New Jersey Devils Show Once Again Why The Shootout Kept Them Out Of The Playoffs
It’s getting to the point where it’s almost comical. The New Jersey Devils are the only team in the NHL to not win a game in a shootout this season. On Thursday night, they were involved in another one against the Ottawa Senators, but they went 0-for-4 and left the Canadian Tire Center once again with only one point.
The fact of the matter is, if the eight most talented teams in the Eastern Conference were in the playoffs, the Devils would be one of them. They’re currently seven points out of the final wild card spot, which means that had they gone 7-5 in the shootout this year instead of 0-12, the Devils would be fighting for a spot in the postseason.
The Devils deserved to beat the Senators, but Robin Lehner‘s 38 saves forced the game into a shootout and from there, it was pretty much over. Of all four shooters to go for the Devils, only one even made a respectable move that almost fooled Lehner.
After Cory Schneider stopped three out of four shootout attempts from the Senators on Thursday night, the Devils’ save percentage as a team in the shootout rose to .571, which is horrible. Only one team in the NHL has a worse save percentage.
But that means that they are at least scoring goals in the shootout, right? The reason why they’re losing in shootouts so often is because of the sieve between the pipes, isn’t it? Nope. They’re actually the worst at scoring goals in shootouts as well. In 43 shootout attempts this year, the Devils have scored just three times, which is an astounding seven percent of the time.
When the rules were changed to axe ties in the NHL, some people were skeptical that the rule change may keep some of the better teams out of the playoffs and that it wasn’t a fair way to distribute points. Well, that argument may have a valid case after the 2013-14 campaign for the Devils.