Can Teams Win By Taking Higher Quality Shots?

Jonathan Willis
November 09 2011 11:05PM

Shot quality is a hot-button issue among people who spend time trying to learn about the game of hockey through statistical analysis.

Intuitively, we all know that shot quality exists. A quick blast from center ice immediately prior to a line change is far less likely to score than a superstar taking a shot on a breakaway. The question, then, isn’t whether shot quality exists – we know it does – but whether teams can use it to help them win games.

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Headshots November 9th

Thomas Drance
November 09 2011 02:37PM

The above image is courtesy HFboards user Chairman Maouth via TheStanchion.

Headshots are a Canucks Army feature where we link to the day's freshest news, and other assorted Canucks web-goodies. If you've written a blogpost, produced a tribute video or birthed a clever .gif into existence - please e-mail me at

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Countdown to Launch: The Russian Rocket's Top 10 Canucks Moments.

Jeff Angus
November 09 2011 01:01PM

The 20th anniversary of Pavel Bure’s first game as a Canuck was this past Saturday. Trevor Linden may be the greatest Canuck of all time, but Pavel was the best. At his peak, he made you want to catch every second of Canucks games (sure would be nice to have him on the team nowadays for those Minnesota divisional games…). Throughout his career, he was the fastest and most powerful skater in the league. He had Sidney Crosby’s strength and Marian Gaborik’s acceleration (and then some), combined with Alex Ovechkin’s hunger for scoring goals.

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Mike Duco Is A Vampire

Cam Davie
November 09 2011 10:20AM

Even dating back to his days with the Panthers, the pain and anguish in Mike Duco's eyes was obvious.
He had a secret but just couldn't reveal it. UNTIL NOW. Also the fangs were a dead giveaway.
(Photo by Images)

It started out as a curious observation. It grew into a fact-finding mission that shook the very fabric of the hockey world with a startling admission. What we discovered yesterday was not just one of the greatest revelations in the history of hackneyed, part-time Canucks blogging - it was one of the greatest revelations in all of history.

Vampires exist, and Vancouver Canucks farm-hand Mike Duco is one.

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Waiting for Shea

Jeff Angus
November 09 2011 08:57AM

Do the Canucks have a legitimate shot at landing Shea Weber? Jeff Angus takes a closer look!

How many franchise defensemen are there in the league right now? I count five (Zdeno Chara, Nick Lidstrom, Duncan Keith, Shea Weber, and Chris Pronger). There are a few more right on the cusp, like Drew Doughty, Keith Yandle, and Kris Letang. Each of the 30 NHL clubs carries anywhere from six to eight defensemen, meaning there are approximately 200-220 defensemen in the NHL at any given time. Less than three percent of the total defensemen are by my definition "franchise material" at this moment in time. How I would define these players in the top talent bracket:

  • Able to contribute offensively at even strength and on the power play
  • Steady defensively, consistently playing tough minutes in different situations
  • Often make those around them much more successful
  • Physicality is a plus, but not a requirement

In recent years, teams have been rewarded for paying a premium to land one of the above franchise defensemen. Boston paid handsomely for free agent Zdeno Chara back in 2007, and they were Stanley Cup champs four years later. Edmonton, Anaheim, and Philadelphia all went to the Cup Final soon after acquiring Pronger. Keith was the best player on Chicago during their Cup winning season. Lidstrom’s track record speaks for itself. Weber has been a rock on every team he has played on – Kelowna, internationally for Canada, and now in Nashville.

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