Here are some ideas on how to improve the Shootout in the future – Flyers Nitty Gritty
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While most fans were thrilled to see the Orange and Blacks beat rival New York Rangers in a shootout last Sunday, those in the know thought “about time!” It took the Flyers 69 games in the current season to earn their first victory (of five chances) in a shootout. That’s only a 0.20% winning percentage on the season when Philadelphia was unable to score in overtime and was therefore forced into a shootout.
But while some would just ignore it or chalk it up to an isolated predicament in a season where the team has seen more than its fair share of injuries, I’m here to assure you that’s not the case ! Since shootouts were implemented into the way an NHL game should be played at the start of the 2005-06 season, it has had a crippling effect on the Flyers’ ability to win games that take more than 60 minutes to determine a winner. .
So much so that, since their implementation, the Flyers are statistically the worst team in the entire league when it comes to their shootout performance. In its 17-year existence, the Flyers have had 150 contests culminating in a shootout to determine a winner. Out of those 150 games, they only managed to emerge victorious 54 times, which means they lost an incredible 96 of those games. That means – since their induction – the Flyers have only managed to win 36% of their games that ended in a shootout.
Still don’t see the need for the Flyers to fix this problem? Well, let me present some more mind-blowing evidence to further convince you of the necessity: on average, the Flyers have had about nine games per season that ended in a shootout. That’s 10% of the games they play in a single season. So according to statistics, out of those nine games each season, the Flyers are lucky if they win three. Unfortunately, if you’re trying to build a winning franchise, that kind of win percentage (or lack thereof) is simply unacceptable.
What is the cause of this? Since his induction, the Flyers have never found it so necessary to go out and sign someone who excels when asked to play in a shootout, like Artemi Panarin who scored 59.3% of the times asked him to go one on one against the goalkeeper. And they never felt the need to sign a player like Trevor Zegras from Anaheim who managed to score 58.3% of the times he was called to center ice in a shootout.
Instead, they trusted Claude Giroux for so many years who, despite scoring 30 goals in a shootout in his career, was asked 103 times, meaning he didn’t. was effective only 29.1% of the time. While the ability to score on a shootout is important, what should be considered more imperative is having a goalkeeper who can also stop breakaways. While one of the best in the business is Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy who holds a career save percentage of 0.785% in those events, the Flyers have inked Carter Hart to be their future in net whose save percentage career saves in a shootout is only . 696%. Do you see the difference here? The only reason the Flyers won against Rangers in this sort of contest was because substitute goalkeeper Martin Jones (who is currently ranked 3rd among active goaltenders in shootout save percentage) was in goal on Sunday.
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With that said, the Flyers need to start digging deeper into player stats so they can fill roster spots with some players who excel in shooting so they can call on them when the situation arises. This type of player doesn’t always have to be an elite 5-on-5 sniper who gets paid an exorbitant amount of money every season. Heck, Christian Dvorak is currently a third-line center for the Montreal Canadiens and he’s scored 60% of the times he’s been asked to line up in the shootout. Or for that matter, the Flyers don’t even need to sign or draft a forward who could be their secret weapon in a goalie duel: Vegas has a defenseman by the name of Shea Theodore who holds a 57 rating. .1% percentage in the shootout. What I mean is that there are options if you just dig a little deeper when deciding which players will make up your roster.
Like it or not, the shootings seem to be here to stay. They are and have been for quite some time now a fascinating way for teams to win games. The Flyers have yet to really embrace and/or use shootouts as a tool where they can employ a specialist just for those occasions. If the management took the time to ensure that their club have someone capable of carrying out these tasks in the future, it would undoubtedly be a way of securing their club a few more wins each season. Doing that in a division that has as many competitive teams as the Metropolitan Division could mean the difference between the Flyers earning a playoff berth in the future or those dusting off the golf clubs even sooner.