St. Louis Blues: On The Eleventh Day Of Bluesmas 2017

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 14: Vladimir Tarasenko
ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 14: Vladimir Tarasenko /

The St. Louis Blues do have a problem shooting the puck. They are extremely hot and cold with the amount they put on net and from where. However, they do shoot it more often than we would believe.

On the eleventh day of Bluesmas, my true Blues gave to me, eleven percent shooting, ten games for Barbashev, nine forwards clicking, a coach that understands how to utilize younger players, seven retired numbers, six goose eggs laid, five scorers scoring, fourth best defending, three reinforced skates, two great goaltenders and an Adidas sweater under the tree. Yes, the St. Louis Blues actually do shoot it when their top guys are on the ice.

I will not lie here. I have often been driven to the point of insanity where I’ve had to join the “SHOOT!” club.

We all try not to do it. Most of us try to stay away from that because we feel embarrassed by the people that yell it as soon as the game starts.

However, the Blues have a way of driving you to it. Even when they have high shot totals, there are just so many opportunities that they pass up.

It drives you, me, them, anyone crazy. However, despite all our claims that the offense is too passive (it still is), the team’s best players are taking a large percentage of shots.

The team has four players at 11% or better when it comes to oiSH%. Now, that’s a fancy new term, but basically it means that when those players are on the ice, that is the team’s shooting percentage.

Just for comparison, Sidney Crosby currently has an oiSH% of 5.6%. His career average is about 10%.

Now, these numbers can be taken either way really. We know that the Penguins generally have a good offense, despite slightly lower scores for Crosby.

Conversely, we know that the Blues pass up opportunities. So, these numbers are not really going to tell us that the Blues are shooting and we are just too blind to see it.

They are merely interesting tools. They do tell us that the Blues are far more likely to shoot, as a team, when certain players are on the ice.

Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz all have high percentages. That pretty much shows what we already knew. The team is more likely to shoot when those guys are on the ice than not.

The slightly odd one is that Jay Bouwmeester makes up the fourth player. Some of that is due to the fact he usually defends for the top line. Some of it does have to do with his offense.

Bouwmeester’s personal shot percentage has usually been pretty low with the Blues. However, a lot of his shots go wide by design as he looks more for deflections and rebounds than goals. So, it should come as little surprise that he is generating offense.

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That’s more what these numbers are meant to show. It’s not about scoring goals per say, but showing that these guys generate offense. The team is more likely to shoot when they are on the ice, whether it is them doing the shooting or them setting up other shots.

Fans are always going to yell “shoot!” at games. It’s almost as much a part of hockey as the ice itself. Perhaps we can just save our voices a little when these guys are on the ice.