Shooting Blanks


The San Jose Sharks and New York Rangers were penned in as high-powered Stanley Cup favorites in the preseason. Both are sputtering along right now due to an anemic offense, and the numbers point the blame mostly at Patrick Marleau/Jonathan Cheechoo in San Jose and Scott Gomez/Brendan Shanahan in New York. New York is winning based on fantastic goaltending and stingy defense while San Jose’s been alternating wins and losses.

The general theory is that you should score a goal for every ten or so shots that you take. Well, that ain’t happening for the Sharks or Rangers; take a look at the numbers.

San Jose
Vs. Dallas: 39 shots, 1 goal
Vs. LA: 28 shots, 3 goals
Vs. LA: 47 shots, 2 goals
Vs. Dallas: 35 shots, 4 goals

149 shots, 10 goals = 1 goal for every 14.9 shots

New York
Vs. NY Islanders: 30 shots, 2 goals
Vs. Philadelphia: 45 shots, 2 goals
Vs. New Jersey: 27 shots, 1 goal
Vs. Washington: 28 shots, 2 goals

130 shots, 7 goals = 1 goal for every 18.5 shots

Bad luck? Poor-quality shots? You could point at any number of things for this poor conversion rate; however, the one thing the Rangers seem to have figured out is that when you can’t score, you can still win by playing strong defense. The Sharks continually brain fart on their defensive responsibilities, leading to breakdowns and breakaways.

Oh, and the Rangers are getting a little help from some guy named Lundqvist and his .940 save percentage.


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