One of my favorite numbers from the last few years is .935. That's the number of shots taken per sixty minutes of time on ice taken by Jason Strudwick in 2009-10. It's the lowest number in the league since 1998.
Strudwick's 2009-2010 shot rates are the lowest in the the league since 1998. He failed to put one shot on goal per sixty minutes of ice time. Strudwick's 1999 season is fifth on the list at 1.1 per sixty.
The Oilers' difficulty in getting pucks on net got me thinking about Strudwick's struggles (he owns two of the five lowest seasons since 1998) and two other players who struggled that season how similar players might be impacting the Oilers this season.
Strudwick wasn't alone this year though - Adam Foote from the Colorado Avalanche managed just 1.2 shots per sixty, the seventh-worst rate in the league since 1998. The Avs also had Scott Hannan at 1.8 shots per sixty, among the fifty worst rates in the league since '98. Want to build a foundation of a team that gets historically outshot? Start with two defensemen that don't shoot the puck.
Foote and Hannan played for the 2009-10 Avs, a team that was outshot on a consistent basis, and one that I've discussed recently. The two played significant minutes in combination with a group of young forwards who struggled with possession for the Avalanche that season and contributed in large part to the team's shooting woes .
The Oilers have their own Foote and Hannan this season -- Ladislav Smid and Theo Peckham
25 games into the season, Theo Peckham has 9 shots on goal, Ladislav Smid has 12. But it's not games played that gives us the accurate measurement - time on ice is the number we're interested in.
Shots per 60 places Peckham's pace in the 40 worst seasons since 1998. Smid is much worse - he's on pace for the 15th-worst season since 1998. One defense-only defender on the back end is typical, two can lead to issues, like the Avs of two years ago.
To put their numbers in perspective, we can compare their shot rates to other Edmonton defenders.
Cam Barker, Corey Potter and Jeff Petry shoot three times as often or more than Peckham or Smid. Every other defender on the team shoots twice as often. In fact, Peckham and Smid drag the average down so far, they're the only two regulars under the defensive corps average.
Cam Barker and Corey Potter look great in comparison to their teammates by this measure, but they get more power play time. Breaking this down by even strength minutes shows a different story.
|Player||ES S||ES MISS||ES S/60||ES ATT/60|
Potter leads the team in both shots and attempts at even strength, but Barker falls down to Smidian levels without the man advantage, giving the Oilers three defensemen who aren't generating shots on goal.