December 29 2011 07:58PM
Mason Raymond does actually like going to the net.
So Mason Raymond is going to the net more, you say? Thom Drance has been fighting this battle, arguing Raymond's been no different this year from last, but it's hard for people to let go of what they 'see'.
Perhaps some visuals will help us assess this popular belief. Here's a run down of every single Raymond goal from last year.
Thanks to the miracle of youtube, we have a fine record of Raymond's goals. Here are all 15 from his injury-plagued campaign. Oh, by the way, last year he shot at a 7.6 per cent clip. His career shooting percentage from his non-2010/11 seasons is 10.3 per cent. He didn't get a bounce last year.
Also, how does that 2.7 percent difference in shooting percentage play out over the 197 shots he took last year? 5.3 goals. If you saw that Mason Raymond scored 20 goals in 70 games last year, we'd be a lot more happy, wouldn't we?
This is goal number one. Pretty much the top of the crease.
Second goal of the year, same game. Same area but with Joe Corvo trying to check him. That's two for two on dirty area goals.
Goal number three is an overtime game winner, that's as much opportunist than anything. But yes, again on the doorstep. Three-for-three.
Ok, that's a lucky perimeter goal. My goodness, what was Giguere doing?! (3-for-4)
Raymond went almost 3 weeks without a goal before his goal in TO and then two-and-a-half before this hattrick vs Calgary. Even Ray Ferraro comments on his lack of drive to the net. We'll come back to that later. First of all, here's goal 1.
Goal 2. That's pretty nifty. It's a deke on a breakaway, not the 'tough traffic goal' we are looking for. He's 3-for-6.
That's his hat trick. It's a scoring area. He's scored three different ways in the game, but none were the 'at the net'. This means that, so far, 3 of 7 goals are from spade work.
Goal 8 on the season is from the heart of the slot. (You'll notice his previous scoring chance was also from the slot.) This fits the category. 4/8.
Tip from the doorstep. 5-of-9. (Despite Garrett's protests)
Doorstep. Again. 6/10.
Goal 11 is borderline. He's at the net, but it's basically a rush. Let's say it's not in the category. 6/11.
There he is again, at the net. That's 7 of 12. I think we are sensing a trend here. When he goes to the net, he scores.
Rush goal. 7 of 13.
Great positioning, finding the open space, ready to score. But it's off the net. We've dropped to 50 per cent.
Ok. I'm calling this an at-the-net goal. It's the end of a rush, but I didn't count the other incarnation of this, so two halves make one.
So that's 8 of Raymond's 15 regular season goals in 2010-11 being scored at the net. If anything, Raymond was unlucky in his off-the-net goals. As Thom has shown, Raymond's chances were well distributed and is doing nothing different between the two seasons. It's all about luck.