Breaking down the NHL’s best and worst at shootouts

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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.