Memo to NHL Teams: Don't Use Your Stars in Shootouts

Eric MacLachlanCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2008

Stars can't do shootouts! Check out the stats. More and more, the best players in the NHL struggle in the shootout.

There are many reasons for their struggles. Some players might feel too much pressure to perform that they end up failing. Some try to get way too fancy and lose control or can't make up their mind of what to do. 

 

Look at some of the best players in the NHL:

Ryan Getzlaf 1 for 8

Evgeni Malkin 0 for 5

Dany Heatley 0 for 4

Marian Hossa 1 for 6 

Henrik Zetterburg 2 for 8 

Markus Naslund 0 for 8 (dating back to last year)  

There are a few stars who have done well:

Nikolai Zheredev 4 for 4

Corey Perry 3 for 6

Patrick Elias 2 for 2

Mats Sundin 2 for 4

 

Yet the proven formula seems to be the shoot-out artist or specialist:

Dallas was the first team to figure this out, with Jussi Jokinen and Antti Miettinen.

 

Some of the guys in the news for their shoot-outs:

 

Alex Edler 2 for 2, 2 straight winners

Trevor Linden 4 for 5

Kris Letang 4 for 5 (2 winners on western roadswing.)

Peter Mueller 3 for 4

 

More and more I think NHL teams will start keeping guys on their rosters specifically for the shootout. They would be smart to try different players in shootouts. Defencemen, 4th liners, and 3rd liners may not be the most skilled guys, but they seem to do a lot better then the stars, despite the pressure. 

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