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Breaking down the NHL’s best and worst at shootouts

Jul 21, 2012, 10:00 PM EDT

Washington Capitals v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

The shootout might be a “skills competition,” but the league’s best players aren’t always so dominant in shootouts.’s John Kreiser collected stats both obvious and obscure from the seven seasons of the shootout (here and here), including these interesting bits:

Biggest struggles

  • There are four players who haven’t scored in the shootout despite getting nine chances (the most attempts without scoring): Sean Bergenheim, Patrik Berglund, Chuck Kobasew and Clarke MacArthur.
  • Big stars don’t always see their talents translate to one-on-one situations with goalies. Steven Stamkos went 0-for-7 in 2010-11 (the worst that season) and is a mediocre 5-for-25 in his career. Joe Sakic, Marian Gaborik and Jarome Iginla suffered through 0-fer seasons, too, so he shouldn’t feel too bad … especially since Kreiser points out that sniper James Neal once went 0-for-10, the worst shootout season to date.
  • Cam Ward is 11-22 in shootouts while Niklas Backstrom‘s .571 save percentage is the worst among shootout goalies who’ve faced 75 shots or more.

Biggest successes

  • Ilya Kovalcuk provided value beyond his 37 goals and 83 points. Kreiser points out that Kovalchuk broke a record for total shootout goals in a season (11) and shootout-winners (seven) as the New Jersey Devils won 12 extra points.
  • Martin Brodeur even dominates shootout history among goalies. His 42 shootout victories gives him a slight edge on Henrik Lundqvist‘s 41. (Brodeur is 42-21 while Lundqvist is 41-27).
  • Kreiser reports that the Atlantic Division has been the most successful group in the shootout while the Central Division has enjoyed the least.
  1. spizzjr - Jul 21, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    Terrible article you left out the all time best percentage as a shooter (Frans Nielsen)

  2. Stiller43 - Jul 21, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    I dont know his stats but fleury seems to be a beast at the SO. Wish he was as good in the playoffs (besides 09)…

  3. goblues29 - Jul 21, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    The shootout is one thing I would get rid of if I was the commish.

  4. phillyphever - Jul 21, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    “Kreiser reports that the Atlantic Division has been the most successful group in the shootout while the Central Division has enjoyed the least.”

    That’s shocking, considering how bad the Flyers are in shootouts. Man I hate that gimmick.

    • blkeskimo1785 - Jul 21, 2012 at 11:37 PM

      If I’m not mistaken, wasn’t it that “gimmick” that got them into the playoffs in 2010?

      • phillyphever - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:18 AM

        Don’t care, still hate it. Rather have a tie than decide a game though an all-star game event.

      • sizzle299 - Jul 22, 2012 at 8:09 AM

        no, getting two points in that game is what got them into the playoffs. They could have got two points by winning in overtime— which can be accomplished in any number of overtime scenarios that are better than the shoot out.

    • drunkbro - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      phillyphever…. i bet you wouldnt hate it as much if you werent a flyers fan. bryz gets out of the way haha

      • phillyphever - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:59 AM

        No, I would still hate it all the same.

  5. hitem396 - Jul 21, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    where is frans neilsen? i guess he scores shootout almost everytime

  6. swedeg - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Didn’t have to tell us that Backstrom isn’t very good at shoot outs. I’ve said the Wild should pull him with 1:00 left in 4-on-4….

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:28 AM

      It doesn’t matter who plays the game. Backstrom can play all 3 periods and have Harding come in and play the shootout. Coaches don’t want to put a cold goalie in ever, which is why we suffer watching Backstrom.

  7. pastabelly - Jul 22, 2012 at 5:20 AM

    I would rather see them play another five minutes with 5 on 5. It would take less time and the chances of a goal being scored would go way up. If teams can’t score then, the don’t deserve 2 points. The 3 point games are equally stupid.

  8. sizzle299 - Jul 22, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    waste of time clicking this thinking there was any analysis AT ALL of an article I already read somewhere else. Hope this trend doesn’t continue. The articles on this site are already light enough..jc

  9. subliminalnoize - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Surprised there was no mention of any of this.

  10. manchestermiracle - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Five minute overtime, 4 on 4. Still tied? Another 5 min. overtime, 3 on 3. Still tied? Another 5 min. overtime, 2 on 2. When you get to 1 on 1 somebody will surely score. Still tied after 20 mins. of overtime? Have the goalies only in the shootout. Goalie on goalie. Now that would be hilarious…..

    • flyersphan28 - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:38 PM

      i agree with ur first two points, the 4 on 4 then the 3 on 3. then after that if no1 scores ( which is almost near impossible) do the stupid shootout. problem solved and 3 on 3 would be some of the most exciting hockey any one would ever see. imagine ovechikin backstrom and green vs malkin crosby and letang…( i hate the caps nd pengs but that would be some pretty exciting hockey right there )

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