A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 09, 2012
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” (hockey adage)

"You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” is a famous hockey adage that’s usually credited by Wayne Gretzky, a Hall of Fame player. Gretzky said in 1983, “I learned that 100 percent of the shots you don’t take don’t go in the net.” Gretzky said in 1996, “My dad says 100 percent of the shots you don’t take don’t go in.”

The “you must take shots to score” adage, in a different form, predates Gretzky’s playing career. “You can’t score points if you don’t shoot” has been cited in basketball since at least 1936. “You can’t score if you don’t shoot” has been cited in hockey since at least 1958. “As they say in hockey, you can’t score if you don’t shoot the puck,” is from a 1971 newspaper article.

Wikipedia: Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Douglas Gretzky, CC (/ˈɡrɛtski/; born January 26, 1961) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for four teams from 1979 to 1999. Nicknamed “The Great One”, he has been called “the greatest hockey player ever” by many sportswriters, players, and the NHL itself. He is the leading point-scorer in NHL history, with more assists than any other player has points, and is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season – a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, he tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive. At the time of his retirement in 1999, he held 40 regular-season records, 15 playoff records, and six All-Star records. In addition to being its greatest scorer, Gretzky was the most gentlemanly superstar in the modern history of the NHL. He won the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship and performance five times, and he often spoke out against fighting in hockey.

2 February 1936, Oakland (CA) Tribune, “Luisetti held to 15 shots by Bears” by Phil Ray, pg. A11, col. 8:
You can’t score points if you don’t shoot.

13 March 1951, Kokomo (IN) Tribune, “Bengals Work On Pro Order” by Dale Burgess, pg. 11, col. 2:
It operates on the same theory as Indiana university—you can’t score if you don’t shoot.

31 October 1958, Springfield (MA) Union, ‘Tribe Starts Big Week End Tonight Against Streaking Reds” by Garry Brown, pg. 34, col. 6:
Mitchell gives a simple reason for Schinkel’s new-found scoring punch: “He’s shooting more,” Johnny says. “He’s not trying to make picture plays. He’s shooting at the cage, and you can’t score if you don’t shoot.”

Google News Archive
30 October 1959, Gettysburg (PA) Times, “Fiery Center High Scorer,” pg. 5, col. 5:
BOSTON (AP)—Bronco Horvath, Boston’s fiery tempered center, has a simple explanation for the scoring punch that has pushed him to the top of the National Hockey League’s goal-producers:

“Just keep shooting. You don’t score if you don’t shoot,” he said after Boston’s 2-1 triumph over Detroit Thursday night in the only league game scheduled.

Google Books
How to Play Hockey;
A guide for players and their coaches

By Tom Watt
Garden City, NY: Doubleday
Pg. 31:
You can’t score if you don’t shoot the puck. Most teams in the course of a game will have between thirty and forty shots on an opponent’s goal. They may shoot more than that number, but many shots miss the net or are blocked by an opponent.

Google News Archive
29 December 1971, Windsor (Ontario) Star, “Not a dime to Filion” by Jack Dulmage, pg. 24, col. 7:
As they say in hockey, you can’t score if you don’t shoot the puck.

9 February 1983, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, “Gretzky’s 4 Goals Rip Lindbergh & Co., 9-3,” pg. F1:
“I’ve learned,” he (Wayne Gretzky—ed.) said, after also being awarded a 1983 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28 as the game’s Most Valuable Player, “that 100 percent of the shots you don’t take don’t go in the net.”

New York (NY) Times
HOCKEY; You Can’t Score if You Don’t Shoot
Published: October 31, 1995
Just shoot, baby.

That’s what Ranger Coach Colin Campbell keeps urging his power-play unit to do. Until, it sometimes seems, he is blue in the face.

New York (NY) Times
NHL PLAYOFFS; Blues Shut Out Red Wings
Published: May 11, 1996
Wayne Gretzky took the weight off his shoulders tonight and placed it squarely on the backs of the Detroit Red Wings.

After nine games of frustration, Gretzky scored his first goal of the playoffs and the only goal of the game. Jon Casey, a rusty backup at the start of the post-season, threw a shutout at Detroit as the St. Louis Blues won, 1-0, to even the series at two games apiece.
“My dad says 100 percent of the shots you don’t take don’t go in,” Gretzky said. “So I figured I’d take it. Believe me, I was probably just as happy as anybody else in the building that it went in.”

New York (NY) Times
Starks Lights Up and Leaves the Heat in Darkness
Published: May 13, 1997
John Starks has a T-shirt that reads, ‘’You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.’’ The idea, of course, is that when you make only 5 shots in 24 attempts through three games of a tense series, you do not worry. You keep believing the next one will drop.

In Lou We Trust—A New Jersey Devils blog
Shots Through by the New Jersey Devils in the 2011-12 Regular Season & 2012 Playoffs
by John Fischer on Jun 8, 2012 11:00 AM EDT
One of the biggest cliches in hockey is the Wayne Gretzky statement, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” This is certainly true. Just witness the fourteen-plus minutes the Devils spent in the second period of Game 4 without a single shot on net. The offense essentially died while the Los Angeles Kings were able to get pressure with possession. However, while the Devils went shotless, the Kings only got three shots on net in the same time frame. You also miss 100% of the shots that aren’t on target. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • (0) Comments • Saturday, June 09, 2012 • Permalink