FanPost

Defending our shootout choices

For all of those that will always believe the season should have thought Marian Gaborik take the last shootout shot, just don't read this article.  You are only going to comment that "ZOMG HE IS OUR BEST GOAL SCORER" using different, (and hopefully) more sophisticated wording.  You're minds won't be changed despite the overwhelming stats I'm about to show you and links I have used to compile this information.  But for the rest of you I am going to attempt to explain why John Tortorella chose Erik Christensen (waiver-wire pick up 1st line center), PA Parenteau (Hartford Call up) and Olli Jokinen (a man I once called Hockey AIDS) to decide whether the Rangers playoff hopes.

Using: this link I have found out everyone on the Rangers career shootout stats.  The top three guys are Erik Christensen, PA Parenteau (though he has a vastly smaller sample size), and Vinny Prospal.  Now the first question is why Torts didn't use Prospal in the shootout.  Doing some research from the link I showed you it seems Ollie Jokinen was 5 for 9 this season, while Prospal was 1 for 1.  Prospal obviously has a higher percentage, but these stats show that Calgary trusted Ollie Jokinen (again a guy I called Hockey AIDS) nine separate times to perform to help their team gain the full 2 points.  The fact that Olli succeeded over 50% of this time is a testament to his success.  I would also like to ad Parenteau's 2 attempts before this game resulted in him getting the GW shootout goal beforehand.

So in the end the first two guys seemed like no brainers.  Rid a hot streak, and go with the guy who has the most shootout goals in his career on the Rangers (obviously not all with the Rangers, but all time).  The third guy came down to Ollie has twice as much experience in the shootout (36 for Ollie vs 15 for Prospal), and had a 5 for 9 record this year alone.  Torts went with experience rather than try with Prospal.

But what about guys like Brandon Dubinsky?  Or Captain Clutch Chris Drury?  Well I'm glad you asked.  Here are the stats for them and others:

Brandon Dubinsky is 0 for 3 lifetime in the shootout.

Marian Gaborik is 2 for 18 lifetime in the shootout.  1 for 5 this year alone

Chris Drury is 3 for 14 lifetime in the shootout .

Even Ryan Callahan is only 1 for 5 in the shootout. (I know he didn't play, but I was just quelling the what ifs)

Basically Torts went with the only competent people in the shootout he had.  The fact of the matter remains that the blame shouldn't be placed on the coach in this situation because he did everything by the books and for the benefit for this team.  Blaming the Rangers for having to go to a shootout against Brian Boucher and not scoring goals when it mattered is valid, but blaming Torts for keeping Marian Gaborik on the bench where he belongs isn't justified.

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