The New Jersey Devils can’t win a shootout. And it’s costing them in the standings.
Sunday in Toronto, the Devils fell to 0-7 in the “gimmick,” failing to earn a full two points in a game that left them feeling “a little bit robbed,” according to coach Pete DeBoer.
The game also left the Devils two points back of the last wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, their 19 regulation/overtime wins tied with Nashville (0-5 in the shootout) for the most of any team not currently in a playoff position.
Meanwhile, the Washington Capitals have just 14 regulation/OT wins and, thanks to an 8-5 record in the shootout, sit second in the Metropolitan Division.
“I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the shootout,” DeBoer said after the Leafs game, per The Record. “It is what it is. We competed our (rear end) off tonight and played a great game. It was our third game in four nights, back to back. The shootout doesn’t take away from the effort that we gave tonight.”
No, but it does raise the question of fairness. With so many games being decided by a “gimmick,” are the right teams being rewarded in the standings?
Because if you had any doubt that shootout success doesn’t correlate with the quality of a team, the Buffalo Sabres are 6-2 in it.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger