FanPost

Dear Guy Yelling SHOOOOT

So someone on the other team has been sent to the box and Sandstorm has people acting like idiots. The "song" cuts out just as the puck is dropped and now that 2.7 seconds have passed without a shot you feel like its the perfect time to start coaching from the 300 level. You cup your hands on either side of your mouth and bellow "SHOOOOOOOT" despite the fact that the point man has no lane. Nice job.

Look I understand your frustration with the powerplay. With this much talent it should be better, but the issue has not been the Blackhawks lacking shots with the man advantage.

As someone who hopes on day have Pat Foley's job I spend a lot of time watching hockey and paying way more attention than to most to the play-by-play guys. Over the last three years doing play-by-play I've taken what I like from several guys and avoided doing things that annoy me when I'm watching a game. One of the things that seems to pop up on every broadcast is that broadcaster's comment on the number of shots taken on a given man advantage. This got me wondering what is a good number of shots per man advantage. What I found was actually pretty surprising.

The Blackhawks average 1.403 shots per powerplay (s/pp), which sounds pretty bad. It sounds worse when you consider that they average 31.477 shots per game which works out to roughly (not accounting for OTs) 1.049 shots for any 2 minute span. But the Hawks 1.403 s/pp ranks 10th in the NHL, the highest is 1.544 s/pp which belongs to Columbus. The league average is only 1.375 s/pp. Whats more, there is almost no correlation between s/pp and pp%, this year s/pp accounts for 12.82% of the variance in pp%. Even if the Blackhawks shot as much as the Blue Jackets do, with the Hawks powerplay shooting% they would only have 3 more pp goals so far this season.

Which brings us to the real problem, the Blackhawks shooting% when up a man is 11.22% which is 25th, and only a 1.74 percentage point increase over their overall shooting% of 9.48%. Every team sees an increased s% when up a man, and most see it increase significantly. On average teams' shooting% is 3.90 percentage points higher on the pp compared to their overall s%, and only one team (Montreal at .086) improves less than the Blackhakws.

What does this all mean? It means that the problem isn't that "des guys pass too much and don't shoot da puck." The problem is a combination of three things. First, their Sharp on the back-post play has finally (after 4 years) been scouted and when Kane is on the half wall goalies are already cheating over. Second, when not using the tip play, shots are either too easily seen by the goalie or fired right into his logo. Lastly, to some extent, they're snake bit.

The solution, at least in my opinion is not a drastic overhaul to the system. Go back to the old Kane on the halfwall set-up with Sharp on the weak side point. One forward goes to the front of the net as a screener and the other below the goalline on the strong side to act as a safety valve for Kane. The only change, have Kane start walking in off of the wall and shooting more. At worst it will keep the goalie from cheating to the back post opening up the Sharp crash play and at best it will go in like the goal against the ducks on Sunday. It might not be a fool proof plan but I promise its better than shooting into the pk forward's shin pads.

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