Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/21/12 at 12:48 PM ET
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
It’s hard to believe, but the shootout is now seven years old—and it’s been used to decide more than 13 percent of NHL regular-season games (1,138 of 8,610) since the tiebreaker was adopted in 2005.
The stakes can be high: The Philadelphia Flyers’ run to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final never would have happened if they hadn’t beaten the New York Rangers in a shootout on the final day of the regular season. The New York Islanders made the postseason in 2006-07 by beating the New Jersey Devils in a shootout in their season finale. Last season, San Jose, Los Angeles and Calgary all had 34 non-shootout wins—but the Sharks (nine shootout wins) and Kings (six) made the playoffs while the Flames, who went 3-9 in the tiebreaker, stayed home.
The shootout’s seven seasons have shown that some players and some teams are better at it than others. Most interesting is the fact that some of hockey’s biggest names and best teams have struggled, while a number of lesser lights have shone brightly.
Here’s a look at some of the best of the shootout at age 7:
Perfection—Five active players have scored on all of their shootout attempts—but none has taken more than one. Nine players were perfect in 2011-12, but only one of them, Tim Connolly of the Toronto Maple Leafs, had more than one attempt. Connolly was 2-for-2 last season after going 4-for-23 in the first six years of the shootout.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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