Jason Wheeler

Jan 252011
 

You could almost hear the sigh before it began.

Another shootout.

The NHL’s post-lockout gimmick has been the bane of Canucks fans ever since its inception, with the majority of those fans placing the blame directly on Roberto Luongo.

But is that fair?

A closer look at Roberto’s individual shootout stats, versus those of the Canucks shooters sent over the boards to score when it counts, paints a much different picture than you would expect.

In his 49 career shootouts, Luongo boasts a .682 save percentage.

The Canucks on the other hand, have scored just 63 times on their 200 shots in the shootout. That’s 31.5 per cent which, if you’re keeping score at home, is 2.6 per cent lower than the Maple Leafs.

Daniel Sedin who has 235 career goals (the majority of which are likely still playing on highlight reels somewhere) has managed to score just four out of 20 times in the shootout.

Ryan Kesler, who has gone from shutdown specialist to fourth in league scoring, has lit the lamp in extra time on just 31 per cent of his shots.

Do you see where I am going with this?

So what more do you expect, Vancouver? Short of Roberto lining up at centre ice and performing his own Mason Raymond-esque spin-o-rama, there’s not much else he can do.

Are the 30+ saves he makes per game not enough?

Don’t top-ten stats in every goaltending category that count mean anything?

I understand the frustration that Vancouver fans have every time the team loses in a shootout, but it’s time to start placing the blame on the entire team, not just the goaltender.

Does a team that scored the second most goals in the entire league last season really need a shootout specialist?

Bieksa for Wellwood anyone?

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