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Devils’ shootout struggles raise question of fairness

Cam Atkinson, Martin Brodeur

Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson (13) scores a goal on New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur during a shootout in an NHL hockey game, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, in Newark, N.J. The Blue Jackets won 2-1. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


The New Jersey Devils can’t win a shootout. And it’s costing them in the standings.

Sunday in Toronto, the Devils fell to 0-7 in the “gimmick,” failing to earn a full two points in a game that left them feeling “a little bit robbed,” according to coach Pete DeBoer.

The game also left the Devils two points back of the last wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, their 19 regulation/overtime wins tied with Nashville (0-5 in the shootout) for the most of any team not currently in a playoff position.

Meanwhile, the Washington Capitals have just 14 regulation/OT wins and, thanks to an 8-5 record in the shootout, sit second in the Metropolitan Division.

“I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the shootout,” DeBoer said after the Leafs game, per The Record. “It is what it is. We competed our (rear end) off tonight and played a great game. It was our third game in four nights, back to back. The shootout doesn’t take away from the effort that we gave tonight.”

No, but it does raise the question of fairness. With so many games being decided by a “gimmick,” are the right teams being rewarded in the standings?

Because if you had any doubt that shootout success doesn’t correlate with the quality of a team, the Buffalo Sabres are 6-2 in it.

Related: 3-on-3 overtime gaining support among GMs?