent thinks they are prepared for this question, but when your child brings it up for the first time, it never fails to catch you off your guard. Do I go for the old "stork" tale? Do I pull out diagrams, or use dolls? The mind shudders when you hear the words...

"Daddy, where do goals come from? "

Rest assured, dear readers, you now have your answer. To be precise, 58.4% came from within 20 feet last season, and only 6.76% came from beyond 50 feet. Drilled down on a team-by-team basis, we see standouts like the Atlanta Thrashers, who scored a league-low 48.4% of their goals from inside 20 feet, whereas the Phoenix Coyotes worked in close for a league-leading 69% of their tallies. If you look at the Buffalo Sabres, they scored less often than most within 20 feet (48.6%), but they scored a league-high 69 goals in the 21-30 foot range. Another interesting case is the Edmonton Oilers, who sniped almost 12% of their goals from beyond 50.

Take a look at the attached chart (click on it to enlarge), print it out, and chew over it for a bit with your friends during your next wine & cheese black-tie gala (err... beer & wings outing at the pub). For clarification purposes, this covers 99.8% of all goals scored last year (for some reason a couple games were left out of my data extracts), and I also excluded Empty Net goals from the figures. The percentages next to each value are the percent of each team's goals that came from that given distance.

Coming soon - similar data broken down by shot type, and then the real fun begins. We'll look at how the different goalies perform against these criteria...

EDIT NOTE: I noticed that there were a disproportionate number of 10 ft. goals in the extract, which I suspect has been used in cases when the goal came within 10 feet. So I've changed the columns to 1-10, 11-20, etc. to correct for this.


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