Throughout this season it’s been mentioned several times that John Tortorella is trying to get at least 65 shot attempts per game from his club. Any cliches I could mention about the Blue Jackets taking 60 shots on goal aside, perhaps it’s time to put some context to the magical number “65” and see if it’s even a realistic achievement.
First, is there any team averaging a corsi for per 60 at a number greater than or equal to 65? No.
Using data collected from Corsica.hockey I’ve arranged teams in descending order by their CF60 in all situations.
Only five teams are averaging more than 60 shot attempts per game (per 60 but essentially the same thing). Surprisingly Philadelphia is leading every team, and the Flyers overall CF% is top five in the league. The Jackets find themselves at 10th best. It’s not a bad place to be, especially since this franchise usually sits near the bottom.
After putting up 93 shot attempts last night, the Blue Jackets appear to have pushed themselves into positive territory overall this season. Arizona put up 60 shot attempts last night, taking the Blue Jackets from -19 on the season to +14 in shot attempts. It’s easy to criticize the Jackets for being a mediocre team this season if you decide to look at these numbers without any context.
Using data from Corsica what we are looking at is shot attempts by game in all situations.
The “C+/-” column is the Blue Jackets shot attempt differential per game. As you can see the Jackets started out well, going +6 in the first two games but quickly found themselves in trouble going negative for 9 of the next 11 games; including the 10 goal win against Montreal.
Since their game on November 15 against the Washington Capitals the Jackets have not had a negative game. That’s a streak of 10 games where the Jackets have been able to keep their shot differential in their favor. In the past five games they’ve taken at least 60 shot attempts in each game.
Overall, since November 15 the Blue Jackets have put up an average of 64.9 shot attempts per game. Allowing only 51.2 shot attempts against. Their CF% in that stretch: 56%.
Were the Jackets a luck-driven team that managed to achieve their best start in franchise history? Yes. Are they still a luck-driven team? Absolutely not. The magical number of 65 shot attempts per game is within their reach right now, and would put them higher than any other team in the league by a fairly large margin.