Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/18/13 at 02:41 PM ET
You know the NHL is close to returning when Duhatschek's notebook makes a return...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Dave King, the Phoenix Coyotes’ development coach, has a theory that will bear watching as the 48-game season unfolds – that NHL teams are going to have to pay closer attention to shootout preparation than ever before, because the margins between victory and defeat will be so close. King believes chances are good that a team’s shootout may be the difference between making and missing the playoffs.
Certainly, there seems to be no consistent pattern to year-over-year shootout records. Two years ago, the Los Angeles Kings were the No. 1 team in the shootout, going 10-2. Last year, they were 6-9. If the Kings had been anywhere close to their previous shootout prowess, they could have easily made up the two-point gap that separated them from the first-place Coyotes in the Pacific Division (although Phoenix, at 6-10) was no better.
Two years ago, the Calgary Flames were 9-7 in the shootout; last year, they were 3-9 – a contributing factor to their playoff miss. The year they won the Stanley Cup, the Boston Bruins were 2-6 in the shootout; last year, they went 9-2.
There are a handful of teams that have been consistently good on the shootout. Colorado is a combined 15-3 over the past two years; and Pittsburgh is a sterling 19-6.
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