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Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers prove to be kings of the shootout

Henrik Lundqvist, Marcel Goc

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30), of Sweden, blocks a shot by Nashville Predators center Marcel Goc (9), of Germany, in a shootout during an NHL hockey game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010, in Nashville, Tenn. The Rangers won the shootout to win the game 2-1. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)


Earlier this afternoon, we took a look at the best forwards in the often-criticized “skills competition” known as the shootout. While Adam Gretz revealed that Los Angeles Kings forward Jarret Stoll might have enjoyed the best single shootout season, our all-time study produced names like Jussi Jokinen, Brad Richards and Pavel Datsyuk.

For the sake of completion, it seems right to also look at how goalies and teams fared. We’ll start with two netminder categories and then keep it simple by looking at the teams who’ve won the most games via the shootout since it premiered during the 2005-06 season.

In the first goalie category, let’s take a look at which goalies win the most. There’s one big caveat, though: while they are listed by quantity of wins, netminders who were below or near .500 were taken off the list. It wouldn’t be that impressive to include Tim Thomas when he’s 23-26 or Roberto Luongo when he’s 23-27, would it?

Categories: Wins, losses, save attempts, goals allowed and save percentage.

GoalieWinsLossesSAGASv %
Henrik Lundqvist3724237550.768
Martin Brodeur3519191540.717
Ryan Miller3120175520.703
Marc-Andre Fleury2715130310.762
Kari Lehtonen2415127370.709
Jonathan Quick227109290.734
Rick DiPietro1910123330.732
Mathieu Garon191099250.748
Johan Hedberg18693190.796
Jose Theodore17993270.71
Pekka Rinne179103230.777


As you can see, the upper portion of the list is dominated by goalies who play a ton of games. That being said, those guys are well above .500, so it seems somewhat fair to call them successful. We’ll see which ones also rank highly in save percentage before we decide for sure, though.

One note with save percentage: it wouldn’t be fair to reward a goalie for a couple nice performances in the shootout, so I limited to netminders with at least 60 save attempts.

Categories: Save percentage, wins, losses, save attempts and goals allowed.

GoalieSv %WinsLossesSAGA
Johan Hedberg0.7961869319
Pekka Rinne0.77717910323
Henrik Lundqvist0.768372423755
Antti Niemi0.767976014
Marc-Andre Fleury0.762271513031
Jonas Hiller0.751489624
Mathieu Garon0.74819109925
Jonathan Quick0.73422710929
Jimmy Howard0.732897119
Rick DiPietro0.732191012333
Martin Brodeur0.717351919154
Antero Niittymaki0.71612159527
Tim Thomas0.714232617550
Carey Price0.71413139828
Jose Theodore0.711799327


When you combine wins and save percentage, it seems like Henrik is the “king” of the shootouts among goalies. The smaller sample size group is topped by Hedberg, Rinne and Quick.

Perhaps the most important consideration is how NHL teams have fared in the grand scheme of things, though. To settle this, we can keep it pretty simple: by looking at who won the most and least amount of shootouts. Let’s look at the top five teams first.

1. New York Rangers: 46-31 (92 goals for, 74 against)
2. Dallas Stars: 44-31 (100 goals for, 79 against)
3. New Jersey Devils: 42-25 (88 goals for, 71 against)
4. Pittsburgh Penguins: 42-27 (82 goals for, 62 against)
5. Edmonton Oilers: 41-35 (88 goals for, 82 against)

Notes: I gave the Devils the tiebreaker because their winning percentage is a little higher. The Kings are the only other NHL team to reach the 40-win mark in shootouts.

Now let’s look at the bottom five.

26. Florida Panthers: 24-44 (56 goals for, 82 against)
27. Calgary Flames: 23-31 (55 goals for, 66 against)
28. Carolina Hurricanes: 22-25 (25 goals for, 55 against)
29. Philadelphia Flyers: 19-34 (48 goals for, 71 against)
30. Ottawa Senators: 18-33 (33 goals for, 65 against)

Not too surprisingly, the Rangers, Oilers and Stars were in the top three for most shootout appearances while the Hurricanes, Flyers and Senators made the least appearances. The Rangers have been in 77 shootouts (most overall) while the Hurricanes appeared in 47, making them the only NHL team with less than 50.

Is there much to take from the team totals? Maybe not, although it must be noted that the top five includes four regular playoff teams (and the lowly Oilers) while the bottom five includes four teams who struggle to contend for postseason berths (plus the occasionally mighty Flyers).

It’s dangerous to read too much into those results, but perhaps those teams who rarely make it to shootouts might want to try to hold on in order to reach that point more often. The Hurricanes’ 2010-11 season might not have ended with that crushing loss to Tampa Bay if they earned more than five extra points from shootouts, for one thing.