NHL: Top 10 Shootout Specialists (With Video)

Shane FraserContributor IIIDecember 13, 2011

NHL: Top 10 Shootout Specialists (With Video)

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    It’s been more than seven years since the NHL adopted the shootout format, and after debuting to mixed approval, it has since been accepted almost universally as both an entertaining and effective way to nullify a tie.

    Because the shootout became a critical part of the game where points could be earned, the players had to adapt to this format change, and therefore needed to perfect their breakaway skills.

    For many players, the shootout has not come easily—even some superstars have been disastrous in their attempts: Steven Stamkos is 4-of-23, Marian Gaborik is 3-of-21, Dany Heatley is 5-of-27 and even Alex Ovechkin is only 18-of-59.

    While many players have struggled, some have been absolutely spectacular.

    These players may not be proficient scorers during regulation play, but they have invented themselves as an offensive weapon and game-changer to utilize after overtime concludes.

    Here are the 10 best of those players in the NHL.

     

    Note: Only active players are included in this list.

Near Misses

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    Sidney Crosby

    Has scored on 21 of 52 career attempts (40.4 percent), and along with Phil Kessel, leads the league in career game-deciding goals (13).

     

    Joe Pavelski

    Is 20-of-44 in his career (45.5 percent) with six game-deciding goals.

     

    Brad Richards

    Has scored on 25 of his league-leading 64 attempts (39.1 percent), and 11 of those goals were game-deciders.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    Rick Nash, Wojtek Wolski, Anze Kopitar, Danny Briere, Patrick Kane, Alex Tanguay, Matt Cullen, Patrick O’Sullivan, Phil Kessel, Jarret Stoll, T.J. Oshie, Michal Handzus, Shawn Horcoff.

10. Jonathan Toews

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    Toews is a career 21-of-43 (48.8 percent) with eight game-deciding goals.

    He ranks 30th all-time in shots, 13th in goals, 19th in game-deciding goals and fifth in shooting percentage among players with 20 or more goals.

9. Mikko Koivu

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    Koivu is a career 25-of-56 (44.6 percent) with 10 game-deciding goals.

    He ranks fifth all-time in shots, sixth in goals, seventh in game-deciding goals and sixth in shooting percentage among players with 25 or more goals.

8. Ales Kotalik

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    Kotalik is a career 22-of-44 (50.0 percent) with 11 game-deciding goals.

    He ranks 25th all-time in shots, 10th in goals, fifth in game-deciding goals and third in shooting percentage among players with 20 or more goals.

7. Radim Vrbata

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    Vrbata is a career 26-of-55 (47.3 percent) with 10 game-deciding goals.

    He ranks seventh all-time in shots, fifth in goals, sixth in game-deciding goals and fourth in shooting percentage among players with 25 or more goals.

6. Frans Nielsen

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    Nielsen is a career 16-of-29 (55.2 percent) with five game-deciding goals.

    He ranks 65th all-time in shots, 25th in goals, 47th in game-deciding goals and first in shooting percentage among players with 15 or more goals.

5. Brad Boyes

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    Boyes is a career 26-of-54 (48.1 percent) with nine game-deciding goals.

    He ranks ninth all-time in shots, fourth in goals, 12th in game-deciding goals and third in shooting percentage among players with 25 or more goals.

4. Erik Christensen

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    Christensen is a career 24-of-46 (52.2 percent) with 11 game-deciding goals.

    He ranks 23rd all-time in shots, ninth in goals, fourth in game-deciding goals and first in shooting percentage among players with 20 or more goals.

3. Jussi Jokinen

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    Jokinen is a career 28-of-62 (45.2 percent) with nine game-deciding goals.

    He ranks third all-time in shots, first in goals, ninth in game-deciding goals and fifth in shooting percentage among players with 25 or more goals.

2. Pavel Datsyuk

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    Datsyuk is a career 27-of-55 (49.1 percent) with nine game-deciding goals.

    He ranks sixth all-time in shots, third in goals, 10th in game-deciding goals and second in shooting percentage among players with 25 or more goals.

1. Zach Parise

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    Parise is a career 27-of-54 (50.0 percent) with nine game-deciding goals.

    He ranks eighth all-time in shots, second in goals, 11th in game-deciding goals and first in shooting percentage among players with 25 or more goals.