Maybe the reason Frolov's shooting percentage is so high is because he specifically chooses only to shoot in extremely high percentage situations.
This is exactly right.
Here's my overarching Brown/Frolov theory (wall of text to follow):
I'm sure Brown and Frolov were both told to take more shots at the beginning of the year. Brown responded by taking way too many terrible shots. I doubt Terry Murray even liked all the shots to the chest, since they typically didn't create rebounds or further offense, but he at least would be pleased to see that Brown was doing what he was told. This shows in Brown both a strength (coachability) and a weakness (hockey sense). Frolov responded by not significantly altering his shooting approach. Being a smart player, he surely recognized that shooting at the goalie's chest just for the sake of shooting is not a viable offensive tactic and is a waste of possession. This shows in Frolov both a strength (hockey sense) and a weakness (not doing what the coach tells you to do).
I coach high school volleyball and I'd suggest a similar parallel between two of my girls. One of them is not a very good athlete, but she's committed to getting her spike approach and passing form right, even though she's only marginally succesful at either right now. The other is a naturally talented player but she has poor form, and doesn't respond to coaching because she knows she's already good. I suppose if this were volleyball's future, people would be saying "why does Coach Hans constantly praise Liana and demand more from Maya, when Maya is a bonafide offensive threat and Liana barely gets the ball over the net?" My answer would be that while Maya is already good, she'd help the team even more by hitting with better form - even if it doesn't contribute to her getting more kills, it'll disrupt the other team's defense enough that we'll be better equipped to run our systems.
Back to hockey, I also think it's important to keep in mind that we didn't really have the personnel to play Terry Murray's offensive system last year. His offense is based on getting the puck within a few feet of the net (ie by shooting it there from a long angle) and then banging until success. The point of more shooting is to get more pucks near the guys in the crease, except that last year there hardly ever were guys in the crease. I expect Smyth and Williams to be significant upgrades over O'Sullivan and Calder in that regard. The really infuriating thing about the Brown/O'Sullivan wrist shot is that they did it even when there was nobody near the crease, but honestly, they did the right thing. It's up to the other forwards to be there for the rebound/deflection, and last year they just never were. The Frolov approach to this problem is to hold the puck until someone got there; the Brown approach was to just shoot anyway because that's what he was supposed to do. I'm certainly not saying Brown couldn't have done better with his 8000 shots (getting them lower to yield rebounds would be a nice start) but in Murray's system, he did his job. And as a coach, Murray prefers the Brown approach, because it's more productive in the long run to teach the other forwards how to also play his system correctly than to champion Frolov's more free-thinking approach. Free-thinking and creativity, while potentially more interesting for the fans, are not particularly helpful qualities in rigid systems play. You're just supposed to do your job and trust that the coach will get the other guys to do their jobs as well. Brown did his job, dumb as it often looked (and was). Frolov found ways to do his that were clearly better in the short term, but not conducive to the overall system in the long term. And since the system takes precedence over the individual, Murray judges Brown's sometimes-dumb shooting as superior to Frolov's thoughtful, accurate shooting because Brown's way conforms to the system, and this team will, can, only be as successful as its adherence to its system. Murray would probably tell you that a team of 20 Browns is superior to a team of 20 Frolovs in the same way that a production line produces cars better than a group of 20 geniuses would. It's not flashy, and sometimes it seems downright stupid, but if everyone buys in, it works. Frolov doesn't buy in yet and that's why Murray doesn't like him; Brown buys in completely and that's why he gets months worth of free passes.
Uh, Kopitar has put up more assists with less to work with than Frolov ever did. Frolov's assist totals have always been unusually low. That's not a fluke. Kopitar is and always will be a superior playmaker. Goal scoring is arguable and Frolov is far and away better defensively, but not a better playmaker.
I understand the Frolov dick suckery that runs rampant on this forum, but saying he's a better playmaker than Kopitar is ****ing dumb. And the statistics back it up.
So you are a stat monkey? Actual game play doesn't count?
Assist totals are almost as subjective as the plus/minus stat, as most secondary assists are are fairly questionable to begin with. They are at the very least reflective of opportunity and chance, meaning PP minutes and quality of linemates.
Look at the difference in stats from 07-08 to 08-09
07-08 Primarily with Cammalleri and Armstrong: 23 goals 44 assists in 71 games
08-09 Primarily with Handzus and Simmonds: 32 goals 27 assists in 77 games
07-08 Primarily with Brown and O'Sullivan: 32 goals 45 assists in 82 games
08-09 Primarily with Brown and O'Sullivan/Williams: 27 goals 39 assists in 82 games
Kopitar has 13 more assists in 16 more games played in a 2 season span. This is significant... how? Was Kopitar playing a checking role for 2/3rds of last season?
You can look at these numbers in any way you want to, but if you actually study the game, you will inevitably notice that Frolov is the player you want with the puck on his stick in ALL crucial situations.
Crawford practically begged Frolov to do it, and AM was on him to shoot the puck more as well. How many more times does he need to be asked?
(I'd wager that TM has asked Frolov to shoot more as well.)
Well then we have the other side of the equation. Because Brown shot too much last year. I know sometimes you have to overdue something like that to make up for underdoing it in the past, but I saw Brown shoot way too many pucks into the goaltenders chest from the blue line last season.