Just about any team that comes reasonably close to a playoff spot probably ponders a few “What if?” questions, but one could understand how the New Jersey Devils feel about their 0-13 shootout record from last season.
If you believe that the “skills competition” is a lot like a coin toss, the Devils probably wonder how different things might have been had they merely won six or seven extra points. After all, no 2013-14 playoff team won fewer than three shootouts and none lost more than nine.
(In fact, Puck Daddy points out that the Devils became the first team to lay a goose egg in the shootout over a full season.)
For some, that would be a matter of concern, but Devils GM Lou Lamoriello told the Bergen Record that he’s more concerned about what happens before a shootout takes place.
“I look at how we play during the 60 minutes because that’s what you have control of,” Lamoriello said. “The shootout is an individual thing and if you look at the history of the players who were on our roster last year and the sort of history of their success you would say, ‘How did this come about?’ But in saying that, it’s not a focus.”
Instead, the long-standing executive emphasized adding offense during the summer; he seems excited about acquiring Mike Cammalleri and intrigued about what Martin Havlat might accomplish if he’s healthy. Lamoriello also seems to think that the team can benefit from better luck with players who were already on the roster, whether it be improving young players or healthier campaigns for the likes of Ryane Clowe.
Then again, shootout time might present Cory Schneider with added opportunities to prove that he’s worth that big contract extension, though.