Skip to main content

A Look at Total Shooting Percentage

It seems that any time you try and discuss the most effective shooters in the NHL, people gravitate to how "hard" or "heavy" the shot is, at the expense of other considerations, like how quickly shots are released or how accurate they are. Booming slapshots are more impressive to most than a quick wrister, so the trend is somewhat understandable.

Today's piece focuses on bringing in Missed Shots into the overall shooting percentage statistic. Normally, Shooting Percentage is defined as Goals divided by Shots on Goal. But what about shots that miss the net by three feet? Those aren't counted in the usual Shooting Percentage, so I've brought each players Missed Shots total and included that in a "Total Shots" column, which then yields "Total Shooting %" as well. Our data comes from the stats available at - pulling together summary stats for the top 830 players ranked by shots on goal (this takes us down to guys with only 1 shot on goal all year, so I'm confident it covers over 99% of the data), linked to the RTSS stats that are also available. I do have one bone to pick with the guys at, as when you start pulling down page after page of stats, they switch the ordering of columns from one page to the next, apparently in an attempt to throw up an obstacle to mass access to the data. It doesn't work, as it takes about 10 minutes of work in Excel or Open Office to fix the columns. I've sent an email to their web team to see if that can be rectified, and will post whatever response I get here.

In total, besides the 73,744 "conventional" shots on goal, 7,442 Goals and an overall Shooting Percentage of 10.09%, there were an additional 29,725 Missed Shots. With our new figure of 103,469 Total Shots, that means 28.7% of those missed the net entirely, and 7.2% scored.
The table below shows the Top 30 players from last season, ranked by Total Shooting Percentage. The Rank column along the left reflects the conventional Shooting Percentage rank, and those players shaded green or pink moved significantly up or down in the standings once we bring Missed Shots into the equation. Also on the far right, we see the overall portion of shots that miss the net, with highest values in pink and lowest in green. So who are the standouts, both positive and negative?

First off, note that the Top 11 in conventional shooting percentage all fared well in the Total Shooting % stat. League leader Alex Tanguay still came out at the top of the list, since only 21.9% of his shots missed the net. In particular, Pierre Turgeon of the Colorado Avalanche missed only 16.8% of the time, well below the rest of this group. On the wild side, the "hit or miss" gang appears to be Toronto's Matt Stajan and Chad Kilger, and Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, who shot wide or high over a third of the time.

One often-cited piece of conventional hockey wisdom is that guys with big, booming slapshots may miss the net quite a bit, but make up the difference with a shot that is more likely to score when it is on target. I didn't find anything to help support that theory (no correlation between Missed Shot levels and Shooting Percentage), and drilling down into further detail (i.e. comparing slapshots, to wristers, etc.) isn't possible because when the NHL records a Missed Shot, we don't know the shot type or distance involved.

I'll follow up later today with a similar table from this season so far...

Popular posts from this blog

How I'm Trying To Make Money Sports Blogging

To kick off this series of articles general sports-blogging articles here at OTF Classic, I think it's best to start with a comment that Brad left here last week, after I shared my goals for 2012, which include specific revenue targets:
I considered diving into the world of internet marketing myself, but I felt that my friends would hate me for bugging them about stuff. I mean, it's pretty low-risk high-reward, so it's tempting. I wouldn't mind reading about tips on how to maximize impact of blogging in general to make it a legitimate income source. Trying to make money at sports blogging can be a very touchy subject - for the vast majority of us, this is an activity we pursue to both exercise our creativity and share our love of the game, whether it's hockey, football, badminton, whatever, with fellow fans. Mixing that personal conversation with a commercial message can turn people off, especially if it becomes too intrusive for the reader.

It's not unreasonabl…

Canadian Baloney, starring James Mirtle

A tireless refrain from the Canadian media is that Nashville is an absolute failure as a hockey market, and failing to move the team north of the border is an exercise in folly by the NHL.

Our latest exhibit comes from James Mirtle, usually one of the more thoughtful hockey bloggers extant:
But Nashville, quite simply, has proven it cannot sustain an NHL hockey team. Even with the lowest ticket prices in the entire league (I know: I've looked into flying there for a game or two) and a ridiculously forgiving arena lease, the team has had attendance issues despite having one of the best records in the league.

It's not a matter of Canadians not wanting teams in the southern U.S.; I've argued time and again in favour of teams like Dallas and Tampa Bay that have supported their teams and really brought something to the table in terms of bringing news fans and new energy to the game. That's a good thing.

The Predators, however, are not that, not in the beginning and certainly no…

Get Your NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 Right Here!

Click here for the 2009-10 NHL Super Schedule, at my new site,!

The NHL announced the 2008-9 Regular Season schedule today, so of course, it's time right here to publish my very own NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 as well.

For those unfamiliar with what I did last year, the NHL Super Schedule is a spreadsheet that I put together and make publicly available via Google Documents*. It includes an entry for each game in each team's 82-game regular season schedule, with additional information such as how far that team has had to travel since its last game, how many days have passed since that previous game, and various statistics relative to the opponent that evening, such as 2007-8 Winning Percentage, Goals Per Game, Goals Against Per Game, etc. For example, you can total the distance that each team will travel during the upcoming season, or find who plays the most back-to-back games. Check out which team faces the toughest opposing offenses, or which power plays…