The San Jose Sharks did not give up very many offensive opportunities to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. Every chance the Caps did have, however, seemed to fall on the stick of Justin Williams. Yet, both he and the Caps walked away with nothing to show for it in a 3-0 loss.
Williams finished the game tied for the team lead in shots on goal with four. He also had one blocked shot and one missed shot. Being unable to finish his chances has been an unfortunate pattern this season for the veteran winger as he has only one goal and one assist.
"Don't remind me," Williams said when asked after the game about his missed opportunities.
"Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't," Williams said, "And sometimes you have a great opportunity and you're not able to capitalize and another time you might throw a puck at the net, it might go off someone's butt and in the net."
For his part, head coach Barry Trotz does not seem too concerned over Williams' current struggles because of the quality chances he's generating.
"[Williams is] playing really, really good. I think he's trying to drive whatever line he's on. He's playing that real grind game where he's going to the front of the net, he's doing all the things that you want Justin to do. Just keep doing them and they'll start going in the net for us."
The average NHL shooting percentage is usually somewhere around 9.0 percent. Williams' current shooting percentage is at 5.0 percent. That's below the normal average, but not abnormally below to the point where you can simply dismiss his struggles as bad puck luck. Really the biggest issue with Williams is that he doesn't seem to be shooting enough.
Through 12 games, Williams has only managed 20 shots on goal. That puts him on pace for about 136 shots this season which would be his lowest since the 2008-09 season in which he only played 44 games.
Williams is putting himself in the right position and the chances are there. Now he just needs to find a way to get more rubber on net and finish those chances. He couldn't on Tuesday and it cost his team.
"It's been certainly a tough start to the year for me with regards to offense, but I'm going to keep working at it," Williams said. "Obviously, it's all fine and dandy when you're winning games as we have, but when you're losing it's obviously glaring. [I'm] doing my best to work hard and try and find the back of the net because I know this team needs me to do that."
MORE CAPITALS: Trotz on Holtby: 'He’s had to catch a moving train'