Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Do Europeans Rule the Shootout?

Tony Gallagher (aka Skeletor, as Orland Kurtenblog has tagged him), wrote an article last week about how Europeans supposedly rule the shootout.

Instead of taking 5 minutes and quoting some actual evidence, Tony used the results from the Wild/Canucks game earlier this season to back up his reasoning.

Great research, Tony. Just more of the 'high quality' scripture we've come to expect from your bony, decrepit fingers.

Anyway, a simple look at last year's figures does show that Europeans tend to dominate the shootouts


From the article (which I won't link to because he doesn't deserve it), Tony offered these reasons behind the European dominance of the shootout.

1. European players practice it more.
Some Canadian hockey players were quoted as saying the Euros practice their shootouts all the time after practice. So, why aren't the North American players doing the same thing? It's a pretty weak excuse, isn't it? If the shootout is a part of the game, then every player not named Wade Belak should be getting their breaks in now and then.

2. Europeans are used to it.
This is true, as ending a game with an event from the NHL Skills Competition is a pretty foreign concept for us. In Europe? Shootouts have been deciding games and tournaments for years. We know the grand daddy World Cup uses shootouts and the mentality of the shootout is pretty much part of the European's game. Us North Americans are just not used to that one-on-one pressure.

3. The shootout sucks. OK, this wasn't in the article, but it's true.

Shootout Specialists?

Most of the players on the list are bonafide good players, but there are a few that stick out. Obviously, my man Balastik is one of them, but did anyone expect Viktor Kozlov to be near the top? That's one name I hadn't heard as a shootout specialist.

If anything, the Isles looked quite stacked up for shootouts, provided they can get any games to go that far with their awful team.

Chalk another one up for the bloggers!

My fantasy league nemesis, Chris Kubinec, scored an interview with the Polish Potato, Wojtek Wolski.

Check it out right here.

It would also be interesting/useful to compare overall the scoring percentage in shootouts between North Americans and Europeans.
practicing on your own is fine, and having done it as a midget in slovenia is handy.

however don't forget, a well rehearsed team effort aims to generate 2 points, a well rehearsed 5 player shootout squad produces 1 point at best.

don't kill practice time doing it!

heck there are even people out there (keenan) who dont think you waste valuable 5 on 5 practice with those annoying special team squads.
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