Which teams (and players) are the best (and worst) at shootouts?

shootout1.jpgIt’s more than a mild understatement to say that shootouts aren’t popular with hardcore hockey fans. That being said, I think that we often take our distaste for the “glorified skills competition” too far.

At least in one area: analysis. Rarely do you hear a player touted for his penalty shot kills, unless it’s to be somewhat derisive (see: Jussi Jokinen before he broke through with the Carolina Hurricanes).

Yet, whatever you may say about shootouts themselves, a smart NHL team should try to wring out every point they can out of shootouts. So studying “what works” and “what doesn’t” actually makes plenty of sense, even if that can be a very inexact science itself.

John Kreiser of NHL.com put together an interesting compilation of stats regarding the last five years of the shootout. Let me point out some of the most interesting numbers.

First, a look at the most and least successful teams in the shootout.

Does practice make perfect? — The Rangers, Oilers and Boston Bruins have been the most active participants in shootouts. All have taken part in 65, with the Oilers winning 39, tying them with Dallas and New Jersey for the most in the shootout’s five-year history. The Rangers are next with 37 wins, while the Bruins have won 31 and own a shootout-record 34 losses.

At the other extreme, the Carolina Hurricanes have been involved in only 37 shootouts — and won just 17 of them. Calgary has taken part in only 38 and has just 14 victories, the fewest of any team.

He brings up the guys who were perfect in the shootout, with most of them only managing such a task by going 1-for-1. The exceptions were two borderline NHLers who went 3-for-3: Mike Santorelli and P.A. Parentau. Conversely, Chuck Kobasew, Paul Stastny and Taylor Pyatt are the most “snakebitten” shootout players.

shootout2.jpgFinally, here are a few details about the goalies who have had the most success. One might not surprise you, but the other could raise a few eyebrows.

Super stopper — Several goaltenders have had excellent seasons in shootouts, but it’s hard to envision anyone topping the performance Mathieu Garon turned in for Edmonton in 2007-08.

Garon was only 16-18 in games decided in regulation and lost his only overtime decision. But he was flawless — and nearly unbeatable — in shootouts. Garon was a perfect 10-0 for the Oilers, who set an NHL single-season record with 15 shootout wins (Phoenix came within one of that mark in 2009-10). Garon was 5-0 at Rexall Place and 5-0 on the road while allowing just two goals on 32 attempts, a .932 save percentage. He stopped all 14 attempts he faced in the five road wins.

[snip]

Another Brodeur best — Perhaps not surprisingly, the winningest goaltender in NHL history is also No. 1 in shootout victories. Martin Brodeur tops all goaltenders with 34 wins in the shootout, four more than Atlantic Division rival Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers. Brodeur is an equal-opportunity winner — he has 17 shootout wins at home and 17 on the road.

Brodeur took part in 10 shootouts last season, moving him back in front of Lundqvist for the most shootouts by a goaltender, with 52. Lundqvist (30-21 lifetime) is next with 51; Marty Turco, who recently signed with Chicago after spending his career with Dallas, is third with 50.

Perhaps it makes a bit of sense that Brodeur and Turco are strong in the skills competition since their styles are a little more based on athleticism and unpredictability.

You have to wonder if teams like the Calgary Flames might want to put a little more emphasis on the shootout going forward. Considering that they fell just short of the playoffs last year, getting those “charity points” could mean a lot. Sadly enough, they could even make or break the Sutter brothers.

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    Panthers to honor, support victims of Florida school shooting

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    The Florida Panthers are planning to help and honor the victims and their families of last week’s shooting that claimed the lives of 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.

    The Panthers will hold a moment of silence for the victims prior to puck drop at BB&T Center, just minutes from where the tragedy took place.

    The organization is also partnering with OneBlood and JetBlue as they host a blood drive outside of the arena from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and through the second intermission. The blood collected from the drive will help replenish nearby blood banks. Donations will also be taken from through the second intermission.

    Meanwhile, the Florida Panthers Foundation (FPF) will collect donations from fans during the blood drive and during the game. Both the FPF and the NHL will match every donation dollar-for-dollar and donate the money raised to the Stoneman Douglas Victims fund through the Broward Education Foundation (BEF).

    Proceeds from the game’s 50/50 raffle will also be donated, with the NHL and the FPF contributing $50,000 to the raffle.

    The Panthers will also be selling a limited number of MSD patches for $10. All of the proceeds from the patch sales will go to the BEF.

    Finally, all proceeds from Fanatics Game Used Auction items will also benefit the BEF.

    Those not able to attend Thursday’s game can also donate through the Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund on GoFundMe. A text-to-donate option is also available by texting PARKLAND to 20222, which will donate $10 to the fund.

    Several Panthers spoke after their morning skate on Thursday, including Roberto Luongo and Derek MacKenzie, who live in Parkland.

    “What happened last week, when it hits close to home like that, it’s hard. You just want to help as much as you can,” Luongo told the assembled media on Thursday.

    MacKenzie added: “As a member of the Parkland community, I’m very proud of how everyone has come together.”

    #ParklandStrong

    Be sure to visit NBCOlympics.com and NBC Olympic Talk for full hockey coverage from PyeongChang.


    Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

    PHT Morning Skate: 20 years in the making, American women finally golden

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    Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

    • U.S. women end drought, beat Canada for Olympic gold in a shootout (NBC Olympics)

    • Wanna see hockey in the summer Olympics? So does Jack O’Callahan. (Chicago Tribune)

    • The Near-Miracle on Ice: An Oral History of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. (Puck Junk)

    • Germans, Czechs in unfamiliar territory, improbably reach Olympic semifinals. (NBC Olympics)

    Be sure to visit NBCOlympics.com and NBC Olympic Talk for full hockey coverage from PyeongChang.

    • Olympic gold medalist AJ Mleczko to serve as an analyst for NHL game on NBCSN in March. (NBC Sports)

    • It seem’s unthinkable, but the Ottawa Senators are exploring trade options for Erik Karlsson. (TSN)

    • What is Erik Karlsson worth in the trade market? (SenShot)

    Jeff Carter, who has been out since Oct. 18, set to resume practice. (L.A. Kings Insider)

    Chris Kreider could return in a few games after blood clot scare. (NY Daily News)

    • Why the Taylor Hall-John Hynes bond is so good for the Devils, and Hall. (North Jersey)

    Cam Ward: Wine man. (Sports Illustrated)

    Anders Lee‘s Kancer Jam raises over $100,000 for pediatric cancer. (The Sports Daily)

    • Bad luck, not bad play, to blame for Michael Frolik’s down season. (Flames Nation)

    • Eugene Melnyk needs to go. (Silver Seven Sens)

    • Scoring binge masks deeper issues for Sharks’ third line (NBC Sports Bay Area)


    Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

    U.S. women end drought, beat Canada for Olympic gold in a shootout

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    GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — The Americans’ gold medal drought in women’s hockey is finally over. They needed the first shootout in an Olympic women’s final to do it, too.

    Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored a dazzling, triple-deke goal in the sixth round of a shootout thriller and Maddie Rooney stuffed the last two Canadians to wrap up a 3-2 victory over archrival Canada on Thursday.

    The Americans piled over the boards, throwing gloves in the air before huddling and hugging on the ice – 20 years after the women’s last gold medal in women’s hockey and 20 years to the day after he men’s famous ”Miracle on Ice” victory over the Russians in group play at Lake Placid.

    ”I can’t put it into words,” defenseman Kacey Bellamy said. ”This whole year is for everyone that came before us. This is for Julie Chu (former USA team captain) and for all our families at home, the schools that we went to, everyone supporting us.”

    Lamoureux-Davidson’s shootout goal was the talk of the game. She feinted a wrist shot, then drew Szabados out of the net by faking a backhand and came back to slide the puck past Szabados’ outstretched leg into the open net for the clinching score.

    Gigi Marvin and Amanda Kessel also scored in the shootout, another nail-biter ending four years after Canada won its fourth-straight gold medal in Sochi after rallying to stun the Americans in overtime.

    Monique Lamoureux-Morando tied it up with a breakaway with 6:21 left in regulation . Hilary Knight also had a goal, but Rooney was spectacular, making 29 saves for the win. The 20-year-old goalie stopped the last two Canadian shooters in the shootout in Brianne Jenner and then Meghan Agosta on her second attempt.

    It was sweet redemption for the 10 Americans who watched the Canadians snatch gold away in Sochi. Not only did the Americans end the Canadians’ stranglehold on Olympic gold, they ended a skid of five straight against their rival coming into this game, including a 2-1 loss in the tournament a week ago.

    ”It is everything for our country,” U.S. coach Robb Stauber said. ”I am just so thankful for the outcome. It was a thrilling final. It was unreal.”

    Marie-Philip Poulin and Haley Irwin each scored goals for Canada. Agosta and Melodie Daoust scored in the shootout.

    The Canadians wept on the ice as they accepted their silver medals. Jocelyne Larocque took hers off immediately and held it in her hands as the Americans settled in to accept gold.

    ”It’s just hard,” she said. ”You work so hard. We wanted gold but didn’t get it.”

    Added Canada coach Laura Schuler: ”There’s not a lot of words that can describe how you feel. It was a great game of hockey. It’s what we expected: back and forth hockey.”

    The Americans had dominated the women’s game in non-Olympic years, winning the last four and eight of the last 10 world championships, including a 3-2 overtime victory over Canada last spring.

    It only made the lack of gold at the Olympics all the more noticeable, and Canada has been in their way since losing the inaugural gold in Nagano in 1998. Canada had won 24 straight Olympic games to go along with those four consecutive gold medals – a streak of success in a women’s team sport second only to the U.S. basketball team’s current streak of six straight gold.

    This was the eighth time these North American rivals had met in the Olympics and the fifth with gold on the line. None of the previous seven was decided by more than two goals.

    U.S. coach Robb Stauber went with Rooney in net for the biggest game of her career – the goalie for each of the three wins against Canada last fall during a pre-Olympic exhibition tour.

    Canada had Shannon Szabados in goal for her third Olympic gold medal game, and her teammates made her job very easy by keeping the puck in front of Rooney for most of the first period by dictating play. The Americans couldn’t use their speed or get organized even with two power plays until Sarah Nurse went in the box for interference late in the period.

    Knight gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead with 25.4 seconds left in the first, redirecting a shot from Sidney Morin through Szabados’ pads to give the Americans a jolt of energy.

    That lasted only 2 minutes into the second when Irwin tipped a midair pass from Blayre Turnbull over Rooney’s left leg for Canada. And when Morin lost the puck, Melodie Daoust grabbed it and passed to Meghan Agosta who hit Poulin for the wrister into the left side of the net at 6:55 for a 2-1 lead.

    Be sure to visit NBCOlympics.com and NBC Olympic Talk for full hockey coverage from PyeongChang.

    The Buzzer: Miller steals one for Ducks, Vegas back in top spot

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    Be sure to visit NBCOlympics.com and NBC Olympic Talk for full hockey coverage from PyeongChang.

    Player of the Night: Ryan Miller, Anaheim Ducks

    The Anaheim Ducks picked up a huge win on Wednesday night in their quest for a playoff spot and they have veteran goalie Ryan Miller to thank for it.

    They leaned on Miller to pretty much steal their 2-0 game against the Dallas Stars.

    He ended up stopping all 41 shots he faced, including 24 in the third period.

    It was during that third period where the Ducks were able to put the game away after killing a 5-on-3 power play that included a shorthanded goal from Ryan Getzlaf.

    The Ducks have now won four games in a row and are just one point back of the San Jose Sharks for second place in the Pacific Division.

    Vegas Back On Top

    You just can not stop the Vegas Golden Knights.

    Thanks to their dominant 7-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday the first-year team is back on top of the NHL standings with 84 points, moving one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    It was another balanced effort from the Vegas lineup as they received goals from seven different players, including William Karlsson who scored his 31st goal of the season.

    It is still amazing to think about the fact they only have 22 games remaining in the regular season and an expansion team is in a position to win the Presidents’ Trophy.

    Their 84 points is now the most ever by an expansion team. That number will continue to rise.

    Highlight of the Night

    The aforementioned Ryan Getzlaf shorthanded goal was quite the effort!

    Highlight of the Night Part 2

    Ryan Carpenter scores this slick between-the-legs goal to get Vegas rolling.

    Factoid of the Night

    Reilly Smith scored his 20th goal of the season for Vegas on Wednesday night and gives Vegas five 20-goal scorers. Not many expansion teams have done that. Of course, not many expansion teams have been capable of doing a lot of the things Vegas has accomplished this season.

    Scores

    Chicago Blackhawks 4, Ottawa Senators 3

    Anaheim Ducks 2, Dallas Stars 0

    Vegas Golden Knights 7, Calgary Flames 3

    Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.