Butler sounds like a smart player:
Butler struggled to find his scoring touch and lost confidence last season, however, and ended up with just six goals and 10 assists in 56 NHL games with Ottawa. After the Senators bought out the final season of his contract last summer, the Devils signed him to a two-way deal with the NHL minimum salary of $525,000.
Butler said it was just a matter of finding his confidence again and remembering to shoot more often and more quickly. He had just 86 shots on goal in 56 games last season with Ottawa. He had 94 shots on goal in his 32 games with Albany.
“You can’t score if you don’t throw it towards the net,” he said. “I didn’t shoot enough last year, so I want to shoot as much as I can this year. It was something I figured out, just looking at stats here and there. I just knew I wasn’t shooting fast enough and shooting enough last year, so that’s one of my focuses this year.”
For reference, he shot 73 times in 36 games in 2010-2011 - the year in which he scored 10 goals and put up 21 points. In that same year, in the AHL, he shot 136 times in 47 games and scored 22 goals and 33 points. As TG points out above, this year in the AHL he's shot 94 times in 32 games and it's resulted in 15 goals and 23 points. So on average:
2010-2011 (NHL): 2.03 shots per game
2010-2011 (AHL): 2.90 shots per game2011-2012 (NHL): 1.56 shots per game
2012-2013 (AHL): 2.94 shots per game
It's good to see he realized he wasn't shooting enough in 2011-2012. I don't think he's suddenly going to be on pace to score like 30+ goals at the NHL level, but for those that are missing Sykora, I think he could do an ample job of replacing his scoring if he can maintain the 2+ shot per game average, especially if he's playing on the top line. In the shortened season, is something like 12-15 goals realistic?
Edited by nmigliore, 15 January 2013 - 08:12 PM.