I was looking through some stats and two really caught my attention:
Steven Stamkos... 81 Shots (Rookie Leader), 4.9% Shooting (One of the Rookie Worst).
I really like Stamkos, but I haven't had a chance to see much of him this year. Is he just firing shots at the net from all angles, not passing etc., or are all those shots a result of decent opportunities that simply aren't clicking for the kid right now?
Also, I notice he's got one of the worst rookie +/- at -11. I'm assuming that's largely a result of where Tampa is in the standings moreso than a reflection on his poor defensive play, but is he a little worse defensively than you guys had expected?
Backstrom was around 5% at the mid-way point last season as well. It was even worse than that, because Backstrom had the highest ratio of missed shots to SOGs on the team. There were many plays where he had a wide open net and either "shanked" the shot or shot it wide or high of the net.
Backstrom's shot last season vs. this season is night and day. The velocity and accuracy of his shot has improved dramatically. That just goes to show what more confidence and another year of practice and weight training can do.
He has to work on his release with the shot. That's just too slow for NHL to be effective.
You're almost exactly right. He shoots hard and accurately, but that's because he takes time to completely load up on every single shot. A quick release is the most important factor at higher levels of play. Heck, it even helps a lot in beer league.