Edmonton Oilers assistant coach Jay Woodcroft was recently on Inside Sportsdiscussing the clubs overall performance and what areas the staff has been working on with the players, including special teams. A couple comments regarding defencemen Justin Schultz caught my attention.
The one area we continue to emphasize with Justin is the willingness to continue to shoot the puck. The ability to hit the net when you do shoot the puck. And letting him know that, and encouraging him that, when you do shoot that creates offence for everybody. Even if that first shot doesn’t get in, if it gets through, that’s what leads to the second chance or third chance. But it’s vital that that shot gets through from the top. (Source)
I suspected in the off-season, just based on his experience with the San Jose Sharks, that McLellan and his staff would push for the defencemen to shoot more and get a higher proportion of the team’s total shots. The Sharks under McLellan loved dumping the puck in or getting the puck on net once they entered the zone and let all three forwards crash the net looking for rebounds. So it doesn’t surprise me that Schultz is being asked to get more shots on net.
Full article is at The Copper & Blue.