Corey Perry has taken 2,223 shots in his NHL career, just over three per game.
But to start the 2015-16 season, he’s only managed 10 shots in seven games.
So the fact he hasn’t scored yet isn’t simply a matter of bad shooting luck. For pucks to go in, first they have to be shot on goal.
Saturday in Minnesota, Perry didn’t register a single shot. Actually, he didn’t even have a single shot attempt. The Ducks lost 3-0, the fourth time they’ve been shut out this season. At 1-5-1, they’re already six points back of a playoff spot, and that’s in the worst division in the league.
The Ducks’ struggles have put their coach, Bruce Boudreau, squarely on the hot seat, even if his players have been sticking up for him.
“None of this is on Bruce. Bruce is a motivator. He’s a guy that sticks up for his players and someone you want to play for,” defenseman Cam Fowler told the Associated Press. “Unfortunately, when you lose in this business, the finger seems to be pointed at the coach, but as players, the responsibility is with us.”
Perry isn’t the only Duck who needs to start scoring, but he does have the highest cap hit on the club, at $8.625 million. The 30-year-old got that money because he can put the puck in the net. He didn’t get it to rank seventh among Anaheim forwards in shots, behind the likes of Chris Stewart, a guy that barely plays 10 minutes a night.
The Ducks play tonight in Chicago. They finish their road trip with stops Tuesday in Dallas and Thursday in St. Louis. If things haven’t turned around by the time they get home, can GM Bob Murray resist making a change behind the bench?
“We preach shooting and going to the net,” Boudreau said last week. “You’re not going to get the pretty goal if you wait for it to happen. You have to go out and make it happen.”