In Sunday night’s 5-3 victory in Colorado, Devin Setoguchi came up with two huge goals, but the most valuable player of the contest may have been Sharks Radio Color Analyst Jamie Baker.
Now, Baker hasn’t worn the Sharks colors since 1998 (don’t forget his one-game return for a game against Calgary in Japan), but while sitting on the bus with Setoguchi following the morning skate in Colorado, he asked Baker about the stat pack he was studying for last night’s game.
Baker happened to be going over a sheet which showed a player’s individual game stats and an interesting conversation ensued.
“I was on the bus after the morning skate and Baker had the shot stats,” Setoguchi said. “I looked at them with him and almost every game I had four or more shots, I had a goal. I only scored in one game with less than four shots.”
“I was just looking at the stat sheets we use to prepare for games,” Baker said, “and we started looking at his ice time and then his shots and it stuck out.”
That one aberration came in Philadelphia on Oct. 22 when Setoguchi scored with just two shots. Setoguchi’s shot totals aren’t a surprise considering his 43 shots trail just team leader Patrick Marleau
, but the correlation between his shooting and results can’t be ignored at this early point of the season.
With the subtle reminder from Baker that his shot total had a direct impact on his goal total, it should come as no surprise that Setoguchi erupted for a season-high seven shots and his first two-goal game of the season.
Setoguchi plans to keep on shooting. There’s no way to guarantee four shots every night, but he’ll definitely keep trying.
“I’m sure the season (Jonathan) Cheechoo had 56 goals, he had more than 300 shots,” Setoguchi said. (NOTE: Cheechoo had 317.) “The more shots you take, the better your chances. If you don’t shoot you can’t score.”
Setoguchi’s current production has him tied for ninth in the National Hockey League in goals and tied for first on the Sharks in points. He knows his job is to shoot the puck after getting passes from the player with softest hands in the NHL, center Joe Thornton
“When you get to play with Joe and Patty, you’ll get shots,” Setoguchi said. “Patty goes to the net and Joe is feeding you.”
The question is will he need more reminders from Baker?
“I think I can figure it out now,” Setoguchi said, “so it won’t be an issue.”
Now if the Sharks end up playing Detroit in a seven-game series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, another conversation might need to be arranged between Setoguchi and the man who secured the Sharks first-ever postseason series victory in 1994.
The Sharks will play hosts to Minnesota at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at HP Pavilion. Tickets are available at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The contest can be heard on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.