Feb 15, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT
The 27-year-old has never scored more than 19 goals in his young career and is far, far down the list of the team’s most recognizable players.
To some, it was flabbergasting that U.S. head coach Dan Bylsma kept sending Oshie out while high-scoring forwards Phil Kessel, Zach Parise and Patrick Kane watched from the bench. Especially since Russia rolled out stars Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk in the same situation.
But it worked, as Oshie nailed four of six, including the deciding tally.
If you want a little more background on Bylsma’s decision-making process, here’s a quick look at how Oshie has fared in shootouts at the NHL level:
- Oshie is currently tied with Logan Couture and Jonathan Toews for the NHL lead in shootout goals with seven. While those players have connected on a bit more than 50 percent of their attempts, Oshie’s success rate is 70 percent this season.
- He didn’t receive a ton of chances in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, but he connected on two of his three attempts.
- Since coming into the league in 2008-09, Oshie has 25 shootout goals.
Does that mean he deserved every chance? That’s debatable … but it’s clear that there was plenty of logic behind what seemed to some like a strange strategy.
Part of the plan
ESPN’s behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. team’s construction suggests Oshie was on the bubble for a final roster spot alongside the likes of Brandon Saad and Bobby Ryan. His shootout prowess may very well have been the tie-breaker, at least to U.S. GM David Poile.
“Oshie’s got that shootout move,” Poile said.
Oshie’s post-game reaction seems fitting, then; he told NBC’s Pierre McGuire that he was “running out of moves” as his attempts kept piling up.
As this great panoramic shot from AP reveals, his teammates seemed OK with him taking shootout shot after shot:
Oh, and in case you’re wondering about Oshie’s shootout strategy…
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) February 15, 2014
- Blues finish night on top of NHL standings after shootout win 15
- Kings’ Nolan gets double-minor for punching Oilers’ Joensuu 51
- Extended overtime likely to be on agenda in GMs’ March meeting 39
- Lundqvist shuts out Red Wings to claim 300th victory 11
- NHL on NBCSN: Hawks know they can’t take Sabres lightly 10
- NHL on NBC: Red Wings, Rangers fight to cling onto playoff spots 2
- Video: Flames score center-ice goal against Canucks’ Lack 19
- Stars believe Lehtonen suffered concussion from Haula collision (update) 23
- Video: Stars retire Mike Modano’s jersey 11
- Rostislav Klesla passes on joining Sabres organization following trade 12
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Report: Canucks want center, top prospect and first-rounder for Kesler (68)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (67)