This week, we're going to be taking a look back at the Ten Keys to 2013 series I put out prior to the season. Number 10 was finishing.
I think unquestionably, the biggest issue with 2012 other than the defense's inability to do much of anything was the shoddy finishing we saw. Omar Cummings, Conor Casey, Martin Rivero, Tony Cascio and the rest of the gang put together boatloads of chances, but nothing ever seemed to find the back of the net.
In all honesty, there wasn't an enormous improvement in that regard in 2013, but it was a bit more noticeable because this season's defense was so much better than last season's defense that we were far more prone to screaming at the TV for someone, anyone to score a goal and get the team a win.
All you really need to do is check out the number of chances they created again. Colorado were sixth in the league in terms of shots taken, with a whopping 460. However, they were only 11th in the league in terms of actual goals scored (45) and 14th in terms of shots that actually went on-frame (141).
Why was that? Deshorn Brown had a lot to do with it, as he was the posterchild for missed shots all year. Scoring 10 goals is nice, but on 97 shots it's not quite as pretty a stat. Edson Buddle and Atiba Harris combined for that same number of goals with 107 combined shots. Essentially, the forwards that were scoring were all doing so at around the same clip, and it wasn't a particularly lethal one. For the third season in a row, a midfielder ended up being the most lethal presence on the team, with Dillon Powers putting in a goal about once every five shots, and scored with half his shots on target. (Five goals, 27 shots, 11 on target.) Compare that to those three forwards, all of whom scored essentially once every 10 shots, and once every third shot on target.
As the chemistry improves and the team hopefully rebuilds the depth at forward next year (it proved to be the biggest depth problem on the team down the stretch) this should get better. Still, you should probably expect to see this on our Ten Keys to 2014, as well.