Attacking play is on the increase

I was in the process of putting together the best and worst teams since 2000 in terms of shooting and save percentage and found something interesting. All of goals, shots on target and total shots have increased since 2000.

Season Goals Shots on target Total shots Sh% Sv%
2000-01 992 4051 8423 24.5 75.5
2001-02 1001 3857 8161 26.0 74.0
2002-03 1000 4511 8520 22.2 77.8
2003-04 1012 4744 8795 21.3 78.7
2004-05 975 4472 8449 21.8 78.2
2005-06 944 4254 8193 22.2 77.8
2006-07 931 4351 8553 21.4 78.6
2007-08 1002 4746 8783 21.1 78.9
2008-09 942 4999 9256 18.8 81.2
2009-10 1053 5188 9290 20.3 79.7
2010-11* 1047 5135 9399 20.4 79.6

*The numbers for 2010-11 are projected based on the 298 games played to 22Mar11

I’ve also plotted the 380 game moving average (to represent a full seasons worth of data) for all of the parameters in the table

Whilst there are large increases in shots on target and total shots, the number of goals has only increasing slightly. This has due to a large increase in save percentage, with a huge increase during the 2002-03 season.

It’s an interesting trend that could be caused by a number of factors including better defensive play or players shooting from more difficult positions (further from goal, sharper angles). I’d like to be able to explain why there was such a sharp increase in 2002-03 though as there has been a much smaller increase in the years since then.

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