Thursday, October 20, 2005

Shoot, Shots, Shucks?

Okay, I will let you into a little secret: There is such a thing as letting good shots go to the net. Goaltenders at any level will tell you what the easiest saves are shots 15 feet out around the top of the circles. Outside shots on net have a small probability to make it in the net (depending on your goaltender).

If you go to a game early check out the warm-ups and watch when all the players line up and shoot rapidly at the goaltenders. Notice the guys on the ends of that line when they shoot from those perspectives. You will almost always notice the goaltender doesn't have to do much to make that save. If you shoot from an angle on the net, the surface area of the net shrinks.

I am sure there are some complex mathematics involved and if was that smart I would have pasted all those numbers here and show off my intellect powers for you to awe at. But I was told there would be no math here!

A lot of bloggers look at the enormous amount of shots the Caps have taken to be a really bad thing. Well kinda.

If a goaltender faces good outside shots, his probable changes for the save is good. Example, Brent Johnson when given a good shooting lane whenever the Islanders were on a powerplay. With no traffic in front of him, he stopped shot after shot that the Caps gave the Islanders to shoot which was an outside shot, 10-15 feet out. Each time the puck was shot right into Johnson's chest, no rebound.

Ask any goaltender and they will tell you that they can make that save every time. So if the Caps are taking a large number of shots, they may just be letting those outside shots in. Olaf Kolzig and Johnson are good enough to make that save.

-- Other Notes --
  • Pittsburgh Penguins still looking for a win. There is a God and he hates Sidney Crosby (sorry Pens fans mainly my sister).
  • Islanders finally get win against the Rangers after going 0-8-2 in their previous meetings.
  • Kris Draper is now wearing a visor after a close call with a puck in the eye. Draper said he was "lucky" and brings up the question whether the NHL should make visors mandatory.
  • Gary Bettman is happy about the fans response to the new NHL. "For the first time in a long while, the NHL has momentum," said Bettman in Toronto. Too bad he hasn't been at the MCI Center this year.

Dainius Zubrus gets some ink and love from the Wash Post, as the Caps get ready to face off against the Panthers tonight at the Bankatlantic Center. 7 pm start time. Damn that interferes with my "Survivor" time! Ah well, the wife will understand (maybe not).

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