If you haven't looked at Tom Awad's piece on the Columbus Blue Jackets, do take a look - it's great stuff. I made an offhand comment to Tom yesterday about the difference in shooting talent between forwards and defensemen, and that there's also a big difference in shooting talent between 1st and 4th line forwards, but I didn't have the numbers. So here are those numbers at even-strength:
So that's an imperceptible difference in everyone's favorite shot quality statistic, but a very large difference in actual shooting percentage. First-line forwards are 6% better than second-line forwards at finishing, 13% better than third-liners and 23% better than fourth-liners. Defensemen, as a group, fall about halfway between 3rd and 4th line forwards in terms of finishing talent, though they shoot from such different spots on the ice it's hard to quantify that talent.