Analysis

Kevin Shattenkirk and the ability to get shots through

When Kevin Shattenkirk came to the Rangers, it was expected that he was going to be the first step in revamping the Rangers blue line. One of the better puck movers in the league, Shatty represented a skill set that the Rangers hadn’t had on the right side of the blue line in a while.

While the focus was on Shattenkirk’s puck moving and powerplay skills, one aspect of Shattenkirk’s game has stood out. That is his ability to get shots from the point through. It seems like something nominal, but shots through from the point serve multiple purposes. They prevent turnovers and rushes up the ice, as they aren’t getting blocked and transitioned. They give the opportunity for deflections and rebounds. They make the defense scramble.

Since 2014, Kevin Shattenkirk has attempted 5,565 shots at all strengths (mostly even/PP). Of those, 3,039 got through to the net for shots on goal. That’s a through rate of 54.61%. Of the 169 defensemen in the league that have played 3,000 minutes over the past five seasons, that puts Shatty at 63rd among them. This isn’t a perfect metric, since it doesn’t account for deflections, but it certainly gives us a look into how successful he is at getting shots through.

In that same time period (five seasons), there have been 55 defensemen that have played 500 powerplay minutes. Of those 55, Shattenkirk sites at 30th in through percent at 53.08% (724 shots at 1,364 attempts). It may not seem all that impressive, but it’s better than guys like Justin Faulk, Sami Vatanen, Mike Green, Cam Fowler, Drew Doughty, among many others.

Another aspect to consider here is that Shattenkirk is a right handed shot. Of those 29 defensemen ahead of Shattenkirk on the powerplay, I counted just seven right handed shots. Of the 62 ahead of Shattenkirk at even strength, I counted about 14 right handed shots. Suffice it to say, when it comes to getting shots through, Shattenkirk is up there among not just right handed shots, but all defensemen.

Again, this isn’t a perfect science. And while this doesn’t account for deflections, it is safe to say that this paints a relatively accurate picture of the defensemen that excel at getting shots through from the point. It’s a science about missing legs, skates, sticks, and bodies. Eventually there will be a bit more of an accurate science to it, but this is something the Rangers haven’t had in quite some time.

*-Stats and data courtesy of corsica.hockey.

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29 Comments

  1. Unfortunately for Shatty, this rebuild is not what he originally signed up for, whether he admits that or not. So, in a way, he’s miscast a little bit.

    He’s not the dominating first pair D man, but he is very good when healthy and playing the game that he is capable of. His best hope is that by 2019-20 the Rangers will be the roster going forward that can make the playoffs. Otherwise, his 4 years here will not meet expectations, for him or the team.

    1. I think the Rangers goal is to be competitive as soon as possible. This isn’t going to be like Arizona or Buffalo who were and are bad for long periods of time. I also think Shattenkirk will be here for all 4 years of his contract.

    2. Shattenkirk ‘s ability to excel more in my opinion would be if he had a solid true shutdown d-men, regarding off RH or LH, a d men like DeHaan when healthy would be a nice compliment to Shattenkirk offensive game from a d-men perspective.

  2. As a means of making Shatty the most effective, he needs to be partnered with the best shut down defense man we have. In so doing he would be able to do what he does best, pinch in, and join in the attack, knowing his partner will sit at home to protect the d-zone. I could see him with Hajek later on, as opposed to skating with Skjei!!!!!!!!!

  3. I have to admit, on schools nights I tend to only stay up until mid 2nd periods but I have notice Pionk tends to get the puck through as well… I am hoping Shatty mentors the kid and we quickly have both of them driving the puck on net more and more…

    LGR!!!!

    1. Pionk is a player, no question about it. His defending is getting better as well.

      Very good pick up here.

      1. Pionk will be the best 2 way dman we have. Already a better dman than Skjei. When he gets a man on the boards he uses his body like he means it.

        1. His 2 way game was evident right after his call up. So many folks around here penciled him in as a bottom pair who might just have to come out for the sake of other names. I would come here and stress that Pionk isn’t that kind of player who you just take out or throw in the bottom 4. Pionk>Skjei and I still see him as a cheaper version of Ryan Ellis.

        2. I don’t know if I would go that far. Comparing Skjei against top opponents vs Pionk against 3rd liners is comparing apples and oranges.

          But I do like his overall game, for sure.

      2. Pionk isn’t a good defender, at all. And while he sees the ice well and is a confident passer, his possession numbers thru his first 35 NHL games between this year and last year are abysmal. Straight up horrendous. Even with Skjei off to a middling start, there’s no question that Skjei is the better player. The numbers back it up too, Pionk has a minus twelve point four relative Corsi (beyond Dan Girardi bad in that stat) to go along with a crappy 39.6 overall Corsi.

        Not saying the kid won’t improve, but one 3-assist game doesn’t change the fact that Pionk doesn’t move well laterally in the dzone. His recovery speed is lacking, and his positioning isn’t great either. I think he’s gonna be a decent NHLer but 2nd pair is his ceiling. As a right handed dman he may end up first pair a lot, which I don’t think he can handle.

        1. I think its unfair to look at these stats given last year was his first real NHL experience, on a team with a pretty dismal defensive system, not to mention the team wasn’t playing all that well overall, further this year it’s an entirely new system, he is still a rookie but shows some tremendous upsides… I think he will improve past these stats once he becomes more seasoned and learns whats really a whole new strategy again.

          I think your being to hard on the youngster and relying on stats that can’t be used in his case just yet.

          but time will tell, he is also pretty exciting to watch, moves fast, gets into battles and plays down low!!!!

          LGR!!!

          I am all in on #44 so far… Im feeling him. He is moving up! Rapidly Boyz

        2. Couldn’t agree more. Poink has excellent puck skills and manages the puck well but his defending needs a lot of work. He will eventually be a full-time NHL defencemen but currently is learning his craft through the school of hard knocks.

          Some more time on the farm to round out his game would of been beneficial to his development.

  4. Off Topic – What to do with Chytil!
    He seems to be floating but not providing too much value. Does he need a few more weeks in the AHL?

      1. He might be getting looked at as a winger due to 2 things.

        1) Kreider is getting shopped around quietly (same time frame as last season). Assuming that hole will still be there than they will fill Chytil with that.

        2) He hasn’t shown enough to the FO that he should be given a big role like that. Today after pratice, Quinn made it pretty clear that he’s not earning his ice to warrant major minutes.

        1. Ah yes, the old imaginary Kreider trade. Always gotta throw that out there to keep yourself from weeping over Hayes’ imminent departure, eh Mint?

        2. Chytil is playing wing because the Rangers have planned poorly with their roster.

          Not playing Chytil in the middle and DeAngelo sitting out games is not the way to go about a “rebuild.”

          Just about every Ranger over 25 is available for trade, so singling out Kreider is a little misleading.

  5. Great observations Dave. I’ve noticed also that Shatty has the ability to get shots thru like no dman I’ve ever seen before. I recall Girardi in particular getting so many shots blocked from the point. It is a subtle ability that leads to many more goals and also prevents many odd man rushes the other way. Probably one of his skills that makes him so effective on the power play. Often Shatty will just send in a wrister rather than a slapper to make sure it gets thru. If we had better finishers on the PP we would have an even better PP conversion %.

  6. Been reading that Maple Leafs and Nylander continue to be at a contract impasse. Other than a giving them a first round pick, what can we do to get that talented forward in a NYR sweater? While I am my imaginary journey into the improbable future, imagine getting Panarin too? Toronto needs a defenseman (Skjei) and we might be able to get Panarin for Hayes and a pick. Instant legitimacy and you still have Howden, Chytil, Andersson and Kravtov (SP?). I love my imaginary world.

    1. People will start to realize that Hayes and the Rangers have built a quiet safe place for him. None of the contenders will want to mortgage a piece of their future away for someone who’s about to become a FA. Why would CBJ do that? Hayes and the Rangers have been open about a resign. Do you know what that did for his trade value? Now GM’s won’t be giving the benefit of the doubt that he would like to resign with them.

      It’s going to take people with term ( Kreider and Zib ) to get the ball moving. I think JG is going to try and mix up the core like Sather did back in 2013. He acquired Brassard, J Moore and Dorsett with one trade night in one night. I want to see Panarin as a NYR as well but I’m interested to see what Kreider, Zib and a rookie would get from Ottawa.

      1. I am okay with moving Kreider or Zib, but not both. Not sure what value Zucc has out there on the open market but any team with a sniper who isn’t getting the puck, could use Zucc on the other wing. Not sure anything is going to happen before the trade deadline, but i would be okay with Kreider, Hayes, Zucc and Skjei going the other way if we can pick up a real stud and a first round picks. Nylander and Panarin are studs.

        1. Why would Toronto and CBJ want Hayes for a half of a season? He’s not going to resign with them when he can play the market. I want Panarin like the next fan but I would see what Ottawa would give up for Zib/Kreider. If Duchene wants to resign here than I would take him. A for sure 55+ center who can score 25+ goals and makes for a great winger. I would toss a 1st and take Bobby Ryan at half retention for Stone to be included.

  7. Entirely off topic, but anyone see that Duclair goal last night? Early goal of the year candidate. I wish the Rangers could have prospects with handles like that! 🙂

    1. I was watching Pitts vs Toronto and Winnipeg vs Van game. It couldn’t have been that good, I saw enough intermissions last night to know the plays of the games.

      Yeah they made it like we didn’t need those prospects or JT that summer. The management was happy enough with winning the Hayes sweepstakes. I don’t really care for Duclair but I wish they would havr kept Yandle.

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