As the season moves along, this will be the first of a series of questions and thoughts on individual players that are preferred for one attribute to succeed when the game is on the line. The Carolina Hurricanes will have big games and each game will have key moments. Let's have some fun and see who should be on the ice to make the most of that moment.
No doubt that every individual, whether it be a fan or expert, will have their own opinion in each scenario but the majority will be interesting to see amongst Caniacs.
We start with the Canes player who should be standing at center ice, staring at the opposition's goalie to attempt the win on a shootout. Since the inception of the shootout in 2005, many NHL teams have grabbed important, extra points from the shootout. The more memorable moments are losing the points because of the "skills" competition whether a fan of it or not, the shootout seems to be here to stay.
The shootout has not been kind to Carolina as they have just 56 wins which is good for 29th all-time out of 32 teams. Also note that the bottom two teams are expansion teams with far fewer opportunities. The New York Islanders have the most wins with 90. That team couldn't buy a shootout win currently but one player took control years ago to help the record and that was Frans Neilsen,
So who would be the Frans Neilsen for the Canes with the game on the line? Of course, you think of top-skill players like Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov but that is not always a sure thing. This skill requires sharp shooting, mobility, and tough skin. Pure talent does not always get the job done in crunch time.
Svechnikov with minimal attempts has the highest success rate on the team at 50% but then again so do Jordan Martinook and Michael Bunting. Those are not two players that would be first picked from the fan base to win a game.
In my opinion, I would take a veteran with skill in a non-skill position. Brent Burns would have all my confidence because of several reasons. This is a grizzled veteran who has been through a lot in his career and several organizations. He also has tremendous shot accuracy along with some razzle-dazzle. Although not the fastest, he can use the speed he has in the shootout.
This would not be a player that would be counted on skating up and taking a shot, he has several tricks up his sleeves. That would certainly be in the goalkeeper's mind at the time. He has 12 goals all-time in the shootout and 4 of them have been game winners. That is good for 137th of all time.
So let's hear your picks!