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McLellan and Volume Shooting

Couple thoughts on the recent comments made by head coach Todd McLellan.

Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers head coach Todd McLellan made an interesting comment recently about putting shots on net, emphasizing volume shooting.

"Volume shooting, I don't know what that does to Corsi or Fenwick because I don't even know what those things are, but volume shooting is important. I think it breaks down defensive zone coverages, gets players out of position, taxes the opposition, makes them play more minutes in their zone."  -


I can't say I was surprised when he dismissed Corsi and Fenwick. He's likely aware that those are good proxies for possession, but isn't likely to disclose how much or how often he uses those types of metrics. But when he mentioned volume shooting, I wanted to see just how much shooting his team did when he was in San Jose and what exactly it translated to.

I looked at the Sharks rate of shot attempts at even-strength and compared it to the league average over the period that McLellan was the head coach there. And just for fun, I added in the Oilers rates.

Every season that McLellan was head coach, the Sharks were near the top of the league in shot attempts. On top of breaking down defensive zone overages and  taxing the opposition, taking shots, and more importantly, out-shooting opponents, correlates well with generating scoring chances. We know that from the work done by Eric Tulsky in 2012.

Reviewing the seven seasons that McLellan was head coach, we see that the Sharks were always above average when it came to generating scoring chances, likely from rebounds and taking their opponents out of position. There's a good reason why McLellan went 311-163-66 as the head coach and was highly sought after following his dismissal from San Jose.

If McLellan can instill the right tactics and strategies and get the Oilers shooting more often, we should see significant improvement from previous seasons. I'd be interested to learn more about the tactics he uses to not only generate a shot attempt, but how he gets his players in the right spots to create scoring chances from those shot attempts.