How have the Devils been shooting this season? Without looking at the numbers, it's most certainly better than last season. With just under 20 games left in this season's campaign we can get a good look at how the Devils' players have been shooting compared to their career.
Seven players have 15 or more goals. Four of those seven have 20 or more. Of the 158 goals scored, 139 have come from those seven players which tallies to be 88% of the goals scored. It would be fair to compare the numbers with just these seven players. One is a rookie, so there's nothing to compare. Here are the 7:
Ilya Kovalchuk, David Clarkson, Zach Parise,
Adam Henrique, Petr Sykora, Patrik Elias, and Dainius Zubrus.
I will compare their overall (all situations) shooting % to their career. Who has been shooting below, or above? Make your guesses now as I did. After the jump are some tables and thoughts.
The team as a whole is shooting 8.2% at 5-on-5 and about 9.2% overall.
It's not surprising to see each of these guys shooting over 10% this season. You can see how much they inflate (or the other forwards and defenseman deflate) the numbers. Zubrus is the team's best shooter this season with that many games played. Elias and Clarkson are having great seasons. Sykora has been out of the NHL for some time, yet he's doing fine. It also shouldn't surprise you that Parise and Kovalchuk shoot the most. It hurts their shooting % slightly.
Kovy is at 4 shots per game (that hit the net) which is a little lower than his career. His career shooting percentage is amazing. This season he's been great, but he's still shooting below his career. He's become a better all around player. Does that make up for the loss in shooting though?
Parise seems to be back to his old ways. He's shooting a little more yet and his delta shooting % is shy of -1%. To think he hasn't played with Travis Zajac at all this season says a lot.You know Wade Arnott (his agent) will bring this up when negotiations start (if they haven't already).
Clarkson is finally have the year we all knew he could (save for Kevin maybe). His 9.36% career shooting % isn't bad, but compared to this season, he's crushing it. He's shooting a little more, but the biggest difference was Adam Oates telling him to shorten his stick and staying away from doing Avery type things. We all saw how his game goes when he's an agitator and racks up 19 PIMs in one game. Please Clarkson - just play the game that has got you tied for most goals on the team.
Elias is also have a great year. Shooting the puck less compared to his career isn't a shocker. He was probably the Devils best player int he first half of the season and these numbers prove that. I'd actually want Patty to shoot more. 16% is nuts. "Not as nuts as 18%" says Zuuuuuubrus. His career shots per game is low, and this year's is even lower. The pucks have just gone in for him. Should he be shooting more? Sykora's numbers are most stagnant with the smallest delta. That's pretty remarkable for him as well.
So what do the numbers tell you? Should DeBoer utilize these players differently?