Of all the things Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said today — from his comments on the team’s goaltending situation to his, um, rather graphic description of what St. Louis failed to do versus the Blackhawks…
…this might actually have been the most interesting:
I have to sit with the coach and find out if there’s a different way to complement this group. Is there a different formula used on the ice to create more opportunities? It doesn’t come down just to puck luck, but at some point we’ve got to start getting some puck luck.
That quote, courtesy the Post-Dispatch, comes after the Blues scored on just 6.5 percent of their shots in the playoffs.
Via Extra Skater, you can see where that ranked compared to the other 16 playoff teams:
This was an issue for the Blues in last year’s playoffs, too. For all the time they spent with the puck versus the Kings, they only managed to score 10 goals on 177 shots, for a shooting percentage of 5.7.
Now, obviously, the opponents’ goalie is a major factor in shooting percentage, and Corey Crawford and Jonathan Quick are both pretty good goalies. (Not to mention, the Blackhawks and Kings don’t typically surrender a ton of Grade A opportunities.)
Still, Armstrong is clearly wondering if there’s something his head coach, Ken Hitchcock, can do to help his players create more and higher quality chances. Because it’s not like the Blues, or any team for that matter, can just pick up a world-class sniper on a whim.
“I haven’t found the team that really wants to give us the 50-goal guy yet,” is how Armstrong put it.
On that note, we’ll leave you with this quote from Brendan Shanahan, via the Toronto Sun:
“I think it’s a complete cop-out that you can’t learn or be taught how to score at the NHL level. I hear coaches say all the time that you can teach defense, but you can’t teach offense. I don’t buy that. I’m an example of the opposite. I worked on my shot. I was a student of the game. I watched what (Brett) Hull did and learned from that.”