I’ve been working on developing an answer to The Offseason Agenda question about where the goals will come from in the post-Rick Nash Columbus Blue Jackets…and was distracted not by a bright, shiny object but rather a statistic line that I wasn’t planning to use: Shooting percentage. I had to share what I saw.
First, let’s start with the 900-pound gorilla for the Blue Jackets’ scoring last season: Rick Nash. The man took 306 shots, roughly one-eighth of the team’s 2,454 shots. His shooting percentage (goals divided by shots) was 9.8 percent.
Now, let’s look at the 2011-12 Blue Jackets who had a higher shooting percentage than Nash:
- TOMAS KUBALIK 12.5%
- JEFF CARTER 11.5%
- DEREK MACKENZIE 11.5%
- DERICK BRASSARD 11.2%
- MAKSIM MAYOROV 11.1%
- CAM ATKINSON 10.6%
- MARK LETESTU 10.5%
- RJ UMBERGER 10.0%
- KRIS RUSSELL 10.0%
- RADEK MARTINEK 10.0%
Let’s see. Kubalik will likely be back in Springfield this season. Carter is gone. Mayorov went back to Russia. Russell is in St. Louis. Martinek isn’t coming back to Columbus. That leaves just MacKenzie, Brassard, Atkinson, Letestu and Umberger.
But wait, it gets better.
Per NHL.com’s trove of statistics, there are 129 NHL players with better shooting percentages than Kubalik’s team-best 12.5%, and plenty of them have a healthy number of goals. Take, for example, Washington’s Mathieu Perrault, who garnered 16 goals (good for third best in Columbus) with a gaudy 26.7 shooting percentage. Or league scoring title winner Steven Stamkos of Tampa, who tallied his 60 goals with a 19.8 percentage. It goes on and on.
But what about the new Blue Jackets? Will any of them bring a nose for the net that would show up in shooting percentage? Glad you asked, because here’s the list (exempting Tim Erixon because of his minimal NHL exposure last season):
In comparison to the league: Anisimov’s number is OK, if not great. The rest, though…well…let’s say that the scoring question just got a lot more interesting.