Why does Francis Bouillon shoot?

Stop it, Frankie. Give that puck to Subban. - Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Francis Bouillon is a terrible shooter, yet when he has the puck in the offensive zone, he nearly always chooses to shoot, why?

If you just glance at Francis Bouillon's stats page, it looks like he doesn't shoot all that often with just 13 shots in 17 games. However Bouillon actually shoots quite a bit for a 6th defenseman, and this is a very bad thing, because he has a terrible shot.

Fans often complain that P.K. Subban has an inaccurate shot and that his wind up takes too long. Over the last couple of seasons, Subban has hit the net with around 45% of his shot attempts, which is below what you want, but he also shoots from far away usually, especially on the PP where he shoots from further away than any other Habs defenseman.

Bouillon's shot distance is middle of the pack at even strength, but by far closest to the net on the powerplay at 38.5 feet away on average. So it follows that he should be getting some pretty good chances, right? Wrong.

Bouillon has hit the net with just 30.9% of his shot attempts this season. Bouillon fires 7.83 shots at the net per 60 minutes of ice time, and 3.9 of those are blocked. The exact calculation without rounding is that 50% of Bouillon's shot attempts are blocked.

Because they're almost always blocked by a forward at the blueline, that means nearly 50% of Bouillon's shot attempts result in the offensive zone being cleared, and quite possibly a rush going the other way. This increases the burden on Subban, who has to get back and cover up for Bouillon's bad decision making.

The thing about Bouillon is that he's actually a serviceable bottom pairing defenseman without the puck. He wins battles on the boards, he can break up passes at times with a good stick, and he can get physical with rushing forwards and separate them from the puck. It's when he has the puck that he becomes a detriment.

In that respect, he's the complete opposite of Tomas Kaberle, who's terrible without the puck and great with it. I guess we should be thankful that he isn't paid like Kaberle.

Someone needs to take Frankie aside and tell him to pass instead. Yet it's Subban who needs to be tamed according to this coaching staff.


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