In the excellent Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey talks about the greatest sounds in the world, and has the audacity to leave the sound of a puck hitting the post off his list. I suppose it was the 40′s and guys didn’t shoot like they do now, so I’ll excuse him.

As a forward, I’m biased towards a certain type of sound – I wrote this for Puck Daddy a couple years ago in my “5 things I love about hockey” post, explaining what I love about it.

That miniscule, high-pitched “TING!” that’s barely audible when you score just inside the post and catch just the tiniest piece of it. Not the metallic “thud” of a puck hitting the post solid. Only those crazy goalies like that one.

It’s the perfect shot – as far to the outskirts of the net as possible without having the puck rejected like a basketball off the back of the rim. Ideally, the “ting!” would come from the top-corner, off the elbow, glove hand. That’s the good stuff right there. And if you’re lucky, the net is wound super-tight, so it spits the puck right back out, making you feel like you’re packing Ovechkin-style heat (you’re not).

As I mentioned, when it’s the dull clang of solid contact, it can be pretty disheartening. That’s the stuff that leaves you staring at the ceiling at night, agonizing over fractions of inches.

Today, Dirk Hoag of The Forechecker posted a list of the guys who had their hearts ripped out by that sound the most this season, and awarded the title of Lord of the Pings.

The result? Eric Staal ran away with the prize, hitting 17 posts, which may have contributed to his lowest goal total since his rookie season, as Hoag pointed out. Here’s the rest of the list – some mighty good names are included.

Player Team Total
Eric Staal Carolina 17
James Neal Pittsburgh 13
Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh 11
John Tavares NY Islanders 10
Ryan Smyth Edmonton 10
Ryan Getzlaf Anaheim 9
Teemu Selanne Anaheim 9
Chris Kunitz Pittsburgh 9
Evander Kane Winnipeg 9
David Krejci Boston 8
Alexander Edler Vancouver 8
Tyler Seguin Boston 8
Ryan O`Reilly Colorado 8
Henrik Zetterberg Detroit 8
Nicklas Lidstrom Detroit 8
Kyle Brodziak Minnesota 8
Zach Parise New Jersey 8
Craig Smith Nashville 8
Ryan Callahan NY Rangers 8
Colin Greening Ottawa 8
Milan Michalek Ottawa 8
Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay 8

Check out the full post here for some more information on OT and shootout “pings.”

Comments (13)

  1. “Quarter of an inch, Charlie…”

    Kunitz already had a career year, but if some of these go in, and not to mention all the goals he had disallowed, man, what a season for him.

  2. How did Ty Conklin’s stick wind up stuck between his leg pad and his pants?

  3. I wonder what it says about these guys compared to other guys. Worse aim? Or better in that they didn’t just miss wide? It certainly seems to say they’ve got a goalie beating shot.

    • Most of these guys just take a crapload lot of shots. Neal and Malkin, 2 and 3, were 2 and 1, respectively, in shots on goal.

      Tavares wasn’t that far down the list.

      With Eric Staal, I’d just say it underscores that he was really unlucky this year.

  4. Oh, and do you think you could get the score video dudes working on a best pings compilation video?

  5. Would have been interesting to see a “shots attempted” and “goals scored” column as well to see if either one lines up well with posts hit. Isn’t Malkin, at least, among the “shots taken” leaders?

  6. Kyle Okposo’s nickname is Ok-post-O….how did he not make it on the list??

  7. A truer stat would be the percentage of posts per shot. As it stands it’s obvious that guys who shoot more will end up hitting the post more often.

    • Not necessarily: http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20122ALLSASALL&sort=shots&viewName=summary

      Kovalchuk, Nash, and Ovechkin (3, 4, and 6 in terms of regular season shots taken) aren’t on this list at all. That’s why I said it would be interesting to have a combined chart — because what’s “obvious” isn’t always right. Those 3 take a ton of shots but don’t seem to hit the post much, one way or the other.

      • I think it would be better to look at percentage posts by shots directed at net, rather than shots on goal. Maybe these are guys who’d rather cut it too fine than hope to get it between a defender’s shinpads. You know, maybe guys who hit a lot of posts don’t get a lot of shots blocked and vice-versa.

        Ovechkin, in particular, seems to try to put an awful lot of shots in the net’s direction that don’t actually get there the last year or two.

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