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Shoot the Puck!

"You miss something something something shots something something something." Wayne Somebody

Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

At the all-star break I took a look at the St. Louis Blues goal scoring and shot rate.  In that article I had this somewhat dire warning.

In order for the Blues to continue this pace of goal scoring, they need to be taking more shots on goal.  Unless this shots for trend changes, I fear we might see a scoring slump on the horizon for this team.

And if you look at the first tab of the dataviz below you will see that the second half of the season the Blues maintained a similar rate of shots and consequently they had a drop in their shooting percentage and in goals per game as well as goals per 60 (all of this is 5v5).  If you don't shoot the puck, you can't score goals.  The Blues did not increase their shot rate and unfortunately, their goal scoring decreased as well.

Looking at the second tab of the dataviz reinforces what the first tab showed us but then also breaks out scoring by players, number of goals scored by players, and the overall goal distribution by player.  There is a filter at the top to toggle between halves of the season or to view the entire season.

The first half of the season was the Tarasenko show.  The second half of the season saw more goal scoring distributed between more players.  Instead of a bunch of players having one or two goals in the first half, the second half had a handful of players with 4-8 goals each.  In fact, during the second half of the season three players each had eight goals. The goal scoring by player is based on data from NHL.com that includes all on-ice situations except for power plays.

Scoring has always been a problem with this team.  And even though the scoring evened out amongst the team during the second half of the season, if they are not able or willing to shoot the puck more, goal scoring will be a problem in the playoffs.  So the next time the person next to you at the Scottrade yells "shoooooooot" don't look at them with disdain or tweet how annoyed you are about it.  You might want to join in.  The more they shoot, the more they will score.  And the Blues need all the shots they can get right now.