In the NHL, shooting percentages can fluctuate massively. Players will a conversion rate anywhere from the low single digits to the low 20s attached to their names, and at times there's no real explanation, you simply have to wait to see if things will stabilize.
In the case of the Sens, it may not come as a shock to many that the team is a below league average squad when it comes to shooting the puck. During this 2013 season, the Sens have scored at a 6.7 per cent success rate, roughly 2.5 percent below what the NHL average has been league-wide.
That phenomenon was underscored Saturday night during the loss to Toronto. The Sens outshot the Leafs by a 50-22 margin and simply couldn't buy enough goals to get what would have been a crucial win.
While the possession and shot generation have been on point all season long, what the team has to do to convert those at a higher success rate remains to be seen.
One thing that was clear during the game against Toronto -- later verified by Coach MacLean -- is Toronto was very consistent when it came to insulating their goaltender from second and third chances. A bubble of white sweaters ensured no errant sticks could bat in a puck that was still up for debate.
With the playoffs nearing, space on the ice will shrink and physicality will, without a doubt, be increased. According to Kyle Turris, the Sens' current offensive system and its barrage of shooting coupled with more forceful crashing of the crease by Sens attackers will yield better results.
"It's just keep doing it. Gt more bodies there to create more screens and havoc and chaos in front of the net. That would create more quality chances in tight," said Turris. "We just have to keep getting shots on net and bodies to the net and eventually they'll go in."
"We just have everybody going to the net. Put a couple big bodies in front and be strong. Get your position to cause havoc."
It was clear watching Monday's morning skate that second chances will be a focal point of the offence going forward and, again, the greater the ability to pot those, the greater chance of success in the postseason once you're there. The first test with the rededicated approach will be a Pittsburgh team missing its top two defencemen and starting goaltender.
How will they fare? The first rule of Project Mayhem is you don't ask questions about Project Mayhem. Puck drop is at 7:30. It's the only way to find out.
|More from Inside the Senate: || || ||Latest News/Features: |
| || || || |