When you hear an announcer say that you are going to see the most exciting play in hockey, he's absolutely not talking about the Florida Ice Girls combing spray out of George Parros' mustache. What he wants you to do is get your butt off the couch for a penalty shot, you jack wagon!
While the penalty shot might appear to favor the nimble and skilled skater headed toward the net, the percentages say that only 17 players (who took more than five shots) in the entire NHL had a success rate of more than 50 percent.
The penalty shootout to decide games came about to eliminate ties in the event that a game was still tied after five minutes of overtime. The NHL began this practice after their most recent lockout of 2004-05. Part of the new collective bargaining agreement was to ensure that "kissing your sister" could no longer be the end-game result.
84.4 Shootout - During regular-season games, if the game remains tied at the end of the five (5) minute overtime period, the teams will proceed to a shootout. The rules governing the shootout shall be the same as those listed under Rule 24 - Penalty Shot.
The teams will not change ends for the shootout. The home team shall have the choice of shooting first or second. The teams shall alternate shots.
Three (3) players from each team shall participate in the shootout and they shall proceed in such order as the Coach selects. All players are eligible to participate in the shootout unless they are serving a 10-minute misconduct or have been assessed a game misconduct or match penalty.
Those are your shootout guidelines. If you don't know, now you know.
The lower percentage of the NHL shooters has almost as much to do with a failure on the shooters part as much as the netminder's prowess. The goalies, whose pads and protection have evolved into looking like a life-sized children's toy, are often best served just trying to get in the way.
I don't often root for a tie, but honestly, if my team looks like crap, I'll take my chances in the shootout and swipe the one point that comes with it. Every team has players who can dance and dangle with the puck, or hit the top shelf with regularity, but the goalkeepers have clearly owned these moments. Enjoy now!
Rob Schremp is well-known for his stick-handling skills and shootout prowess, but he may have gotten a little too cute against the Los Angeles Kings.
Goalie Jason LaBarbera keeps his eye on the dangling prize to make the stop.
Vancouver's Roberto Luongo features prominently in this list, and we'll start with him saying no to David Desharnais and his backhanded offering.
The Canadiens forward dekes to the right, but Luongo beats him to the punch with a slick glove save.
Jose Theodore makes an unbelievable save against Marian Hossa and keeps his wits about him to make sure the puck doesn't cross the goal line.
I think Montreal is playing a fictional team from Atlanta. Sorry, Thrasher fans.
After recovering from some balance issues earlier in the year, the fourth (and most talented) Jonas swipes a win for the Ducks with this sweet stop.
If Steve Mason could do some more of this, maybe Rick Nash would still be in Columbus.
Sorry, Columbus. Too soon?
This isn't a shootout, but an overtime penalty shot has the exact same drama, and possibly more.
Mike Smith gets deked out of his jock, then recovers with a sprawling stick save to deny the Rangers' Marian Gaborik.
Carey Price might be pretty cocky, but with saves like this, can you blame him?
I'm not sure what the French announcers were saying. More than likely, something about going to enjoy a nice seafood dinner with Dorothy Mantooth.
Vancouver's (for now) goaltender might look like Borat, but he's got some pretty nifty skills between the pipes.
Note to Vancouver GM Mike Gillis: Two really good goalies isn't the worst problem in the world.
Jonas Gustavsson doesn't exactly have the greatest highlight reel in the world, but he looks every bit "the Monster" with this save.
Pavel Datsyuk has made a habit of embarrassing NHL goalies in shootouts.
Advantage Detroit? Not so fast, says Mike Smith.
In addition to being my wife's favorite goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist doubles as the reigning king of the goalies with his 2012 Vezina trophy.
Here he stymies Brad Boyes with his handsomeness and a pretty sick glove save.
Goaltenders certainly don't tremble when Nigel Dawes steps out on the ice for the shootout.
Tim Thomas shows up again with another acrobatic show-stopper denying the deftly deking Dawes.
Dany Sabourin hasn't had much of an NHL career to date, but made an amazing stop against Philadelphia captain Mike Richards here.
Jonathan Quick has shown he can alter pucks with his mind, and he may have done so with this acrobatic effort to thwart Curtis Glencross.
OK so it isn't technically a shootout after the overtime, but it's a shootout situation in overtime. A sudden death scenario, where the game hangs in the balance. To me, this counts, and the moment was almost as magic as the effort from Luongo.
Love him or leave him, Big Time Timmy Thomas has some legit skills even if you want him to shut up.
While it looks like we won't be seeing him on the ice anytime soon for one reason or another, the Interweb is chock full of these marvels.
Chris Osgood fought his entire career to be respected. He played for four different teams with the misfortune of having a two-syllable name that could be chanted loudly by opposing teams.
Ozzie was a fan favorite in Detroit for saves like this one, as well as this.
Just one more reason why Nikolai Khabibulin has earned the nickname "Bulin Wall." He may be on the downside of his career, but this is an amazing stop on one of the NHL's best snipers.
Who doesn't love a good spin-o-rama in a shootout? Marty Turco. That's who.
One of the best saves I've ever seen.
Niklas Backstrom gets deked but recovers and has the sense to lift the leg to deny Jack Johnson with a kick save that Marv Albert would be proud of.