Is The Minnesota Wild's Low ES Sh% A Result Of Inaccurate Shooting?

Joel Auerbach

The Wild seem to be missing the net with a large amount of their shots. Is this why their ES Sh% is so bad? How do they compare to the rest of the league in that regard? I have set-out to answer these very questions and more.

As you surely know by now, the Wild have been dominating so far this year in terms of puck possession numbers but are not getting the results they probably deserve due to an incredibly low Even-Strength Shooting Percentage. History tells us that Shooting percentage regresses to the mean over the course of a season, so I'm not particularly worried about that, but the lack of goals has made a lot of Wild fans very aggravated and tetchy. I've already discussed the Shot Quality question which has come-up several times, but an interesting thing that a lot of people have mentioned is the fact that the Wild appear to be missing an astronomical amount of shots, which could be why their shooting percentage is so low, as opposed to it being because they keep running into good goaltending and/or bad luck.

I decided to look into this and see if the numbers reveal anything about the Wild' shooting accuracy. I couldn't find any good database that breaks down shot attempts into goals, shots on goal and missed shots at a team level, so I took each team's Fenwick For (goals + shots on goal + missed shots) total and subtracted the goals and shots on goal to leave me with the total "missed shots".

In the following tables I have listed every NHL team with the amount of games they have played, their total number of Fenwick events, the type of event and the percentage of the total Fenwick For number that event makes-up. The chart is arranged by the percentage of Fenwick events, highest to lowest.


-I have compiled the data into 3 tables; one for goals, one for shots saved and one for missed shots:

* the data doesn't include Sunday's games.

Shots Resulting In Goals

TEAM

GAMES

FENWICK FOR

GOALS

% OF FENWICK EVENTS

ANA

7

230

20

8.955%

1st

S.J

8

319

24

7.348%

2nd

T.B

8

179

13

7.216%

3rd

STL

7

230

17

6.701%

4th

CGY

7

217

14

6.481%

5th

TOR

9

239

15

6.276%

6th

COL

8

244

15

6.098%

7th

PHX

9

314

19

5.923%

8th

WPG

8

250

13

5.714%

9th

VAN

9

295

18

5.442%

10th

BOS

7

242

14

5.350%

11th

NYI

8

226

16

5.310%

12th

PIT

8

265

19

5.283%

13th

EDM

9

229

17

5.24%

14th

DAL

7

221

11

4.977%

15th

DET

9

290

15

4.828%

16th

CAR

9

295

16

4.746%

17th

OTT

8

275

16

4.364%

18th

N.J

8

238

14

4.237%

19th

CHI

8

278

15

3.957%

20th

MTL

8

280

14

3.957%

21st

WSH

8

261

10

3.831%

22nd

CBJ

7

230

9

3.804%

23rd

FLA

9

251

13

3.543%

24th

L.A

9

302

11

3.311%

25th

NSH

8

259

10

3.101%

26th

BUF

10

269

9

2.974%

27th

PHI

8

240

8

2.954%

28th

MIN

9

275

8

2.920%

29th

NYR

7

185

5

2.427%

30th

Unsurprisingly, the Wild rank near the bottom in goals per Fenwick event. They finished 29th overall, scoring on 2.920% of their Fenwick attempts, with only the New York Rangers posting a worse percentage.


Shots That Were Saved

TEAM

GAMES

FENWICK FOR

SAVED SHOTS

% OF FENWICK EVENTS

CBJ

6

184

174

94.565%

1st

STL

7

194

155

79.897%

2nd

ANA

7

201

155

77.114%

3rd

PHX

8

287

208

72.474%

4th

BUF

9

269

193

71.747%

5th

NSH

7

258

185

71.705%

6th

COL

2

246

175

71.138%

7th

NYI

7

226

160

70.796%

8th

CGY

6

216

150

69.444%

9th

WSH

7

261

181

69.349%

10th

CHI

7

278

192

69.065%

11th

DET

8

290

200

68.966%

12th

VAN

8

294

201

68.367%

13th

PIT

7

265

181

68.302%

14th

N.J

7

236

160

67.797%

15th

MIN

8

274

184

67.153%

16th

FLA

8

254

170

66.929%

17th

TOR

8

239

158

66.109%

18th

EDM

8

227

150

66.079%

19th

MTL

7

278

183

65.827%

20th

CAR

8

295

194

65.762%

21st

BOS

6

243

159

65.432%

22nd

DAL

6

221

142

64.253%

23rd

L.A

8

302

191

63.245%

24th

WPG

8

250

158

63.200%

25th

OTT

7

275

173

62.909%

26th

S.J

7

313

194

61.980%

27th

PHI

8

240

147

61.25%

28th

T.B

7

194

115

59.278%

29th

NYR

6

206

119

57.767%

30th

The Wild are middle-of-the-pack in terms of percentage of Fenwick for attempts saved, with 67.153%, 16th overall.


Shots That Missed The Net

TEAM

GAMES

FENWICK FOR

MISSED SHOTS

% OF FENWICK EVENTS

PHI

8

240

85

35.417%

1st

L.A

8

302

100

33.113%

2nd

S.J

7

313

101

32.268%

3rd

WPG

8

250

79

31.600%

4th

OTT

7

275

86

31.273%

5th

DAL

6

221

68

30.769%

6th

PHX

8

287

87

30.314%

7th

MIN

8

274

83

30.230%

8th

MTL

7

278

83

29.856%

9th

NYR

6

206

61

29.612%

10th

CAR

8

295

85

28.814%

11th

BOS

6

243

69

28.360%

12th

TOR

8

239

66

27.615%

13th

ANA

7

201

55

27.363%

14th

EDM

8

227

62

27.313%

15th

N.J

7

236

64

27.119%

16th

WSH

7

261

70

26.820%

17th

FLA

8

254

68

26.771%

18th

T.B

7

194

51

26.289%

19th

DET

8

290

75

25.862%

20th

VAN

8

294

76

25.850%

21st

CBJ

6

184

47

25.543%

22nd

CHI

7

278

71

25.540%

23rd

BUF

9

269

67

24.907%

24th

NSH

7

258

64

24.806%

25th

CGY

6

216

53

24.537%

26th

PIT

7

265

65

24.528%

27th

STL

7

194

47

24.227%

28th

NYI

7

226

50

22.124%

29th

COL

2

246

54

21.951%

30th

The above table shows that the Wild had the 8th highest percentage of missed shots, with off-target attempts accounting for 30.230% of their total Fenwick events for.


-Here are those numbers illustrated in a pie chart, along with a separate chart showing the league average percentages:

Wild_fenwick_pie_medium

League_fenwick_pie_medium

-Here are the differences shown more clearly:

Compare_medium

As you can see from the graphs above, the Wild aren't too far from the mean in all statistics. They're just below the average goals scored, and slightly above the average shots saved and shots missed.


-To get a better idea of the effect of missing a lot of shots, here are the top 10 teams in % of Missed Shots, plus the Wild, with their position in the league standings, FenClose% and Sh% . This should give an idea of how missing shots relates to success:

TEAM

% FF MISSED

LEAGUE POSITION

FENCLOSE %

ES Sh%

FLYERS

35.417

30th

45.8%

5.2%

KINGS

33.113%

9th

52.4%

5.4%

SHARKS

32.268%

1st

60.7%

11.0%

JETS

31.600%

21st

44.0%

6.9%

SENATORS

31.273%

19th

48.9%

8.5%

STARS

30.769%

24th

51.7%

7.4%

COYOTES

30.314%

8th

56.0%

8.4%

WILD

30.230%

17th

59.6%

4.2%

CANADIENS

29.856%

15th

53.1%

7.1%

RANGERS

29.612%

28th

42.3%

4.0%

HURRICANES

28.814%

12th

45.2%

7.6%

-Average FF% Missed: 31.206%

-Average League Position: 16.727272

-Average FenClose%: 50.881818%

-Average Sh%: 6.8818181%

Looking at these numbers, there isn't any strong correlation between percentage of missed shots and success. For example, the Flyers have the highest percentage of missed shots, and are bottom of the league standings, while the Sharks, who have the 3rd highest percentage are the best team in the league so far. The average FenClose% among the top 11 missed shot teams is just over 50%, so there is no major increase or decrease. The 7 teams with a higher percentage of missed shots than the Wild all have higher ES Sh%.

So, in conclusion, missing the net a lot doesn't necessarily correlate with not being able to score goals. The Sharks and others seem to be able to miss a lot of shots and still find the net on a regular basis. As I have said before, the Wild's inability to score is because of the amount of shots they take that are being saved, not the ones that are missing the net. This brings us full circle to the shot quality debate. If you think that the lack of goals is because they aren't getting the right kind of shots from the high percentage areas, then feel free to study the Wild's shooting this year compared the the rest of the league in terms of shot type and location and present your results, because, to my eye, they don't seem to be doing a whole lot different.

In every game this year there have been many chances that could have ended up as goals but instead were saved. There's only so much players can do. Sure you can always get a clearer shot at goal, but defenders in this league tend to make it as difficult as possible and the route to consistent goalscoring has been shown to be to direct as many shots at the net as possible. If the Wild continue to do this, the goals will come. I know everyone is impatient and sick of hearing about how things will be good later on, but you've gotta keep calm and let the team get deeper into the season.

Follow me on Twitter for more hockey-ness.

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