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Silver Nuggets: How Do the Ottawa Senators Score?

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Looking a little bit at the NHL's stats on types of shots.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

If I asked you what types of shots the Ottawa Senators tend to score on, what would you say? I had the fortune of stumbling upon the NHL.com page for shot type breakdown yesterday, and saw enough things that I wanted to talk about it in a bit more depth.

Full disclaimer time: NHL.com's so-called "Enhanced" stats aren't always accurate, and the lingo is a little confusing. I think the difference between a snap shot and a wrist shot is subjective, and the difference between a deflected shot and a tipped shot is small enough to not warrant separating the two. So any findings here should be taken with a grain of salt.

The reason I ended up on this page in the first place was to try to see if Mike Hoffman really has as many post hits as it felt like. On the season, he's recorded as having four post hits and a crossbar hit, which didn't seem like much, but then a total of five frame hits puts him third in the NHL, behind Justin Faulk and Oliver Ekman-Larsson who are each at six. So the idea that the posts have robbed Hoffman more than is fair is factual.

Now here's a fun question: who has the most misses wide of the net on the Sens? Erik Karlsson has the most, with 35 shots wide compared to 66 shots on goal. This makes sense since Karlsson is often shooting from the point which makes hitting the net a little harder than being in close, and quite often is looking for a tip rather than an actual shot on goal. However, the second-place misser confirmed my suspicions: Mika Zibanejad has 27 shots wide to go with 54 shots on goal. It has felt to me like Z-bad has been missing the net a lot this season, and this seems to confirm things. Especially when considering that as a forward, Zibanejad is shooting from much closer to the net than Karlsson. How much he misses may explain why his point totals are a little lower than expected. He has the highest ratio of missed-shots-wide to shots-on-goal of any forward on the team by a pretty big margin. Chris Neil is next among players with at least 10 shots at 12:27, but I expect a little more offensively out of Zibanejad than Neil.

Here's another question: who has the most goals from slapshots this season? The answer is Hoffman, and it isn't close. He has six, Marc Methot and Mark Stone each have two, and nobody else has any. I wouldn't have guessed that EK would have no slapshot goals by the 27-game mark. Hoffman is also credited with six goals from wrist shots (one behind Kyle Turris for the team lead), and two from snapshots (Turris, Karlsson, and Bobby Ryan each have three), showing just how versatile his shot is. I love watching Hoffman's release, but the truth is that he's deadly whether you give him space for a clapper or a lane for a wrister. In case you needed more proof that Hoffman is one of the team's top offensive weapons.

There are a lot of things to dissect here, but one more thing I wanted to point out: Ottawa has no goals on the season from wrap-arounds. Why? Five players on the team have each been credited with one shot from a wrap-around. That's it. I realize that the wrap-around play isn't always the best, but after watching Craig Anderson get beat by too many over the last couple seasons, I'm surprised that the team in front of him doesn't even try it as a play. Maybe when the Sens get low behind the net, they're looking for the pass rather than just to put it to the net. Maybe Ottawa doesn't carry the puck behind the net much. But to me, the stats suggest that Ottawa might be trying to be too pretty when they get the puck down low.

Sens Links:

  • Two games from the weekend: first, a come-from-behind OT victory over the Islanders [Silver Seven recap, Rank the Performances, SensChirp]
  • Second, a no-hustle loss to the Rangers [Silver Seven recap, Rank the Performances, SensChirp]
  • Matt O'Connor finally got his first pro victory over the weekend [Silver Seven]
  • Trevor argues that the Sens need to spend now while their Cup window is still open [Silver Seven]
  • This week's upcoming games, courtesy of B_T [Silver Seven]
  • Last week's Ups and Downs [Silver Seven]
  • Colin White has been shortlisted for the USA World Junior team [Silver Seven]
  • A SensNation Hotstove, talking about everything from management succession plans to outdoor games on Parliament Hill [Sens Nation]
  • Kevin Lee with a stellar piece talking about the community involvement of lots of Sens players, and especially the work they do when the cameras are off [Sens Nation]
  • Chet and Luke do their own hotstove, looking back at the pre-amble to the Sens' inaugural game [WTYKY]
  • The latest Sens Callups podcast, looking forward to what's still in store in December [SCU]
  • The latest episode of TSN 1200's Advanced Chats with Ian Mendes, this time talking to bRian5or6. He reveals the origins of his pen name, explains his hate for Mats Sundin, laments the loss of Matt Carkner, and more! [TSN 1200]

Other Links:

  • Looks like the Ducks are ready to give the starter's reins to John Gibson, which puts their other goalies on the market [In Goal Mag]
  • A two-part plan to reshape the NHL draft to prevent tanking [Pension Plan Puppets]
  • The big concern of the NHL's Board of Governors concerning expansion is the rules of an expansion draft [TSN]
  • Jeff Little has 12 wishes for NHL hockey - some obvious, some intriguing, and some I'm definitely not on board with [Jackets Cannon]
  • Why a team near the bottom of the standings, such as the Calgary Flames, should consider claiming a player like Alex Semin on waivers [Flames Nation]