Flames Forwards Shot Rates – Part 1



Ryan Lambert recently noted Mike Cammalleri’s low shot volume in his Five Things feature. That mention got me curious about investigating the main guy’s shot rates last year in depth and to relate it to their possession rates and overall performance.

The best scorers in the league are high volume shooters. Usually, they combine some degree of accuracy as well (12-13% or better personal shooting percentage), but getting a lot of goals almost always comes down to getting a lot of shots. That’s one of the reason why it’s important for a team’s stars to be in the offensive zone and getting pucks on net.

I’m going to restrict this inquiry to even strength shot rates. PP ice time is restricted to a few guys and dependent on opportunity, so not as that indicative of ability. Let’s start with the basics (info via www.behindthnet.ca):

JAROMEIGINLA 82 16.37 22 161
OLLIJOKINEN 82 14.63 13 144
BLAKECOMEAU 74 13.21 5 114
LEESTEMPNIAK 61 12.57 12 95
TOMKOSTOPOULOS 81 10.75 2 80
DAVIDMOSS 32 11.5 2 74
MIKAELBACKLUND 41 13.02 2 70
MATTSTAJAN 61 11.36 7 66
ALEXTANGUAY 64 13.82 10 46

Nothing really unexpected here – Iginla and Jokinen played the most at 5on5 and also played the full 82-game season, so were bound to lead the pack. Now, let’s see how efficient each player was with his ice time by controlling for that variable:

NAME GP TOI/60 G SH TS ES ICE shots/game shots/60
DAVIDMOSS 32 11.5 2 74 76 368 2.38 12.39
LEESTEMPNIAK 61 12.57 12 95 107 767 1.75 8.37
JAROMEIGINLA 82 16.37 22 161 183 1342 2.23 8.18
MIKAELBACKLUND 41 13.02 2 70 72 534 1.76 8.09
OLLIJOKINEN 82 14.63 13 144 157 1200 1.91 7.85
MICHAELCAMMALLERI 66 13.76 17 98 115 908 1.74 7.60
BLAKECOMEAU 74 13.21 5 114 119 978 1.61 7.30
MATTSTAJAN 61 11.36 7 66 73 693 1.20 6.32
TOMKOSTOPOULOS 81 10.75 2 80 82 871 1.01 5.65
CURTISGLENCROSS 67 13.3 15 68 83 891 1.24 5.59
ALEXTANGUAY 64 13.82 10 46 56 884 0.88 3.80

As you can see, once we convert shots to a per hour rate, we get a very different ranking. The Flames big guns are all clustered together in the middle (6.50-7.20 shots per hour) whereas third liners like Backlund, Moss and Stempniak are leading the way. Jarome is still one of the leaders, although he falls behind Stempniak and Moss and is only marginally ahead of Backlund. Tanguay is the worst of the bunch, but he’s always been a pass first, pass second, "shoot only at the open net" kind of guy. Glencross being at the bottom surprised me, although he has also never been a high volume shooter and was very reliant on a sky high SH% last year to score 20+.

To put these rates in context, here’s an article from Cam Charron last March looking at the league leaders in ES shots/60. The top 20 or so players were in the 10+ shots/60 territory. The list includes high-end stars (Zetterberg, Kessel, Nash, Ovechkin) emerging snipers (Seguin, Kane, Landeskog) and a smattering of third liners who are good enough to outplay other third liners like Moss (Cleary, Clarkson, Larose, Kennedy).

In the next part of this series, I will show why the Flames stars shot rates are relatively lackluster by applying corsi/possession stats and showing how they moderate personal and on-ice scoring rates.

  • Your games played*TOI per game doesn’t match your ES minutes. I think your using behind the net for one and somewhere else (NHL.com?) for the other and one counts 4 on 4 play and the other doesn’t.

    This would mess around with your calculated shots per 60, I recognized it because your Cammalleri doesn’t match my BTN calculated values (~7.6 per 60, pretty average for a top six forward).

    His five year average on 5on5 shooting% is 10.9 (relatively high for a forward) so don’t expect him to keep up his 14%scoring rate.

    Cammalleri’s shooting rate peaked in the two years of 2008-10 at around 9.4 per hour and has declined since, he’s only 80% of the shooting/goal scoring threat on evens he once was.

    • Yeah, I didn’t use BtN first two columns for any of the calculations. Instead, I took the ice time directly from NHL.com. As you say, NHL probably includes 4on4 time as well.

      I may recalculate and re-post the table as result.

      That said, my Cammalleri calc still only comes out to 6.47/60.

  • I have 115 shots in 908 minutes played (115/908*60)=7.6.


    The results look like they’d probably be about proportionate so your interpretations are likely still sound.

    My next season projection system uses this kind of method + historical ice-time and shooting% to project players. Right now I’ve got Cammalleri hitting about 16 goals 5on5 per 82 games. Pretty average 5on5, but Cammalleri’s strength is the PP. He’s usually pretty average for a top six winger on even strength.

  • Blake Comeau is someone that really jumps out at me in this sort of thing. He produces a pretty good shot volume for 3rd line minutes. Him and Stempniak should ideally fall into that “3rd line that outchances/outshoots weaker 3rd lines” group.

  • beloch

    A couple of reactions:

    1. Moss being at the top makes me wonder what his previous seasons look like since injuries give us a rather small sample here. If that’s not just sample size, boy he’d have been a nice player to hang onto if only he could remain healthy! I can’t help but wonder if Phoenix pulled off a steal by signing him. Could he actually get healthy with a full season off if there’s a lockout?

    2. We also have a somewhat small sample for Backlund here, but it’s actually very promising that he’s #2 on the team considering the fact that he faced clearly tougher competition than players like Comeau and Stempniak. He’s just on the outskirts of the cluster formed by the “stars” (I’m looking at the ToI QoC comparison posted earlier.). He’s got to do something about his Sh% though. Maybe it’s bad luck or maybe his aim just sucks.

    • SmellOfVictory

      Backlunds numbers are almost certainly bad luck, because it’s not just his personal SH%, it’s the on-ice SH% of everyone on the team when he’s playing. He’s been reamed hard by the God of Bounces, and there has to be some kind of improvement (although the extent of that improvement could be highly variable).

  • beloch

    Okay… I did what I think is the same calculation as you for 2010-2011: shots/(TOI60*games/60) (all stats from behindthenet)

    2010-2011 sh/60
    1. Ales Kotalik: 11.38
    2. Mikael Backlund: 9.22
    3. David Moss: 8.95
    4. Jarome Iginla: 8.09
    5. Niklas Hagman: 7.92
    6. Ollie Jokinen: 7.76

    Backlund played 73 games in 2010-2011 and had a *better* sh/60 than he did last season, so that’s a good sign. He actually did better than Moss did, although he was a bit sheltered that season (from looking at the OZvQoC charts from that year). He wasn’t sheltered to a tremendous degree though, thanks to him spending some time on the top line, and he was a year younger then to boot.

    So barring injuries and bad puck luck, Backlund just might have himself a good season (if there is one).

    One thing I do find surprising is that Kotalik is tops on the 2010-2011 list! He did only play 26 games, so perhaps that’s due to sample size. Still, one would expect a player with a famously poisonous contract to suck a little more…

    As for David Moss, he didn’t do nearly as well in 2010-2011 in terms of sh/60. He’s still one of the best players on the team as far as this stat goes, but he’s substantially lower. Given that in 2011-2012 he was older, dealt with worse injuries, etc. I’ll go out on a limb and say his sky-high sh/60 is at least partly due to sample size.

  • I have this worked out for the Habs projected roster forwards next year if anyone wants to compare:

    Player: Shots per 60
    Pacioretty: 12.19
    Cole: 9.33
    Gionta: 8.24
    Plekanec: 7.91
    Bourque: 7.67
    Eller: 6.12
    Moen: 5.74
    Prust: 4.09
    Desharnais: 3.61
    Armstrong: 3.24

    With Armstrong, Plekanec and Gionta projected to increase towards career means due to injury recovery and better circumstance and Cole to slightly decrease.

  • supra steve


    Time for an article about the Flame players boycotting the Flame’s charity golf tournament. Doesn’t seem like a smart ploy by the players. Actually it seems like a really bad/stupid/selfish move to me.

  • supra steve

    I also think you can’t use the behindthenet.ca TOI/60 because it is giving you wacky results. TOI/60 is the player’s time on ice at 5v5 per 60 minutes the team plays at 5v5. But if you check it against the NHL.com ES TOI/game they don’t match up. I know that the 4 v 4 time is part of the explanation, but it doesn’t cover the whole gap.

    Iginla’s total TOI as per your calculation is 1342, but NHL.com has his ESTOI per game at 17:15 for an 82 game total of 1414.5. I don’t think Iginla spent 70 minutes over the season on the ice at 4v4. Even if you give him 41 minutes of 4v4 time (30 seconds per game), that drives his ice time up to 1373.5 and drives his shot rate down to 7.99/60 min 5v5. I haven’t done the adjustment for the rest, but it gets even more fraught with guys like Comeau and Cammalleri moving teams plus guys like Tanguay and Moss missing time because the proportion of the games played at ES differentiates between all the players. For example, NHL.com has Cammalleri at 953:42 of ES TOI, which is about 5% higher than you have him here.