The title of this article is one you could roll your eyes out and point out that it’s a rather obvious statement. Yes, it is kind of obvious the Blues need to generate more shots which would therefore generate more offense, but unless you’ve been digging through some stats, you may not realize just how bad the Blues have been at getting shots on goal.
Of late, the Blues have been a different team compared to the one which played the majority of the year. That makes it pretty difficult to assess the team as a whole as the difference between the Ken Hitchcock Blues and the Mike Yeo Blues has been staggering. That’s not to say Yeo’s Blues won’t look more like Hitchcock’s Blues as more time passes, but it makes it hard to draw any firm, hard conclusions.
That being said…
Through 60 games in 2016-17, the Blues are averaging 27.7 shots per game. They’re also allowing 27.7 shots per game. While it’s nice that they aren’t allowing more than their generating, they’re lagging far behind in the NHL when it comes to how many pucks they’re throwing at the opposition.
Those 27.7 shots per game rank 28th in the NHL, trailing behind even the worst teams in the league such as the Arizona Coyotes and the horrible, horrible Colorado Avalanche. If your team is behind the Avalanche in a statistical category, that’s a problem.
Fortunately for the Blues, a good number of the shots they have generated have found the back of the net. The team has a collective shooting percentage just above 10% and are ranked just outside the top-5 in the league in the category. They have almost an identical percentage with the Pittsburgh Penguins who are holding the fifth-best shooting percentage in the league.
The NHL has averaged around a 9% rate over the past couple seasons, meaning the Blues are narrowly exceeding that mark. That solid shooting percentage has helped mask the fact the Blues aren’t shooting enough and need to tighten up a bit more on defense.
If you’ve read Frozen Notes at all over the last several years, you know what I’ve preached: The Blues have to shoot the puck. Too often they wait for that perfect moment or they try to set up the absolute perfect passing play instead of just firing the puck and hoping something good happens.
Remember: Goals don’t have to be pretty.