A diversionary sports blog post, if you would indulge me. In the interests of disclosure, I am writing from the perspective of a Rangers fan, but I think you would agree that what I am writing applies to hockey in general.
As I am writing, the Rangers lead the Washington Capitals by a score of 4-0 in game 7 of their series. The winner moves on, the loser plays golf. The Caps had an opportunity to close out the series yesterday with a win. Several times during the game, my friends and I were shouting at the TV, "Shoot the puck!" According to the New York Times the fans were shouting the same thing. In fact, it was reported that Derick Brassard was thinking about passing the puck when he scored the winning goal in game 6.
Then, I shared this thought with my buddies, "The first part of the phrase, 'He shoots, he scores!' is 'He shoots." Why is below the fold.
Much like the lotto slogan that you've gotta be in it to win it, how are you going to score if you don't shoot? Granted, shooting is no guarantee that you will score. The average save percentage for an NHL starting goaltender is north of 95% Ad that to the fact that the average number of shots is around 30 you end up with a goal and a half per game.
When you shoot the puck, you never know what might happen. There is a reason why a zamboni drives over the entire rink between periods, the blades of the skates leave grooves. These grooves can alter the movement of the puck in unpredictable ways.
Maybe hitting a groove causes a puck to jump over a defender's stick. Maybe it actually changes the direction of the puck. Pucks can move at high speeds and over short distances there is little reaction time. So, put the puck on the net.
If the shot is stopped, so what? Most are! However, if you do not shoot it you will definitely not score. Additionally, if you do not shoot, there can be no rebound which would give you a putback opportunity, the Rangers second goal tonight.
I used to shout at the TV during Mike Pelfrey's starts for the Mets that he needed to throw strikes. My argument was that he wanted hitters to chase bad pitches, but since he rarely threw good ones people would just wait him out. Likewise, he wouldn't get the benefit of the doubt from the umpire on a close call because he wasn't throwing strikes.
Not scoring on a shot is not a negative result, it is just not a score. If you didn't shoot, you also didn't score, so why not shoot?