Monday, August 15, 2011

Preds must have 'shoot first' mentality



"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." That was Wayne Gretzky's philosophy on scoring. As a team that struggles to put the puck in the net, the Nashville Predators could take some of Gretzky's advice.

According to NHL.com, the Nashville Predators had 2,362 shots during the 2010-11 regular season, which was good for 24th in the league. Albeit, the Nashville Predators don't have an overload of offensive talent on the roster.

Even so, more goals could still be created simply by shooting the puck more. You often hear Barry Trotz, and many Preds' fans, criticizing the team for making that "one extra pass." Sometimes, that one extra pass is beneficial. It can create a better scoring opportunity. Other times, the one extra pass eliminates what would have been the prime scoring opportunity.

Sergei Kostitsyn led the Predators in goals last year with 23. However, he only had 93 shots in 77 games. To put that in perspective, Marcel Goc played in 51 games and had 111 shots. Ten players on the Nashville roster had more shots than the leading goal scorer. Can you imagine how many goals Kostitsyn would have scored if he simply shot the puck more often?

Apart from Patric Hornqvist(265) and Shea Weber(254), no other player on the Preds' roster had over 200 shots. In fact, the closest player to Hornqvist and Weber was Joel Ward with 157 shots. Alexander Ovechkin had 367 shots, more than Kostitsyn(93), David Legwand(130) and Colin Wilson(101) combined.

Fans can complain about not having a legitimate goal scoring threat, and rightly so. However, simply shooting the puck more could go a long way toward making the Predators a more offensively successful team.

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