Missing the Net, Redux

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 21: Dany Heatley #15 of the San Jose Sharks misses a shot on Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings in the first period of game four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on April 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Neil had an interesting post last week about the impact of missing the net on goal scoring. He excerpts a scouting book where a scout claims that big goalscorers like Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk don't miss the net that often. You know what comes next, right? Both Heatley and Kovalchuk miss the net more often at even-strength than the league average...

This got me wondering if any players had an actual talent for hitting and/or missing the net. One key driver of missing the net is how far away you shoot from - here's every player who had 200+ EV shots over the last two seasons:

Miss_pct_f_d_medium

Forwards form the bubble in the middle of the chart; defensemen are the one on the right. Clearly, one component of the "talent" is a player's position, so we'll look only at forwards. And because I don't want MSG's faulty scorer skewing my results we'll only look at road even-strength shots.

Shot Dist Miss Pct
Regress to mean 35% 100%
R^2 0.36 0

What I've done here is randomly select half of each forward's shots and compare his miss percentage to the other half of his shots - and run this across 278 forwards who had a minimum of 100 even-strength road shots the last two seasons. The takeaway: individual forwards tend to shoot from the same locations, but they possess zero identifiable talent for missing (or not missing) the net. At the team level, we see the same thing - zero talent for hitting the net.

As is often the case with goalscoring, players who happen to put the puck in the net are perceived to have all kinds of talents that they don't actually possess. When they score, it appears that they're always hitting the net, but the reality is that they can't control it.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Arctic Ice Hockey

You must be a member of Arctic Ice Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Arctic Ice Hockey. You should read them.

Join Arctic Ice Hockey

You must be a member of Arctic Ice Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Arctic Ice Hockey. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker