But for the rest of us the numbers may be as necessary as they are enlightening; the pair comprising 29 of the 56 goals scored last season by the Ayrshire side.
To provide context, consider that the club's next most prolific player was winger James Dayton. With three.
Heffernan will return in around two months' time once a broken collarbone has healed, but the loss of Shiels is lasting, the Northern Ireland internationalist taking his practised talents to the Irn-Bru Third Division.
Admittedly, Kilmarnock fans probably do not need to be told that again either. There is a danger of regarding Shiels as a nonpareil, and his absence certainly grew more telling with each squandered chance against Dundee on Saturday.
There was a look of necessity to the Rugby Park side; Gary Harkins ambled into position as the pivot of a three-man attack, flanked by Dayton and teenager Matthew Kennedy. Of the 11 who kicked off the club's league campaign not one could claim to being a recognised striker.
In a game that has been reinventing itself this summer that was not immediately seen as a problem. After all, Spain did not bother with a front man and they won the European Championship.
It would be a little bombastic to draw parallels with the tactic used by Vincent del Bosque on fields in Poland and Ukraine but the reason that it cultivated such success for La Roja informed why Rugby Park – with the match ending goalless – proved such a barren environment for Kilmarnock at the weekend.
Dundee are similarly bereft of squad depth – they were only officially welcomed on Friday into the Clydesdale Bank Premier League – and on Saturday their fate was left in the hands of veteran goalkeeper Rab Douglas. The Dens Park side were carved open at times by Kilmarnock's passing but all too often the Ayrshire side reverted to a more agricultural approach, sending long balls out of defence for their alacritous wide men to chase down. The result became effete and was exacerbated by Douglas's commanding display in goal.
The introduction of signing Rory Boulding – a striker whose form for Livingston late last season suggests he will prove a productive addition when he adjusts to the Premier League – helped to focus Kilmarnock's incursions, but not enough to garner more than a point.
"It is games like this that show how hard it is going to be this season," said Kilmarnock defender Manuel Pascali.
Dundee will know the feeling. There was something endearing about the pertinacious way they refused to submit to their hosts but their reliance on Douglas was notable. They are a side emboldened by the assumption that they will be reduced to little more than a statistic as their commendable hopes of survival are killed off as the season progresses and Barry Smith will have seen in Kilmarnock just how ill-prepared his squad is for Premier League football.
Signs they were not quite ready came before the game even got under way, with Dundee having to be recalled from their starting positions as they had neglected to undergo the top-flight routine of lining up in front of the main stand and shaking hands with the opposition.
"We've only had a short time to get a squad together and there is a definite desire to prove a lot of people wrong," said Jim McAlister, the Dundee midfielder who on Friday became the seventh player to agree terms.
Supporters will not need that statistic to discern how big a void there is still to fill.
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