by Forechecker on 11/04/08 at 03:06 PM ET
If there’s one mantra that NHL coaches love to repeat when discussing their team’s offensive gameplan, it has to be the one about driving traffic to the front of the net, in order to battle for loose pucks and score “ugly goals”. This year, rebound opportunities are becoming particularly fashionable given Todd McLellan’s emphasis on shots from the defense in San Jose, a lesson learned during his days behind the Detroit bench.
But which teams are fighting (and winning) those battles so far this year? While the NHL doesn’t officially record a Rebounding statistic, one can be derived by sifting through the Play-By-Play files. For the purposes of this exercise, I’ve defined a Rebound Shot as any attempted shot (Shot on Goal, Goal, Missed or Blocked Shot) attempted within 3 seconds of a shot by the same team that was saved by the goaltender, without any other intervening events (like a faceoff or turnover).
So let’s take a look at the numbers…
UPDATE: In the initial posting, I forgot to exclude shootout goals. Data has been corrected.
|Offensive Rebounding Per Team|
|Team||Shots Saved||Rebound Shots||Off Reb %||Goals|
|San Jose Sharks||394||49||12.4%||11|
|Los Angeles Kings||225||25||11.1%||7|
|St. Louis Blues||207||21||10.1%||5|
|New Jersey Devils||320||31||9.7%||10|
|New York Islanders||335||32||9.6%||5|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||328||31||9.5%||6|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||275||24||8.7%||2|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||375||32||8.5%||6|
|Detroit Red Wings||401||31||7.7%||7|
|New York Rangers||405||29||7.2%||5|
|Data from games through November 3, 2008|
For each team, I’ve listed the total shots taken that have been saved by the opposing goaltender (in other words, how many opportunities for rebounds are available), the number of rebound shots taken, and the number of goals scored on rebound shots.
Check out those Flying Frenchmen from Montreal! Clearly their high skill level up front is being complemented by a yeoman-like work ethic, and it’s paying off as they are currently tied for 2nd in Goals Per Game with Detroit at 3.5. Colorado, of course, has Ryan Smyth banging away in front, so it’s no surprise to see them listed highly, and the Predators and Sharks both benefit from trigger happy defensemen.
At the bottom of these standings we find everyone’s favorite early-season implosion, the Dallas Stars. The Red Wings and Rangers are finding other paths to success than banging away for rebounds at the present time, but I wonder if Detroit will remain near the bottom here for long.
I looked at this issue midway through last season, and this year, I plan to keep updating the numbers so we can follow this important facet of the game (that is, if I don’t fry my computer, like I did last February!). Check back later today for a look at the Defensive side of the equation...
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