Ten goalies you want between the pipes for your team in a shootout
While some people hate the shootout, it’s still an important part of the game. Extra points are available, and for many NHL teams, it’s the difference between making the playoffs and having an early tee-off time in April.
The same holds true for many fantasy leagues. For some pools that count just wins, there are no extra points for a shootout loss. Even if your league does award the loser point, it’s much better owning the goalie who can consistently win.
For this list, we looked at the shootout numbers for the last five seasons. We considered wins, consistency and save percentage to come up with the top 10 shootout goalies.
10. Evgeni Nabokov (17-13 record the last five years)
The biggest surprise on this list, and he wasn’t even helped out by his San Jose playing days. He was 6-6 with San Jose five seasons ago, but since then 11-7 with what is mostly a horrible New York Islanders team. This season, he’s just 2-3, but has battled injuries for much of the year.
9. Tim Thomas (19-13)
Thomas would be a lot higher on this list if he didn’t take a year off for personal reasons. He was 6-2 for Florida this year before being sent to Dallas. In fact, 25 per cent of Florida’s wins this season have come via Thomas in the shootout. Thomas took the lockout shortened season off, but the year before that he was 7-1.
8. Henrik Lundqvist (21-14)
The King hasn’t had a sub-.500 winning percentage in the last five years. But he hasn’t been great either. One year he was 7-3, but since then, he has just 11 shootout wins to eight losses.
7. Braden Holtby (8-3)
Holtby doesn’t have enough seasons to be ranked higher on this list, so consistency could still be an issue. But since becoming the number one goalie in Washington two seasons ago, he’s 7-1 with a .724 save percentage. Although there’s been much debate if Holtby should be the number one goalie in Washington, he’s easily the league’s best shootout goalie under the age of 25.
6. Craig Anderson (18-10)
Anderson had some success in the shootout years ago, but injuries have kept him away from games and the skill competition the past two years. He’s just 2-4 in that time, but was an amazing 6-1 the season before that. He’ll probably slip down the list in the next couple of years as he becomes a backup to Robin Lehner.
5. Ben Bishop (10-7)
It’s only the last two years where Bishop has had the chance to prove himself in the crease, as he was the third goalie in St. Louis and Ottawa before getting shipped to Tampa Bay last season. But in the last two seasons, Bishop is 9-5.
4. Jonathan Quick (28-19)
Quick had an outstanding season in 2010-11, when he went 10-0 in the shootout. Since then, he hasn’t been that great with a 12-13 record. But he’s rebounded this season, with a 4-2 mark and an .833 save percentage in six shootouts.
3. Antti Niemi (32-20)
Niemi has played in and won more shootouts than any other NHL goalie in the last five years. And that was with a 3-5 season in 2010-11 dragging him down. In the last five years, Niemi has faced 176 shootout shots and has an excellent .744 save percentage. If you think about it, he’s given San Jose an extra 6.4 points a season. Without those extra points, the Sharks miss the playoffs the last two years.
2. Ryan Miller (24-15)
It’s scary to think how much better his record could have been if he didn’t play on such a bad team for the last few seasons. Even the last two years, he’s 13-6 with a .735 save percentage. It will be interesting to see how well he does in St. Louis.
1. Marc-Andre Fleury (30-8)
The battle for the best NHL shootout goalie is not even close. Many will point out the fact Fleury should be winning those games with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scoring shootout goals, but Fleury’s save percentage is off the charts. His last five years sees Fleury with a .785 save percentage. That’s an extra 30 points he’s been responsible for the Penguins, and 30 extra wins for poolies.
When compiling this list, there were some surprises:
Martin Brodeur hasn’t won a shootout game in the last two years, and is 0-7 in that time.
Cory Schneider hasn’t won a shootout game this year, and has allowed seven shootout goals on just 14 shots. In total, the Devils goalies are 0-8 this season. A few wins in this category and they’re in the playoffs.
Roberto Luongo has not had a season in the last five years where he had a better than .500 winning percentage. He was 6-6 in 2011-12, and every other season he’s lost more than he’s won. This year, he’s just 2-4.
Carey Price has a 13-16 record in the last five years, and is just 1-2 this season.
It’s a good thing Canada’s men’s Olympic team never went to a shootout. Mike Smith is 3-5 this season, and is 15-20 over the last five seasons.
While Quick’s 10-0 season was the best, Steve Mason’s 0-7 shootout record in 2009-10 was the worst.
If push came to shove, Cam Ward is the worst shootout goalie for the last five years. He has a 7-13 record, and has won just one shootout in the last three seasons. Mason would be a close second with his 9-18 record.
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