Great to see Cory have another strong start, and solidify his hold on being the #1. He's now 4th in GAA and 11th in save%. Great, in that he's keeping the Devils in games, and at least giving them a chance to win or come away with a charity point.
Shootout...same ol' story, both in the futility and the reaction to it. Armchair coaches will scream for as much shootout practice time as possible, stat guys will claim the law of averages will at least lead to some shootout wins eventually.
I think at this point, they've just got to find a way to win ONE. I agree with those who think it's now purely psychological. Sadly, until proven otherwise, if I'm the opposing team I elect to shoot first with my best guy, because I pretty much know that the Devils' psyche is so fragile in these right now, that all I have to do is get a 1-0 lead, and everyone shooting for the black and red is going to tighten up. That damned monkey is getting to be more like Donkey Kong every shootout...I truly believe they'll all breathe easier once they win one, but they've got to find a way to do it (even if it's all based on lucky breaks).
Schneider has mostly been about average (maybe a little above) in shootouts for his career, so even if the Devils DO start to score in these things, I can't really expect them to be much better than .500, tops (which of course, we'll all happily take). But considering Schneider stops 92%+ of the pucks coming his way during game time, I'll live with him not tearing it up in an event that happens about 1/5th of the time in any given season, at most.
I feel for PDB and the Devils on this one. Sure, you can practice this to the point of almost being punishment. But how much can you do? Easy for fans to come up with ideas, as though any of them will solve the problem. But it's almost like trying to take a hitter who strikes out a lot and teach him to make contact. Sometimes those guys manage to cut down on their Ks for a short period, maybe longer, but they are who they are...before long they're racking up the whiffs again. Unfortunately I think for most guys, you're pretty good at this or you're not. We saw Kovy improve tremendously for a time, but how many guys really have a switch flick like that?
What sucks is, no matter what PDB does, he's kind of screwed from the get-go. The couple of guys (Clowe and Elias, the only Devils' shooters with career shooting%s over 30) PDB has that have at least a decent track record in these aren't scoring. Zidlicky is third lifetime on the Devils at 28.6%, but hasn't been used yet this season.
Who knows if it will make any difference, but at this point, fvck it, try Elias, Clowe, and Zidlicky out there the next couple of times and hope their track records lead to a win. And hope Schneider (if he's the one in net) stops more than half the shots (he's currently at 50%).
Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976, 17 January 2014 - 07:33 AM.