Jeff Blashill is a believer that nothing can change the course of a hockey game like a shorthanded goal.
“It is a big factor,” the coach of the Detroit Red Wings said. “Shorthanded goals matter. They do swing momentum of games.”
The Wings have netted shorthanded goals in two games this season. They are 2-0 in those games.
They scored a pair of shorthanded goals during a San Jose Sharks five-minute power play in a 6-2 win over the Sharks on Jan. 4 at Little Caesars Arena.
“You saw the San Jose game,” Blashill said. “We scored the two shorties and it was the total difference in the game. They went from having a five-minute major power play to us scoring twice. They could’ve scored three times.
“That’s just the reality of it.”
— Hockey Daily 365 (@HockeyDaily365) January 17, 2022
More recently, the Wings were down 2-0 in the third period at Buffalo on Jan. 17. Struggling to get anything going in terms of offense, Vladislav Namestnikov scored a shorty and the game turned. A pair of Dylan Larkin goals led to a 3-2 overtime win over the Sabres.
“It’s 2-0 and they have a chance to go 3-0,” Blashill said. “Instead, it goes 2-1 and all of a sudden we’re right back in it.
“It just gives us tons of energy and probably put them on their heels a little bit.”
Blashill Thinks SHG Should Factor In PP Stats
Blashill is also of the opinion that the NHL should look at the way it calculates power-play percentages and factor shorthanded goals into the equation. He thinks that shorthanded goals should be subtracted from power-play goals before the power-play percentage is figured out.
At the same time, he would like to see shorthanded goals scored by a team subtracted from the power-play goals allowed before assessing penalty killing stats.
Our 2nd power play goal of the night ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/syolAlJ9w7
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 16, 2022
“Certainly I’ve always felt like percentages of power plays and penalty kills should be added or subtracted to include shorthanded goals for and against,” Blashill said. “To me, you can have a great power play but if you give up shorties all the time, it’s not a great power play anymore. It becomes a good power play.”
If this formula were to be applied, it would make Detroit’s already-dismal 30th-ranked power play even more abysmal. The Wings have scored 18 power-play goals in 122 opportunities (14.8%). But they’ve allowed five shorthanded goals. Under Blashill’s formula, Detroit’s power-play percentage is dropping to 10.6%.
As for the Red Wings penalty kill, it’s 19th in the NHL at 78.8%. Factor in Detroit’s three SHG and the Wings improve to 82.7% on the PK.