Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shooting % Doesn't Mean Jack to MVP Voters

There's a stupid belief that the only reason AO has so many goals is because he shoots so much.


Okay, but it's not just that he shoots so much, some critics of the Great 8 argue that Ovechkin's shooting percentage is a detriment to his chances of becoming MVP.

Here's the shooting percentages, shots on goal and total goals of the past four MVP winners.

2008 MVP Ovechkin: 14.6/446 SOG/65 goals
2007 MVP Crosby: 14.7/250 SOG/36 goals
2006 MVP Thornton: 14.9/195 SOG/29 goals
2004 MVP St. Louis: 17.9/212 SOG/38 goals

So which stat of those three do you think stuck out to the voting committee? Or better yet, what's the name of the trophy they give to the player with the best shooting percentage?

Now let's take a look at this year's scoring race.

Alex Ovechkin: 10.7/475 SOG/51 goals (7 games left)
Zach Parise (NJD): 12.8/320 SOG/41 goals (9 games left)
Jeff Carter (PHI): 13.3/301 SOG/40 goals (10 games left)

Ovechkin has taken 155 more shots than the next closest competitor, who he leads by 10 goals. Barring a huge setback, Alex's name should be etched onto the Rocket Richard trophy today. It's even possible that Ovechkin could be the only player to reach 50 this year.

Of all the MVPs and goal scorers we've seen today, only one had a shooting percentage above 15%. So between shooting percentage and goals, which stat did those players' coaches care about most?

So what does shooting percentage tell us? Nothing really.

Instead of looking at the stat as "oh well he misses so much," why not look at it as "man defenses really have a hard time controlling him if he gets to shoot that much."

After all, someone great said "100% of the shots you don't take, don't go in," and if you're a offensive forward on the ice and you're not trying to score goals, then why the hell are you playing at all?

(stats provided by


  1. Shooting % is a stat that shouldn't mean anything. A more telling stat is shots on goal and in terms of scoring, naturally the most important stat is goals. Hockey is not baseball. Complicated statistics are not a strong determinant of how good a player is.

  2. The only people whining about his shooting % are pittsburgh fans. They are scared that Malkin won't win the award and are grasping at straws for a reason Ovie doesn't deserve it. It's pathetic, he has 105 points and they're so in secure they attack a shooting percentage of an offensive winger.


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