The Minnesota Wild did it again last night — for the 11th time this season, they failed to get two points from a game in which they outshot their opponents, falling 3-2 in overtime to the Bruins despite a 37-25 shots advantage.
Only the Edmonton Oilers have lost more games (12) when they’ve outshot their opponents. The Hurricanes and Capitals, like Minnesota, have each done it 11 times.
Theories abound as to why the the Wild have failed to do better than 16-12-2 despite owning the best shot differential in the NHL.
On offense, it could be a lack of finish. Or maybe it’s a reluctance to go to the dirty areas, settling instead for low-percentage shots from the outside. Or it could just be plain old bad luck.
At the other end of the ice, Minnesota’s goaltending has certainly come under the microscope. The Wild’s team save percentage is just .901, among the lowest in the league.
Anyway, that’s Mike Yeo’s job to figure out. Here are the shot differentials for all 30 NHL teams, with some notes below:
— Shot differential isn’t everything, and there will always be outliers. But there’s a clear relationship between winning and outshooting opponents. That’s pretty easy to see.
— Dallas Eakins mentioned it after he was fired. The Oilers’ shot differential is much improved this season. In 2013-14, it finished -6.0.
— After Minnesota, which has improved from -1.1 to +6.5, the biggest gainer has been Washington, which has gone from -4.1 to +2.5
— The Devils’ shot differential is a concern. In 2013-14, it finished +1.3. Which, at the very least, meant New Jersey could argue it was a good possession team. Unfortunately for coach Peter DeBoer, that’s no longer the case.
— After the Devils, the Sharks have had the biggest fall in shot differential, from +7.0 last season to +1.8 this season.
— There’s a reason the jury’s still out on the red-hot Toronto Maple Leafs. However, in terms of shot differential, they’re much better than they were last season, when they finished tied for last at -8.0.
— Safe to say that Carey Price is a valuable member of the Montreal Canadiens. Only New Jersey’s Cory Schneider has faced more total shots (800) than Price (782).
— Do you think the Hurricanes are frustrated? Lowest PDO in the NHL.
— The Sabres were outshot 448-309 during their recent 10-3-0 run.