Boucher: Steven Stamkos And Shots On Goal

by Alexis Boucher | Posted on Tuesday, December 9th, 2014


The Lightning’s 3-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night was disappointing in a number of ways. Tampa got off to a slow start which was in sharp contrast to their absolute dominance of Buffalo two days before. Scoring chances were coming but it took until late in the third period to break through with a goal. When the Bolts are at their best it can look like a shooting gallery in the offensive zone. They struggle when their best players resort to passing in an effort to make a pretty play. The first instinct should be to put the puck on net and players like Steven Stamkos should lead the charge to do so. (Photo and Feature Box Photo/Christine Gunn)

On the surface there doesn’t seem to be any issues with Tampa Bay’s approach to offensive production. They lead the league in goals scored, averaging 3.46 goals per game. There’s a disconnection between those goals and the shots being taken. Tampa Bay is 19th overall when it comes to shots on goal in the 2014-15 season. They have taken 832 shots so far and are averaging 29.7 shots a game. Contrast that with Chicago who has the most shots per game in the league. The Blackhawks have taken 967 total shots and about 35.8 a game. For a team that is as prolific when it comes to scoring this trend is puzzling.

Steven Stamkos certainly isn’t lacking when it comes to scoring ability. He is currently fourth in the NHL with 16 goals scored. The production is there but his shot total is flagging in comparison to other players on his level. Alex Ovechkin has recorded the most shots on goal in the league to this point with 112 and he has 12 goals. Tyler Seguin leads the league with 21 goals scored and he has registered 107 SOG. Stamkos has recorded 90 SOG so far.

Coach Jon Cooper has expressed that he would like to see some of his players shoot more often. He specifically stated he would like to see Stamkos be more selfish when it comes to scoring chances and for good reason. He often plays his best when he is putting the puck on net more. In Saturday’s loss he had just three shots on goal. It’s great that he wants to share the wealth with his teammates, but he should pull the trigger more.

Steven Stamkos is an extremely gifted hockey player. He routinely does things that drop our jaws in amazement and has worked incredibly hard to round out his game defensively. He’s on the top line and sees more ice time than any of the other forwards. Beyond that he is the captain of the team and if he takes on a “shoot first” mentality then it will trickle down to the other lines. When Stamkos succeeds the Lightning flourish and it’s very hard to imagine anyone stopping this team when Stammer is in the zone.

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Alexis Boucher
About the Author

Managing Editor and Senior Writer Alexis Boucher is a transplant from the Northeast, who worships in the churches of hockey and baseball. She has followed the Lightning since the late 90's. A graduate of the Florida State University Creative Writing program, she has been blogging for over three years. She has a penchant for loud music, enforcers, and good beer.

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  1. ITMAN says:

    Good piece. Shooters need to shoot! The more Stamkos shoots, the better it is for the Bolts. Stammer should have well over 100 shots and that is just one more shot a game, but as skilled as he is that makes a big difference.His career shooting percentage is near 20%.

    • Alexis Boucher Alexis Boucher says:

      Absolutely. More shots means more opportunity for everyone. Even if it doesn’t result in a goal for Stammer someone like Callahan could get one in from his spot in front of the net.

      In the immortal words of Bobby “The Chief” Taylor: It’s NEVER a mistake to put the puck on net!

  2. Jake says:

    You are correct! Stammer is not a distributor, he is a born sniper! Please shoot the puck!

    • Alexis Boucher Alexis Boucher says:

      He registered three shots in last night’s loss to the Caps. Yes, one was a goal. But three shots? Snipe away, sir.

  3. Big Kahuna says:

    Right on point. I don’t care about all these fancy statistics. Stamkos is paid to score. He needs to be more selfish.

    • Alexis Boucher Alexis Boucher says:

      I can see value in some of the advanced statistics although I do tend to side with the crowd that believes there are attributes whose value can’t be calculated by stats alone.

      But yes. The shooting gallery needs to open back up for Stammer.

  4. Big Kahuna says:

    Only 3 shots tonight in a loss, yet he scored a goal. If he takes 10 shots, maybe we score 4. A BIG problem is clearing the net. Gotta get physical and help Bish out.

    • Alexis Boucher Alexis Boucher says:

      Exactly. A lot of people’s knee jerk reaction is to blame goaltending. Bish is fine. Put the puck on net and clear the crease.

  5. ITMAN says:

    Great article. That photo of Stammer in the blue uniform is magical. Should be on the cover of a magazine!

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