Bryan Murray wants other team to block shots

PITTSBURGH - APRIL 22: Anton Volchenkov #24 of the Ottawa Senators blocks a shot against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Mellon Arena on April 22, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Unfortunate comment of the day from Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray:

""It’s great to block shots," Murray said in reference to Volchenkov’s specialty, "but I would like the other team to block shots. And you do that by having the puck, helping your forwards get the attack going and by being creative, particularly from the (defence)."

Sunny Mehta wrote about this a couple of months ago.  On defense, teams actually have the ability to influence the number of shots they block - with Volchenkov being perhaps the most talented player in the league in this area.  Unlike shots on goal or missed shots, these additional blocked shots do not indicate that the opposing team had a larger share of possession or of scoring chances.  Which is likely why when we look at team-level data, we find that blocked shots do not predict winning percentage in any way.

Murray is correct that your team wants to be getting more shots on offense - blocked or not - but he broke up the very effective shutdown pairing of Phillips and Volchenkov using faulty reasoning.

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