Onice Shooting percentage  luck or skill?
The answer to the question, is of course, both. But in what degree?
5 vs 5 I used behindthenet.ca's .xls files, with data from the 200708 season through the 201011 season. EDIT: See post 22 for updated numbers  I used saved shots instead of total shots for these numbers. Using the binomial approximation to a normal distribution, I calculated the zscore for each NHL player's onice shooting percentage over this time period, where zscore = (Onice GF  OnIce SOGF*LgSH%)/(Standard deviation calculated using binomial approximation) Here are the players with the highest and lowest zscores
Generally speaking we see skilled players outperforming the league average and "less skilled" NHL players underperforming the league average in onice shooting percentage. Taking the standard deviation of the zscores, I get 1.47. If random variation was the only factor, the standard deviation of the zscores would be 1.00. Following the process from this blog post: Quote:
Step 8: 0.54 Step 9: 657 So, given a player's onice shooting percentage from 200708 to 201011, the best predictor of his 201112 onice shooting percentage is his 200708 through 201011 shooting percentage plus 657 shots at a league average shooting percentage. Because Sidney Crosby was on the ice for 1867 shots at a 13.3 SH%, his predicted 201112% would be 12.2%. Best and worst predicted 201112 5 vs 5 onice shooting percentages
I'll see if I can get the 201112 data to test the predictions. 
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It's all luck... Pretty Darn Obvious

There are certainly examples of players having high shooting percentages but not being particularly skilled shooters.
Milan Lucic is a perfect example. One of four players to appear in the top20 S% leaders (using NHL.com as reference) in both 10/11 and 11/12. That's not indicative of his shooting skills  rather, it's indicative of his style of play. He crashes the crease, and as a result is in a position where he rarely takes shots, but when he does it's in close and often with the goaltender out of position (be it due to a loose puck in the crease, a rebound, or a cross crease pass). On the whole I'd say higher shooting percentages are generally indicative of better shooters, though. Your data seems to indicate just as much. 
This is a really simple example, but look at the list of the highest shooting percentages in NHL history:
http://www.hockeyreference.com/lead...ct_season.html The list is littered with players who played on the same line as alltime great playmakers. Mario Lemieux's famous leaches (Rob Brown and Warren Young) are right near the top. Charlie Simmer was Marcel Dionne's triggerman. Sergei Makarov, who was trained in the Soviet system which favored precision passing and shot quality over quantity, is also prominent on the list. 
Many of the commentors seem to either have not read the OP or misunderstand what onice shooting% is. Onice shooting% is not the same as shooting%. Onice shooting% is his teams' shooting% while he is on the ice, not just the players'.
So if my team takes 10 shots in a game and scored on 2 of them, my onice shooting% for that game is 20%, regardless of how many of those shots or goals were scored by me. Semirelated to the above, LOL @ Jeff Schultz being carried towards the top of that list. 
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And yeah, Shultz definitely "got lucky" by sharing a lot of ice time with Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin 
The biggest factor in most cases is going to be the the player's own personal shooting percentage, which is definitely skill based.
Remember that the 3 forwards take the bulk of the shots at even strength, and that a star forward is going to take a disproportionate number of his line's shots. So their personal rate is going to affect much more than 1/5th of the total shots. Tanguay, Kovalchuk, Horton, Gaborik, Stamkos and Crosby being examples Then your going to have linemate factors. The guys that are usually at the tops of these lists are also those that have consistantly been on lines with good players/good shooters, which is why they tend to come in pairs and trios. e.g. SedinSedinBurrows, RiberioMorrow, GetzalfPerryRyan, BackstromOvechkinSemin, StamkosSt. Louis. After that we have actual ability to drive teammates shooting, which seems to exist but is relatively small and not very prevalent. Crosby would definately be an example though. 
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They were typically united on the powerplay, but these stats are only 5on5. 
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I'm also pretty sure there's an error in how the OP found the team on ice shooting percentage of the top guys. I looked at top onice shootings from 20072011 found this. Gaborik: 11.31 Crosby: 10.91 Ryan: 10.84 Tanguay: 10.82 H Sedin: 10.50 S Sedin: 10.40 Downie: 10.39 Dumont: 10.37 Malkin: 10.30 Horton: 10.23 
Further evidence that Crosby is ridiculously good. Love the work, by the way.

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I agree with the other poster that it would be more accurate to say that Crosby's skill is getting the puck close to the net, because although he's a fantstic playmaker, he's also just really good at taking it there himself and scoring (hence his high personal shooting percentage). @TalksToGoalposts: Just wanted to mention that Tanguay is a bad example of "high SH% player taking lion's share of shots", since he averages around 100 shots/season. His personal shot percentage is ludicrously high, though, and he does play on a line with Iginla. 
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This only works for such a low shot rate because Tanguay's personal shooting% is so through the roof. These aren't the exact numbers for Tanguay but are in the ball park to show the general idea. That he's often played with another high % shooter in Iginla as well would also be a factor but only for two of the 200711 seasons. 
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So yeartoyear trends are going to show how "luck" has affected them (through linemates, matchups, team, role, whatever), but if you look at multiple year stretches, players who appear near the top should be considered "skilled"  even if they are "leaching" off of "top" players over that period. Schultz though... 
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I just finished taking a Sociology statistics class (Quantitative Analysis) and wish my zscores had been this interesting. :(

It appears that I misread the "saved shots" column as "total shots". I'll rerun the numbers.

5 vs 5
I used behindthenet.ca's .xls files, with data from the 200708 season through the 201011 season. Using the binomial approximation to a normal distribution, I calculated the zscore for each NHL player's onice shooting percentage over this time period, where zscore = (Onice GF  OnIce SOGF*LgSH%)/(Standard deviation calculated using binomial approximation) Here are the players with the highest and lowest zscores
Generally speaking we see skilled players outperforming the league average and "less skilled" NHL players underperforming the league average in onice shooting percentage. Taking the standard deviation of the zscores, I get 1.41. If random variation was the only factor, the standard deviation of the zscores would be 1.00. Following the process from this blog post: Step 7: 838 Step 8: 0.49 Step 9: 860 So, given a player's onice shooting percentage from 200708 to 201011, the best predictor of his 201112 onice shooting percentage is his 200708 through 201011 shooting percentage plus 860 shots at a league average shooting percentage. Because Sidney Crosby was on the ice for 1867 shots at a 11.7 SH%, his predicted 201112% would be 10.7%. Best and worst predicted 201112 5 vs 5 onice shooting percentages

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I can't remember if the data at behindthenet includes empty net goals. I know the data is ostensibly 5 v 5 only, but 6 v 5 situations may have been included. What is the aggregate onice shooting percentage in your sample? If it's not almost exactly 0.08, then empty net goals haven't been removed. 
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Yeah, empty net goals definitely weren't removed in that case. 
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