With the 2019-2020 NHL season well under way, I wanted to look into data surrounding the shots that have been taken so far. All data in these graphics are as of 12/12/19, when 41,638 events (shots, misses, or goals) had taken place.
The first two graphics look at what time in the game an event happens. The first graphic is a count of goals by the individual seconds throughout the game and the second graphic is a count of goal, shots, and misses rounded to the nearest minute.
As goal has happened at almost every second possible throughout the game. The highest concentration of goals happens towards the end of regulation. This occurs when teams are down by a point they pull their own goalie to get an extra attacker, making it a 6 on 5. While teams do score with the extra attacker, about 34% of the goals scored in the last 5 minutes are against the team who pulled the goalie, called an empty net goal.
When rounding events to the nearest minute, the increased goals scored at the end of regulation is much more obvious. Additionally, shots really start to decrease with around 5-10 minutes left in regulation. I’m sure some of this has to do with better chances from an extra attacker, so teams are more efficient scoring-wise, but I also think this has to do with the winning team holding the puck for longer, which means they are not contributing to the overall shot count.
The next set of graphics looks at the distance shots are taken from. This is measured from the front of the net (0 would be at point blank). I added in lines to represent where the blue line and the red line are on the ice for reference.
The first graphic is a count of all shots, misses, and goals together whereas the next graphic has them broken out individually.
It’s clear from both graphics there is a spike around the 10 foot mark. Both shots and goals have their highest points there, whereas misses has its highest point at the 16 foot mark – this is due to players rarely missing the goal at around 10 feet.
I’ve previously looked into shot data in another post and learned that 50% of all goals are scored within 19 feet of the goal.
There is another spike around the red line, mainly in shots. This is due to players brining the puck over the red line and firing a shot right after so they can’t be called for icing.
The final set of graphics looks at the median shot distances by goalies and players, along with goals allowed for goalies and goals scored for players. Only the top 31 event counts for goalies are shown on the first graphic and only players with more than 125 events are shown on the second graphic.
Alex Stalock of the Minnesota Wild takes the top spot for longest median shot distance at 38.87 feet. This is a little surprising considering the Wild’s defense is nothing spectacular (currently tied for third place in goals allowed), but clearly opponents do not need to be as close to the net to score. This also may mean Alex does not allow as many goals from rebounds as other goalies, which would certainly increase the median distance.
Shea Weber of the Montreal Canadians takes the top spot shooting the puck at a median distance of 55.05 feet. The drop off between Alex Ovechkin and Roman Josi which is due to the top 7 players listed all being defensemen. Naturally, they will be farther from the goalies than the offensive players.
In either graphics, there is not a concentration of more goals allowed or goals scored towards the top or the bottom of median distance. This means players are scoring from all over the ice and teams have to be ready for a shot from anywhere.