On Tuesday, we looked at the quality of shots the Senators allow. The other component of looking at shot-based stats is to look at the shots the Sens take. So without any pre-amble, here's the chart of where the Sens are taking their shot attempts from:
There are some glaring issues with this graph. The first is that we all know Erik Karlsson is a shot machine, and yet Ottawa doesn't take significantly more shot attempts from the point. I think that means the rest of Ottawa's defence isn't generating point shots at all, which makes sense from watching the games this year. The other, probably more worrisome fact, is that the Sens fall behind the league mostly in high-danger shots. It's easily the worst place to fall behind the rest the league in terms of shot generation. I haven't posted the chart for just shots on goal, but the Sens fall even more behind the rest of the league in high-danger shots.
But once again, to see why the Sens have been winning, here's the Sens shooting percentage graph compared to the rest of the league:
So looking on the above chart, we can see the reason for Ottawa's success: the Sens have significantly higher shooting percentages in every zone than the league average. You can argue this a little bit. Ottawa's top forwards I would argue are better than most top forwards groups in the league. Similarly, Erik Karlsson is an above-average shooter for a defenceman, so you'd expect Ottawa's point-shot percentage to be higher than league average. That being said, it's hardly reasonable for Ottawa to be scoring on 50% more of their shot attempts from the high-slot than the league average. For comparison, here's the same shooting percentage chart for the league's top offensive team, the Dallas Stars:
Dallas's percentages aren't nearly as inflated, and actually they're below average from the high-slot. Their improved shooting from the high-danger area is basically the same as Ottawa's. I would say the difference between Benn-Seguin-Sharp-Spezza and Hoffman-Turris-Stone-Ryan isn't as big as probably most fans would think. So maybe Ottawa's shooting percentage from the crease is sustainable, but I expect there will be a drop from everywhere else.
The good news here is that there is some takeaway: Ottawa needs to get more to the greasy areas. Ottawa does better than the rest of the league at finishing from in tight, now they just need to get there more often.
- Two recaps on tap for you today! First, from last night's victory against Chicago. [Silver Seven, SensChirp]
- Next, from Tuesday night's costly loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. I thought I'd also link a great column on Gostisbehere, who's been running amok this season. [Silver Seven, SensChirp, TSN]
- Roster updates: Milan Michalek appears to be out long-term with a hand injury after blocking a shot by Flyers D Radko Gudas. Gudas also delivered a forearm to the head of Mika Zibanejad, who looked pretty dazed and didn't play last night. Hope Zibanejad is okay and that the Sens are careful with his health. [6th Sens]
- Gudas was assessed a three game suspension for the dangerous play. [NHL, 6th Sens]
- P.S. we're already into December! Look back on November and rate which players you thought had a good month with a monthly version of 'Rank the Performances' [Silver Seven]
- Craig Anderson had an excellent month for the Sens, who have been somewhat unstable at the goaltending position with four goaltenders being on the NHL roster at some point already this season. Nichols asks: is the fatigue going to catch-up to him? Anderson seems to do well when facing a lot of work, but how much of that is actually true when you try to verify with data? [6th Sens]
- Chet and Luke have a nostalgic and funny piece that looks back at the very first game in the modern Senators franchise. Do you know anyone who attended? [WTYKY]
- With the first quarter of the AHL season over, Jeff takes a look at the BSens performance thus far and hands out some player grades. Soooooooo how about Cole Schneider?? [Silver Seven]
- For some more prospect news: Thomas Chabot was named to Team Canada's preliminary camp roster. Fellow 2015 pick Filip Chlapik was invited to the Czech camp as well. Unfortunately, Francis Perron's hot start didn't earn him an invite, although only three QMJHL forwards were invited. [TSN]
- Randy Lee spoke about these last two points (AHL play and prospects) in an interview this week. Give it a listen or read the transcription from Nichols here! There's a noteworthy update re: the reasons behind the Wikstrand situation, and Nichols provides quality analysis. [6th Sens]
- Luke has a wonderful piece over at WTYKY about the Wikstrand situation and I agree with every bit of it. I really want this situation to get resolved as nicely (and quickly) as possible as it's not good for either side and toxic for any future interaction. However, if the Sens can remedy the Daniel Alfredsson situation then maybe they can remedy this one. [WTYKY]
- Ross names his picks for All-Star 3-on-3 division captains. Have you voted yet? [Silver Seven]
- Some folks are already starting to evaluate the upcoming 2016 draft class! HockeyProspect.com has their early-season top 50. [HockeyProspect]
- A great tool from Sean Tierney that uses the database created by Josh Weissbock over at CHLStats to put together prospect 'player cards' that act as a snapshot of a player's performance this season. Take a look! [Sean Tierney]
- Elliotte Friedman's weekly column is always a must-read to catch up on happenings around the league. [Sportsnet]
- I think the New York Rangers are a fantastic team on paper, but despite their record, they have some worrying underlying numbers that don't bode well for their long-term success. However, they also have one of the top three goalies in the league. [TSN]
- A poignant piece from Patrick Holden on the offside rule, why it came into effect, and whether it's still needed. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
- With all the talk about decreasing scoring rates, Sean McIndoe argues that the Dallas Stars should be the team that everyone is rooting for this year. [ESPN]
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