The theory, if we understand it right, goes something like this.

The best indicator of offensive performance is not goals. It's shots on goals.

Goals are random. They're the results of a host of variables, some to do with skill, some with blind luck. Shots, on the other hand, are a more of a constant -- which makes them more meaningful.

To generate a shot on goal, the team in question has to do a number of things correctly. If they do those things enough times, it will eventually result in goals. It might take a couple of periods. It might take a couple of games. But sooner or later, it will pay off.

“Shot volume is much more a function of a team's ability and a much better predictor of future performance than goal-scoring metrics,” reads a passage on the influential website Behind the Net. “In other words, there is basically no such thing as a team that shoots efficiently, just teams that get a lot of shots on goal.”

Now, we're not certain if John Tortorella subscribes to advanced hockey analytics. But this theory is one of the cornerstones of his philosophy. Under Tortorella's watch, the Canucks prime directive is to shoot the puck on the net and the issue is quantity, not quality.

And who knows? It could be that this will deliver the desired results over time, but after watching the Canucks for the last five games one thing is certain: they're living proof there's no such thing as a team that shoots efficiently.

Tuesday night at The Rog, the Canucks continued their mystifying ability to direct shots at the net without producing, you know, goals. Against the Florida Panthers, they finished with 29 shots on goal, had another 12 blocked and missed the net another 13 times.

That's 54 attempts at the net and, for all their trouble, they amassed two goals. It also tells you all you need to know: this represented a big improvement over the last four games. Before their 3-2 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers, the Canucks had generated 140 shots on goal while scoring four goals.

They now have two points to show over their last five games. Not surprisingly, they've dropped like a stone in the hyper-competitive Western Conference and if they're not in a full-blown crisis at this moment, they're getting close to it.

In fairness, this wasn't a contest the Canucks dominated territorially but for stretches they did enough to produce a win against a bad team. In the first period, they gave up their customary early goal, this time to Brad Boyes on the power play, then threw 17 shots in the general direction of old friend Tim Thomas to no great purpose. In the second it was 10 more shots, four which missed the net and six more that were blocked by the Panthers.