How many times have you watched a Penguins game and yelled at the TV with something along the lines of “C’mon [insert player here], shoot the puck!”
If your answer is 0, try again.
If your answer is a few times every game, then that’s more like it.
Nothing makes me more angry than when the Penguins are in the zone, particularly on the power play, and Sidney Crosby (or any player for that matter) passes up a shot to try to thread a needle to a man who is on the opposite end of the ice with 3+ guys standing in the passing lane. If the pass gets through, there’s a chance it goes in, and it looks like a spectacular play. But when it doesn’t get through?
Yeah, it’s not a shot. Last time I checked, you can’t score without shooting the puck. The Penguins need to do more of that this season.
Head coach Mike Johnston always emphasizes shot volume. His thought process is simple: The more shots you take, the more goals you get. So, is it really that simple?
Yes. It really is that simple.
Let’s take a look at last season. Mike Johnston specifically said that if the Penguins could register 35 shots on goal every game, they would be very successful. So let’s go based on this.
Last year, the Penguins record was 27-22-5 when they did not record 35 shots or more. This means that through these 54 games, the Penguins had only 59 points and put up 1.09 points per game. This means that in an 82 game season, they would be on pace for 89 points, which would probably miss the playoffs most years.
Now, let’s look at their record when they registered 35 shots or more. The Penguins had 28 games where they accomplished this task, putting up a 16-5-7 record and 39 points and 1.39 points per game. This means that in an 82 game season, they would have been on pace for 114 points! This would not only put the Penguins in the playoffs, but possibly win them a Presidents Trophy as well.
Shooting the puck is even all the more important now, especially with the lineup the Penguins are putting out there. They are absolutely stacked up front, and if they shoot, they will score at least a few.
If the Penguins want success this year, it really is as easy as 3 simple words:
Shoot. The. Puck!
Finally, the 7th article in 7 days is done! Now, buckle up baby.
The Penguins season is right around the corner.
Expect a blog post from myself after Thursday night’s game about my impressions on the game action. Let’s Go Pens!