Maple Leafs cooking up strange shootout numbers
Sharks strong in shootout, but their ROW could bite back
Toronto heads into a game on Tuesday against Florida having gained three of four points in a back-to-back with Boston.
But the Leafs had a shot at all four points before blowing a 2-0 lead in Boston on Monday in a shootout defeat.
The Maple Leafs are one of four NHL teams who've not won in the shootout during this shortened season, along with Calgary (0-3), Carolina (0-1), and Tampa Bay (0-1).
But Toronto is now 0-4 and they possess one of the most truly eye-popping shootout stats seen since the game decider was introduced for the 2005-06 season:
- Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bozak: 3 goals on 4 attempts
- Rest of the Maple Leafs' players: 0 goals on 17 attempts
The irony is that Bozak, an unrestricted free agent, has been a frequent target of fan criticism and trade rumours for his inconsistent ways.
The talented likes of Nazem Kadri and Phil Kessel are a combined 0-for-7 in the shootout this season. Joffrey Lupul may have been the one to help out, but between his forearm injury and suspension, he's taken just one attempt.
Toronto coach Randy Carlyle called on defenders Cody Franson and Dion Phaneuf in a loss to Winnipeg, causing some raised eyebrows. Mikhail Grabovski, passed over as an option on that occasion, answered Carlyle's critics in Toronto's next shootout game by firing way off target.
A full look at the Leafs' shootout table of woe:
|James van Riemsdyk||0||2|
Kadri is among a quartet of NHLers who have come up empty in four shootout attempts. The others are Alex Edler (Vancouver), Martin Erat (Nashville) and Teemu Selanne (Anaheim).
Here are five others who've scored, but have done so using the most chances:
- Daniel Alfredsson, OTT, 1-for-7
- Mikkel Boedker, PHX, 1-for-6
- Alex Burrows, VAN, 1-for-6
- Joe Pavelski, SJ, 1-for-6
- Ryan Johansen, CBJ, 1-for-5
The best of the bunch (players with at least three goals and a 50 per cent conversion rate):
|Artem Anisimov, CBJ||4||5|
|Craig Smith, NAS||4||6|
|Jakob Silfverberg, OTT||4||7|
|Corey Perry, ANA||4||7|
|Patrick Kane, CHI||4||7|
|Tyler Bozak, TOR||3||4|
|Ryan Getzlaf, ANA||3||4|
|Nick Bonino, ANA||3||5|
|Ryan Callahan, NYR||3||5|
|Rick Nash, NYR||3||5|
|Patrice Bergeron, BOS||3||5|
|Tyler Seguin, BOS||3||5|
|Jason Pominville, BUF||3||5|
Unsurprisingly given the presence of three players on the above list, Anaheim is tied for the NHL lead at five shootout wins, with San Jose. The Bruins, Ottawa, Chicago and Columbus each have four such victories.
The teams the shootout has benefited the most in terms of total points in the standings are the eighth-place squads in each conference. The New York Rangers are one point up on Carolina in the standings, but the margin between them in shootout points is three. Same with the San Jose Sharks in the West (5-3) and the next best team, Nashville (2-5).
Of course, it is a double-eged sword considering that the NHL uses only regulation and overtime wins for its first standings tiebreaker at the end of the season. The Rangers have 12 in the "ROW" department compared to 15 for the Hurricanes, while the Sharks have just nine, which puts them in the bottom five in the league in that category. The Predators have 12 ROWs.