Are the shots-on-goal stats cause for concern?

The Thrashers are 2-0. That’s the good news.

In those two wins, they have been outshot 70-50. That’s not so good news.

So, I brought the subject up with coach John Anderson today. I got him by phone while he was on the team bus leaving practice since I’m not on this road trip.

“It’s obviously a work in progress,” Anderson said. “We are certainly aware of it and we want to cut it down.”

However, Anderson did present a couple of reasons for the discrepancies.

He pointed out that the shots-on-goal totals against St. Louis on Thursday were even 5-5 through the first period. However, the Thrashers took a couple of second-period penalties and that led to the 14-6 second-period Blues’ advantage.

“We go through stretches where we float a little bit,” Anderson said.

Anderson also noted that the Blues were taking shots from impossible angles.

“Our guys are more shot selective,” Anderson said.

You can make that case. The Thrashers have 10 goals on those 50 shots.  If my math is correct, that’s a 20 percent success rate.

Last season is well-documented. The Thrashers finished 27th in the NHL in shots-against at 32.7.  It’s early, but two games into the season, the Thrashers are still 27th in the league in shots-against at 35.0.

We know the Thrashers can score. The currently lead the league with a 5.5 goals a game average. Can they continue to win allowing  so many shots on goal?

Let me know what you think. Also, if I can answer any questions about the AJC’s Thrashers coverage as I’m not on the road, please let me know. I will be honest with the reason for the scaled-back travel.

35 comments Add your comment

Bravos33

October 9th, 2009
4:54 pm

Thanks for what you are doing with following the team while not being able to be on the road. I certainly do understand the economic restrictions. Do you already have a schedule of the trips you will make this season?

Also, I am not worried about the shots, especially with the fact that we have been in the lead in both games so far this season, therefore we should be more shot selective and not play as loose to avoid odd-man rushes and such. Anyways, I agree that we can score and if we can avoid dumb penalties and bad turnovers that lead to easy goals, we should be really tough to beat on a nightly basis. Again, if you have the scoring ability that we have, just playing somewhat sound on the other end can a lot of times be good enough. Your thoughts?

Daculafan

October 9th, 2009
4:56 pm

I think that the shot total didn’t tell the whole story. I think they had listed last night that the Blues only had like 15 quality shot opportunities.

On the subject of your coverage – Have you been able to arrange for any coaches or players to be available post game for phone interviews or something so you can get first hand post game reaction from the team or will it just be AP?

Darren

October 9th, 2009
5:05 pm

Anderson’s right. A lot of the Blues shots came from really sharp angles to Pavelec’s right, particularly in the 2nd.

The Lightning also took a lot of shots, but many of them seemed to be from high and the point.

By comparison, most of the Thrashers’ shots came from in close and down low, so the Thrashers are getting higher-quality chances.

It’s a risky strategy, but so far Pavelec has been up to the task.

Chris Vivlamore

October 9th, 2009
5:23 pm

Bravos33: Thanks. I will be going to Buffalo for the game next Saturday. I’m then headed to Elmira to write a story from the Dan Snyder Memorial Arena. We have not discussed road trips past that point.

Daculafan: That may be an option. I did that today but we may consider, if it’s possible, trying it postgame.

Chris Vivlamore

October 9th, 2009
5:28 pm

Heading home, but I’ll check back through the weekend. Let’s see what happens in Ottawa Saturday.

[...] Thrashers:  Are shots on goal a cause for concern?  Anytime you spend that much time in your zone, it isn’t a good thing, and while they may be 2-0, if this trend continues it won’t be good news for Atlanta. [...]

ksiujgth

October 9th, 2009
8:18 pm

i bet if the goalies keep the ga @ 2.5, letemin will rehab even quicker

Brad

October 9th, 2009
8:57 pm

Right now I don’t think it is because it only two games into the season (lets wait until after five games or so). Even though we’ve given up 70 shots in two games we did improve that SOG total against by 8 from 39 to 31. Surprisingly, that was against the Blues a team I honestly thought would pepper Pavelec with shots like last season but our D did a good job, especially from shots in close. So, despite giving up those 31 shots against the Thrashers played a great defensive game last night and that’s what counts.

Brad

October 9th, 2009
9:01 pm

Anderson’s right. A lot of the Blues shots came from really sharp angles to Pavelec’s right, particularly in the 2nd.

The Lightning also took a lot of shots, but many of them seemed to be from high and the point.

That’s a great point if a defense is limiting opponents chances to score by only having them shoot from the point than despite the number of shots on their goalie they’re doing their job by helping the goalie SEE the shot and NOT allowing anything in close and again, that’s what counts. SOG is sometimes an overrated statistic because it’s not how many are taken a game it’s where they’re mostly taken from. If they’re taken from the point defense is doing it’s job; if many of them are taken in close then the defense is not doing it’s job.

jr

October 9th, 2009
9:09 pm

Enter your comments here

jr

October 9th, 2009
9:17 pm

Chris

its not the number of shots but the quality chances.
The Thrash are the real deal this season, if healthy. Tell your goof ball bosses to jump on board. Its good for business if people are pumped up for any of local teams. The Thrash fans are ready and ownership seems to be committed.
Screw the doom and gloom crowd
as THE BEAT WITER, you deserve to be at all the games.
Keep it up Chris and press your short minded bosses to get you on the road!!!!
GO THRSAHERSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

August

October 9th, 2009
10:53 pm

Chris,

One of my good friends was recently let go from the sports desk there, so I understand a good deal already about the economics. I understand that right now, Thrashers games just aren’t driving the needle when it comes to page views and subscriptions – obviously that seems to be tilted towards the school in Athens. I guess I somewhat believe in the view that, “It takes money to make money,” and if the AJC isn’t going to spend the money to cover sports, then it’s not going to get the money from the people that want to read about sports. The section is already down to four pages on most days during the week, and we can only go online and read Bradley and Schultz so often every day – no matter how often they churn out something new for just the online reader.

No one wants to see the AJC go the way of the Rocky Mountain, but between this and moving off Marietta Street, it’s becoming easier to see a day where the AJC is printing its own obituary on the front cover.

Brendan

October 9th, 2009
11:38 pm

Right now, the Thrashers are outscoring their opposition by a 2:1 margin. But that won’t continue unless games start to wind up, 2-1, with some consistency. Atlanta will start to give up 3.5 to 3.6 goals per game. And that means they’re going to have to score four goals a game, or hope to have success is the shootout.

The thing that has impressed me about Game #2 was … this time around … the Thrashers seemed to be able to play with the lead. Against Tampa Bay, up 4-0, they nearly squandered it and gave away one of those dredded “bonus points.” But luckily, the T-birds had a bit of a 3rd period rally to win, 6-3. Against St. Louis, it was solid. It was methodical. Still, yes, there was a scare at the end, when the Blues closed the gap to 3-2. But whil up, 3-1, Atlanta played much better that I expected, if Game #1 was any indication.

Let’s see if they can keep this up.

The Real Thrash

October 10th, 2009
7:54 am

There is no stat kept for “quality shots.” The stat is for shots on goal, period. If a team is consistently giving up 35+ shots per game that team will be a losing team. Consistent quality/winning teams are those that play defense. Reducing shots on goal is the only way for the Thrashers to be that type of team.

jerry

October 10th, 2009
8:16 am

Don’t sugar coat it. A shot on goal is the liberty for a chance to score.

lee

October 10th, 2009
8:37 am

eh, well, it definetly is important and we would surely beat them by a greater score, and it puts a lot of pressure on our goalie, but as far as im concerned, its our defense that has been letting them get so many shots on goals, not so much our offense. think of it this way, if you are down on shots on goals, its probably for 2 reasons:defense sux, or the other teams defense rox. anyway, im glad we’re 2 and 0 and i am really proud on pavelec, for saving some really good shots, ecspecially when our shots our outnumbered!

Dwayne

October 10th, 2009
9:13 am

The dreaded shots on goal discussion. Sure wish the game was on tv tonight. sniff sniff

Sara

October 10th, 2009
9:20 am

One thing I would point out is that with the exception of the 4th line in game 1, all of our line combos are different now and feature one new player. It’s going to take some time for them to fine-tune their positioning and interactions amongst themselves. As we’ve seen, the 3rd line has been the fastest to pick this up. As the games continue and the season goes on, each line should get better and better and as everyone settles in, it will make it easier as well for the coaching staff to focus on the fewer remaining tweaks necessary.

And as said after the first game, no one on the team is thinking or believing that wins mean the team has achieved perfection. Coach has been on the pulse of the “bad” in each of those games and making moves to address it. So far things are going well with the PK revamp and hopefully a more overall defensive zone strategy revamp will soon be apparent on the ice as well.

Sara

October 10th, 2009
9:27 am

BTW, as far as the traveling issue goes – aside from the overall economic issues facing the country in general and print media in particular … this is a loooooong trip for the team. I don’t know how practical it would have been to send a reporter even if the AJC were more fully staffed for days and weeks, or fly them back and forth for each game. Secondly, I know with Chris at least, if not the entire AJC staff, reporters are expected to wear many hats now and if he’s gone for days/weeks with the Thrashers, it makes it more difficult for Chris to cover much else.

I’m just thankful we’re still getting coverage – it could be a lot worse than having the beat writer off covering other stuff during the off-season or not going on every road trip.

Dwayne

October 10th, 2009
9:47 am

Quick comment on the lines, LEAVE THEM ALONE.

Barry

October 10th, 2009
12:19 pm

The SOG stat is a little bit of concern, but what’s more important is how many actual registered scoring chances we allow other teams. Anderson is correct to a point where ideally you want to force teams to shoot from the outside, but I also would like to see us block shots more because anything can happen off a rebound. Why risk it?

RJ

October 10th, 2009
4:13 pm

THE REAL THRASH:

Obviously you never played the game. Thanks for the ignorant reply. Goof ball

kracker

October 10th, 2009
5:14 pm

Not every SOG is a deemed to be a scoring chace. Can amyone define ’scoring chance.’

Midfield

October 10th, 2009
5:53 pm

The scoring chance is when the crowd goes Aawwhhh

j nes

October 10th, 2009
6:28 pm

scoring chance: when she asks you to come in for coffee at the end of the date

The Earl of Bud

October 10th, 2009
7:51 pm

A breakaway by Kozlov all alone on the goalie and the shot goes wide is not a shot on goal since it missed everything, but it is a scoring chance. A shot at the end of the period from outside the blue line with one second left is a shot on goal since a player shot it and it went on net, but since it was such an easy save an not a real threat to score, it is not a scoring chance. So you can see how shots can be high but scoring chances are what counts.

Can’t believe this game isn’t on. We were down 2-0 and came back to tie it 2-2 by the 1st intermission. Just watching a few different games ’til the Sabres are on, but it seems Kovalchuk’s line must be playing well.

Russian

October 10th, 2009
7:54 pm

Everyone is on TV. Stupid Ottawa. Game looks like very interesting. Max got couple changes. Kovy got 5 Goals.

Brendan

October 10th, 2009
11:38 pm

That seals it! Jnes had the best ‘off the cuff remark.’ Of course, George Costanza, of Seinfeld lore, might reply, ‘No thanks. Coffee keeps me up.’

It was Tony C. who in our points totals contest, said Kovalchuk would win the Rocket Richard goal scoring trophy this year. He’s looking like Nostradamus now.

Rone

October 11th, 2009
1:08 am

F the Heater.
I may be late in posting my feelings on this subject, but oh well. I never let out a “boooo!!!!” when he came back to Atlanta for a game after he forced the trade, because I understood the pain and suffering he may have encountered here in Atlanta. I understood that playing in the same town that the most tragic event that will ever occur in his life would be tough, if not unbearable. With that said, who is he to force a trade with the Sens and wind up on one of the best teams in the western conference? Am I wrong? Maybe I should read this blog more often if I missed some comments. Please copy and paste me something if this discussion has already taken place.

Tom

October 11th, 2009
8:25 am

Okay, it is Sunday morning and last nights game story is not even up on the Sports page or the Thrashers Page. WAKE UP AJC. I know you have no respect for the Thrashers or the fans of the Thrashers, but are you completely willing to let another group of readers walk away from the paper by your shoddy attention to detail?

B. Thenet

October 11th, 2009
12:58 pm

Honestly, you can’t even print the AP coverage of the game in the paper?

Dwayne

October 11th, 2009
8:01 pm

Do yall feel that managment(ASG) put this team together to 1)please Kovy.2) make playoffs.3)resign Kovy. 4)get butts back in seats? Now, having stated the above, and Kovy is resigned for big $$$, they claim that can’t do as much $$ wise next year, let some talent walk, like Pev, Kubina, Armstrong, Kari(much to the delight of Stendec), go a cheaper route and revert to the new 5 year plan?

Tom

October 11th, 2009
9:29 pm

Since the AJC could not even bother to put up the AP story I figured I would find it for you. C’mon Chris, tell the weekend editor to pay attention.. Please?

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jJqVOo9sLmm7NIY9epoE6QnL8I2gD9B8JS2O0

lee

October 12th, 2009
9:08 am

its also a scoring chance when the drunk guy behind u spills beer on ur head thinking it was a goal.

[...] Good news for the Thrashers is that while they’re not getting a lot of shots, they’re shooting the lights out. Scoring 10 goals on 50 shots is no small feat. But at the same time, they don’t want to be [...]