Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Shots on Goal


This is difference in shots on goal the Caps faced last year. That's almost 5.5 shots per game. This stat is important for a couple of different reasons. First, it shows the how much pressure the opposition was putting on our goaltenders and young defense. Secondly, it shows that our offense was not able to keep the pressure on the other teams defense. The good news was that the Caps shooting percentage was slightly above the opposition. The off-season moves the Caps made this summer seem to address the need to change this trend. The acquisition of puck possession forwards and an offensive defensemen, in theory, will help to reduce this deficit. The more time the Caps can spend in the offensive zone means less shots on Olie and less pressure on the defense to make stops. It also forces the opposition to expend more energy and gives us more opportunity to put points on the board. There has been a lot of noise made that the Caps did not sign a stud stopping defensemen, but the Caps seem to be going with the philosophy that more offense is good defense. Doing this also allows the younger defensemen to develop without being under siege all the time giving them time they need to develop some confidence. I don't know how many times I watched games last year where I saw our offensive weakness turned into defensive struggles. It seemed like we were always running around in our own zone. Will this pay off? I hope so because I am a believer that putting more pressure on the other team and forcing them to stop you is a much better strategy than merely trying to match the opposition. Its also a lot more fun to watch when you believe your team is going to try and score every time they get the puck because we definitely have some finishers on our team.

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