• Cogliano and shooting percentage

    by  • January 6, 2009 • Uncategorized • 15 Comments

    Those who follow the discussion at Lowetide’s will know that Andrew Cogliano’s shooting percentage, and the likelihood that it would be replicated this season was a hotly debated topic over the course of the summer (clearly, we’re all sad, sad people). Cogliano scored 18 goals on 98 shots last season, good for an 18.4% shooting percentage. I’m not quite sure the scope of the shooting percentage database at hockey-reference.com, in that I’m unsure when the NHL started tracking this stuff, but it appears to go as far back as at least 1968.

    I ran a query of their database for rookie seasons in which the player shot at least 15.0% on at least 98 shots in his rookie season. It’s a pretty stunningly small list – just 119 guys on that list in about 40 years. What’s more, if you treat 1995-96 as the start of the dead puck era, only 15 guys have done it in 12 years. Save percentages have risen dramatically since the early 1980′s; looking at the more recent data is probably a better indicator of how unique Cogliano’s rookie year was.

    Entering tonight’s game (in which he scored again), Cogliano was shooting 18.6% on 57 shots, which pro-rates to (obviously) 18.6% on 126 shots. Which of the fifteen on the rookie list ended up on shooting at least 15% on at least 126 shots the following season? Mark Parrish, Petr Prucha and Paul Stastny are the only ones who managed to do so. Parrish followed it up with a 13.8% in year three and is currently shooting 17.5% for his career. Prucha shot 7.9% in year three but has enjoyed a bounceback year this season, shooting 15.8% so far, albeit in 13 games. Stastny is presently in year three and is shooting 11.1% (it’s been a tough year in Colorado).

    You can cast this a different way: at least 15% on at least 157 shots in first two NHL seasons. Cogliano sits in a tie for fourth on this list, with Miro Satana. It’s a pretty impressive list of guys – while many of them do see their shooting percentages drop over their career, from eyeballing it, 13-14% still looks pretty sustainable for many of them.

    This is, of course, somewhat superficial, because there’s no breakdown into ES/PP/PK – it’s going to be easier to maintain this sort of shooting percentage with a lot of PP shots. Still though, it seems to me that, on the evidence available, there’s an argument that Cogliano is a “true” high percentage shooter – the only guys above him with a substantial enough career to date to make the active leaderboard is Alex Tanguay, who sits at the top.

    While I’m not yet sold that Cogliano will be a 18%, or even a 15%, shooter, given the way that the careers of the players who experienced similar starts have gone, at this point it seems to me to be more likely than not that, when all is said and done, he’ll be amongst the shooting percentage leaders of his era. While I’m hesitant to read too much into this because of the context lost when things aren’t broken down into ES/PP/PK, and I’m certainly open to arguments that his particular blend of shooting percentage might not be repeatable, he’s been so far above the norm to date that it really does seem likely to be that he’s got something of a knack for getting to the right spots and finishing when he gets there. It’s a real shame that there weren’t any dissenting voices at Lowetide’s site when he was getting buried this summer.


    15 Responses to Cogliano and shooting percentage

    1. coach pb9617
      January 6, 2009 at

      LT uses Goring as a comp for Cogliano. It makes sense to look at Goring since the two have a striking similarity – Goring’s career SP? 16.5%

      Even more impressive was that Goring was healthy for most of his career and in 16 seasons, he failed to reach 70 games 4 times — including 59 in his rookie year and 68 in his final year. So this wasn’t selective bursts or streaks of good luck.

      Cogliano might also end up benefiting from increased PK time, well he will when he learns to win faceoffs. Goring was so deadly on the PK – teams always recognized when he was on the ice and rarely tried those seam passes on him. When they did, he was gone. And with 40 career SHG, it doesn’t seem like he would have 10.5% of his career shots on the PK, so his PK Shooting pct seems that it should be higher, perhaps allowing Cogliano to maintain 16%+ when he starts taking more ES shots.

    2. namflashback
      January 6, 2009 at

      Well, this is certainly territory where shot location would seem to have a big implication on shooting percentage and its unfortunate that the data cannot be easily obtained and aggregated.

      I remember Grabia did something a long time ago that highlighted the “ice cream cone” shape extending out from the net, bisecting the tops of the circles.

      To my eye, the majority of Cogliano’s goals are a result of him using speed coming across the net, and within 25-30 ft of the net. Right in the best zone of the cone.

    3. oilman
      January 6, 2009 at

      my comment from one of the Cogliano threads: “just another comment….Kovalchuk hasn’t been able to sustain a high SP – but guys like Mark Parrish and Brunette have – and the thing that they have in common with Cogliano is that they take fewer shots from higher percentage areas. If that’s the player Cogliano is, there’s a chance that he is a legit 18% shooter.”

    4. Vic Ferrari
      January 6, 2009 at

      Horcoff was 21.4% in his first season, and 14.0% in his second. That with little PP time.

      I remember Kevin Lowe saying “he doesn’t need many chances to score”. I was a Horcoff fan from the start, he entered the NHL as a complete player imo. I took Lowe’s remark as both a bad sign and a good sign; bad that it indicated his scoring chance numbers were no hell, good that it indicated he seemed to have a lot of finish.

      His career shooting% is 13.3%, and I’m sure that his EVshooting% is amongst the elite over those years.

      Cogliano is starting to look like a similar player, bearing in mind that he came into the league at a younger age. He’s getting better in his own end, though he still has a ways to go. And the gong-show-bad underlying numbers from last season, esp the first half of last season, have improved dramatically. And he’s better than his linemates at this as well, so I think it’s fair to say he’s doing more than his share of helping out territorially. Still a ways to go yet, he’ll get better I’m sure, but the arrows are pointing in the right direction.

      His scoring chance+/- numbers were decent as well, all things considered, and knowing that surely last year they were brutal.

      He had a wicked 4v4 shooting% last year, and at 5v5 with the Euro style shooting% from BTN, ranked 15th in the league at 5v5 (Horcoff ranked 11th BTW).

      This year he’s ranked 19th by the same measure. And Horcoff is not having a good year by that measure, and by his own standards.

      Of course Gilbert has seen his EVshooting% fall through the floor, and Penner has seen his go from enforcer level last season to a terrific 16.7% right now. And Gagner can’t buy one (in spite of playing well for most of this season). These things happen.

    5. Traktor
      January 6, 2009 at

      “It’s a real shame that there weren’t any dissenting voices at Lowetide’s site when he was getting buried this summer.”

      You have to be kidding me.`

    6. mc79hockey
      January 6, 2009 at

      @Oilman and Traktor: I have no idea how the numbers people got the reputation of being the humourless ones.

      (It was a joke.)

    7. oilman
      January 6, 2009 at

      MC – I think the salmon of Capistrano thing is what sealed your rep for me:o)

    8. slipper
      January 6, 2009 at

      What, Mennonites can accept blood transfusions?

    9. January 6, 2009 at

      I was looking at league wide ES ST% right around Christmas holidays and wondering the same thing–do individual ES ST% regress toward the mean as team one’s do? Of course an individual takes many fewer SOG than a team does so perhaps in the smaller sample size a high percentage could be sustained.

      Another factor is shot selection. A guy like Brunette simply does shot unless it is a high percentage opportunity.

      In looking at my own local team the Kozlov-White-Little all have a pretty high ES ST%. They have been the only consistent scoring line in Atlanta but their Corsi numbers are rather poor. However when I pulled up their xfaceoff number those are better. They play a very “Euro” game of not shooting unless it is a high percentage chance.

      I suppose if you had an entire team of “Euro” style highly selective players you MIGHT see a sustainable ES ST% over the long haul but it rarely seems that any NHL team has that many “high percentage shooters” to skew the results.

    10. Julian
      January 7, 2009 at

      I remember Staples saying something over the summer (on his site) about how Cogliano had the closest-to-the-net average shooting distance of all the oilers. That’ll help out the % if true.

    11. slipper
      January 7, 2009 at

      Getting in close (at around 30ft or less) doesn’t appear to have helped Cole, Pisani or Gagner.

      Not everyone at the top of that “distance from end boards” list has a high shot percentage, but nearly every player on the bottom (45-65ft) has a low percentage.


    12. Vic Ferrari
      January 7, 2009 at

      I think the important thing is that we all agree that we aren’t going to turn on the fucker and demand that he be benched in favour or Rob Schremp if his shooting% drops to 8% next year.

      He’s starting to look like he’s going to become a useful player, after all. Plus the dice have no memory.

    13. macndub
      January 7, 2009 at

      Is high scoring percentage independent of shots/60? And is a high percentage correlated with goals/60? Seems they should be, but please let me know if anybody has the answer to this.

      Otherwise, I have to work a bit. And I hate that.


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