Playing the percentages, with shot attempts

Following the “shot mentality” theme of the day, Terry Murray talked today about his per-game goal of having at least 65 pucks put to the net in every game. That can include shots on goal, blocked shots and shots that go wide, the theory being that you can’t always control the number of pucks that go into the net, but you can control the number of times you try. Last night against Phoenix, the Kings had 36 shots on goal, 16 shots blocked and 20 missed shots, for a total of 72 attempts. (The Coyotes, meanwhile, had 39 total attempts.) After practice today, Murray went into great detail about his shot philosophy…

MURRAY: “You’re going to have shots blocked. Teams are playing such a structured, home-plate attitude right now. It’s hard to get the puck through to the net sometimes, but the most important thing is, if you’re defenseman up high or you’re an F3 shooting the puck, you want to miss that first layer, you want to miss that first guy that is coming out at you. If you can miss that first man, then you take the odds, you play the percentages. When you go back through the game last night, all of our chances, the real good offensive-zone time comes from just a shot mentality. You’re just putting pucks back at the net right away. That’s something that has been time-proven, where you keep putting pucks back to the net, and especially (against) goalies that are on a roll, top goaltenders in the league. You want to get them scrambling. You want to get the defensemen out of position and trying to find pucks. You just keep getting pucks back to the net, and the percentages are on your side, that it will find the back of the net.

“You break down, not the original shot, but you recover the puck and put that puck back at the net, and the percentages of pucks that go in… You (start) from that half-second after you recover the original shot, and the further out you go, to five seconds, the percentage of scoring a goal drops right off the table. If you get it in the first two seconds, three seconds, and you’re putting pucks back at the net, the percentage of pucks going in is incredibly high. I don’t have that percentage right now, I don’t remember it, but I’ve looked at this and studied this. That’s the whole (thing with) pucks to the net, no hesitation, rebounds. The fastest that rebound goes back to the net, the higher the percentage of it going in. People are out of position. Goalies are out of position. It finds the five-hole. I thought we did a real good job of that in some shifts last night, putting pucks to the net right after that original shot, and getting back to it. The goalie, give him credit, he made some very big stops. On the other side of it, we just didn’t have, in some cases, enough traffic.”

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