Washington Capitals v New Jersey Devils

Breaking down the NHL’s best and worst at shootouts


The shootout might be a “skills competition,” but the league’s best players aren’t always so dominant in shootouts. NHL.com’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.

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”