Troy Brouwer finally got back on the scoresheet, scoring with a slap shot from the slot during a second period power play in Tuesday’s win against Buffalo.
Before that his last goal came 11 games ago, odd for a skater who has been known to play in the high-traffic areas around the goal crease. Problem is, Brouwer hasn’t been generating as many shots in those high-traffic areas. Here is a heat map of Brouwer’s shots from this season, courtesy of Sporting Charts.
Much like Tuesday’s tally, notice how Brouwer is shooting more from the slot rather than up close and personal to the opposing goalie, a departure from last season when he scored 19 goals in a lockout-shortened campaign.
The red blob shows how concentrated Brouwer’s shot generation was in the crease a year ago. Same for the 2009-10 season when he scored a career-high 22 goals.
Since that season Brouwer has been slowly taking shots from further away, culminating in this year’s average shot distance of 32.7 feet and 15-goal pace.
Fifteen goals is nothing to sneer at, but that would be Brouwer’s lowest total since the 2008-09 season (10 goals in 69 games).
“If you want money, go to the bank,” Brooks Laich once said. “If you want bread, go to the bakery. If you want goals, go to the net.”