Which teams have been the best at winning games in regulation or overtime?
At this point in the season, there’s a decent chance that whether a team has been successful or not in the shootout has had a fairly significant impact on that team’s place in the standings. And it’s for that reason that there are many (including yours truly) who believe the NHL should keep exploring ways to reduce the number of shootouts.
But that’s not what this post is about. This is simply a way, with the playoffs not far off, to identify teams that may appear better (or worse) than they really are because of their success (or failure) in a random exercise like the shootout.
--- The Rangers stick out in the No. 2 spot, only slightly below Nashville. The Rangers have only won twice in six trips to the shootout. Now compare that to their hated rivals in the No. 6 spot. The Islanders are 7-1 in the shootout and, in a related story, four points ahead of the Rangers in the standings.
--- The Canucks stick out as well. No. 5 in ROW/GP, yet 14th overall in the standings. So, the shootout has totally screwed Vancouver, right? Wrong. The Canucks have only been in three of them all season, and they actually won two of them. The Canucks, you see, also lose a good number of games (21) in regulation.
--- Chicago at No. 13 sticks out in the opposite way, because one might expect for them to be higher. The Blackhawks are still an elite team, but they’ve definitely gotten a pretty big lift from their 7-3 record in the shootout. So too have the No. 12 Ducks, who are 7-5.
--- Of all the teams currently in a playoff position, the Jets at No. 19 rank the lowest in ROW/GP. Winnipeg is 6-4 in the shootout and lucky that a team like San Jose (No. 15 in ROW/GP, but below the Jets in the standings) is 2-5.
--- Finally, it’s crazy that the Sabres (6-2 in the shootout) and Oilers (5-4) are even worse than the standings make them look.