I've always hated the shootout...always will. Does nothing for me. I never had a problem with ties, and using some goofy skills competition to decide a "winner" will always be ridiculous to me.
As for the shootout itself...at the least the Devils were among the best at it from its inception through the end of the 2011-12 season. There are teams who have NEVER been good at it. But it was hard to think the Devils were going to dominate in it forever. For one, it's not like the SO ever enters a GM's mind when he's building his team. Yeah, it was great that guys like Parise happened to be very good at it from the beginning, and that Kovy was lights-out in it in 2011-12, and that Marty was strong at stopping shots in them.
But IF Parise wasn't any good at them, and Marty's save% in them was closer to .600 than .700, and many of the other Devils couldn't do much in them, does anyone think Lou is thinking to himself, "Geez, I'd better go find some guys who have a history of success in this thing"?
This is one of many reasons why I don't like the shootout. When the Devils were good at it, it wasn't like they did anything to make themselves better at it than anyone else...they were just fortunate to have players who had a knack for performing well in them (even friggin' Viktor Kozlov, who was pretty useless otherwise, did a nice job in them as a Devil). Now it looks like it's going to go the other way for the foreseeable future. I don't like the shootout because it's an event that's awarding an extra point based on little more than pure luck. The actual event itself is based on a degree of it, but it's like I've said, if your team isn't inherently good at it, it's not like a GM is going to address that weakness the way he would another. Have a lousy defense or need scoring? You can draft players, make trades, or sign free agents to fill specific needs...of course, not all attempts to improve trouble areas produce positive results. Suck in shootouts? Oh well.
Used to crack me up when Al Twatwig and the other Ranger homers were making it sound like the Rangers were almost purposely playing for shootouts because Lundqvist happened to be terrific in them, and also seemed to be giving credit to the Rangers for their success in them...as though the Rangers' braintrust had anything to do with the Rags' shootout prowess.
If Lundqvist happened to suck in them (and there are good goalies who don't flourish in shootouts), does anyone think Glen Sather is scouring the league for a guy who's better in them? No.
It's all based on happenstance...if you happen to have players who for whatever the reason(s) get it done in shootouts, you're good at them. If you don't, you're screwed. It's not like it's constantly coming up (if you're playing in more than 12 or so a year, that's a lot), but it comes up enough to be noticed.
BTW the Devils still lead in all-time shootout wins (56-38 record) and shooting% (39.2) since in its inception. They're 3rd in winning%. Compare that with a team like Florida, who's always been lousy in them (33-56, 24.2 shooting%). We're just beginning to understand what THAT team's fans have pretty much ALWAYS felt when a shootout is coming.
Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976, 09 October 2013 - 06:54 AM.