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Ribeiro rarely misses

by Adam Kimelman

Last season, the average NHL player scored on 9.3 percent of his shots. League-wide, that meant 6,691 goals were scored on 71,503 shots. But who were the above-average players? Which shooters made the most of their scoring opportunities?

Here's a look at the most accurate goal scorers in the Western Conference in 2007-08:

Mike Ribeiro, Dallas -- The Stars' center not only had his best NHL season, he was by far the League's most efficient. Ribeiro, in his second season in Dallas, scored a career-best 27 goals on just 107 shots, for a 25.2 percent accuracy.

Ribeiro has a history of being an economical player. His previous best season was 2003-04 with Montreal, when he scored 20 goals on just 103 shots (19.4 percent).

Brad Boyes, St. Louis -- Spending a season in one place for the first time in three seasons did wonders for Boyes. Playing for his fourth organization since being drafted No. 24 by Toronto in 2000, Boyes seems to have found a permanent home on the Blues' top line. With 43 goals on just 207 shots, Boyes finished second in League with a 20.8 shooting percentage. It was the most accurate season for a 40-plus goal scorer since Cam Neely scored 50 goals on just 185 shots (27.0 percent) in 1993-94.

Marek Svatos, Colorado -- The Avalanche forward was having a nice bounce-back season when a torn knee ligament ended his season in March, after just 62 games. In the time he did play, however, he was particularly accurate, scoring 26 goals on just 140 shots, for an 18.6 shooting percentage, third in the League.

Andrew Cogliano, Edmonton -- Cogliano was a surprise addition to the Oilers' roster last season, his first after leaving the University of Michigan, and he made his debut a memorable one.

Cogliano played all 82 games, and was fourth among rookies with 18 goals. He was just No. 22 in shots, though, with 98. His accuracy made him the rookie leader in shooting percentage, at 18.4 percent.

Shawn Horcoff, Edmonton -- The Oilers were only No. 17 in the League in goals last season, but they were the sixth-most accurate, thanks to players like Horcoff. He had his second-best goal output with 21 -- despite playing just 53 games due to a shoulder injury -- but made the most of his time in the lineup, scoring on 18.3 percent of his 115 shots.

Paul Stastny, Colorado -- In his second season with the Avalanche, Stastny's offensive totals were down in part to missing 15 games after having an appendectomy. But Stastny showed a veteran's poise by scoring 24 goals on just 138 shots, for 17.4 shooting percentage.

Jonathan Toews, Chicago -- The Blackhawks' center showed some of the great hockey sense that led him to being named Chicago's captain after just one season. Toews led all first-year players last season with 24 goals despite missing 16 games with a knee injury. Those goals came on just 144 shots, for a 16.7 shooting percentage, second among rookies.

Joe Thornton, San Jose -- One of the biggest knocks on Thornton is that he doesn't shoot enough. The Sharks center showed last season that quality trumps quantity. Thornton took just 178 shots last season, a drop from the 213 he took in 2006-07. His goal total, though, rose from 22 to 29, as did his shooting accuracy, which went up from 10.3 to 16.3.

Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles -- The Kings could do far worse for a centerpiece to their rebuilding effort than the Slovenian forward who made his first All-Star team last season. In his second NHL campaign, Kopitar scored 32 goals on just 201 shots, for a 15.9 shooting percentage. It's a 12-goal increase from his rookie season, but it took him just 8 more shots to get there.

Jeremy Roenick, San Jose -- Roenick had retired before being lured back to the ice last season by former teammate Doug Wilson, the Sharks' general manager. It ended up being a worthwhile endeavor for player and team. Roenick played less than 14 minutes per game, but still managed to score 14 goals on just 89 shots for a 15.7 shooting percentage. Roenick hadn't been that accurate since 1999-2000, when he played for Phoenix.

Valtteri Filppula, Detroit -- All the scoring headlines might go to Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom, but none of them were as economical as Filppula. In his first full season in the NHL, Filppula scored on 15.6 percent of his shots, finishing with 19 goals on 122 shots.

Brenden Morrow, Dallas -- The Stars' captain had a breakout offensive season, setting career highs with 32 goals and 74 points. While he also took a career-best 207 shots, his shooting percentage was 15.5, only a slight dip from the 15.8 of the previous two seasons, when he scored a combined 39 goals on 247 shots.

Keith Tkachuk, St. Louis -- The Blues veteran forward had his most accurate season since the lockout, scoring 27 goals on 177 shots for a 15.3 shooting percentage. It was Tkachuk's last shot of the season, though, that was his most important -- he flipped the puck from center ice into an empty net for goal No. 500 of his career.

Dustin Brown, Los Angeles -- The Kings' forward already is renowned as one of the most feared hitters in the League. Last season he put an equal amount of punishment on the puck, firing 219 shots on net, and scoring on 33 of them for a 15.1 shooting percentage. The 33 goals was his personal best and 16 more than 2006-07, but he needed only 24 more shots to reach that number.

Contact Adam Kimelman at

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