The Quad City Mallards shutout the Wichita Thunder last night 4-0 and it was not due to a lack of shots on goal as the Thunder outshot the Mallards 26-24. However it was due to an overall lack of higher quality shots on goal as there were only a handful of actual quality shots by the Thunder last night and they will not get to the playoffs without a better effort.
The Thunder went with five defensemen last night — Wilson, Milan, Tulupov, Meland and Trebish. That has been a very good mix for this team allowing for a bit more offense, and it has certainly helped in the past, however last night it was not much use against a very good Quad City defense and a team who excels at forechecking as well as backchecking.
The topic of the Thunder’s Shots and Shooting Efficiency has been discussed on this blog back on January 25th, 2015:
| Wichita’s Shots and Shooting Efficiency:
“It’s obvious that there are two different factors that influence goal-scoring. The first is shot volume; all else being equal, more shots mean more goals. The second is shooting efficiency; if a player can find a way to take higher-quality shots he’s going to score more goals, even if his shot volume doesn’t change.” — Jonathan Willis talking about Edmonton Oilers’ Taylor Hall this season.
This is a long running story with the Wichita Thunder this season — shot volume vs shot efficiency. Sometimes there is a lack of BOTH, and there is ALWAYS a lack of shot efficiency. Out of the Thunder’s 26 shots on goal there were only a handful of higher quality shots (five is probably being very generous!) that actually had a very good chance of creating a scoring opportunity for Wichita.
Shooting efficiency, along with entering the zone with possession, better neutral zone play — all of these could greatly help Wichita make it to the playoffs. However, for now, just focus on scoring, boys! It is very telling when a team’s defense accounts for 10 out of the total 26 shots on goal.
Team Notes: Newly acquired Garrett Klotz was in the lineup last night wearing the jersey number 24. Darren Bestland and Mike MacIntyre were scratches.
- Wichita Thunder Game Recap
- Quad City Mallards Game Recap
- Bobby Metcalf’s Quad-City Times Game Recap
- ECHL Game Sheet
Tonight the Wichita Thunder face the Missouri Mavericks in Independence, Missouri for their final road game of the 2014-15 regular season.