Holtby reveals secret shootout list

Holtby reveals secret shootout list
February 21, 2013, 6:45 pm
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Adam Oates doesn’t like them and says he never will.

Wojtek Wolski is famous for them but he’d be OK if he never participated in another one.

Braden Holtby has only won one of them in his NHL career but absolutely loves them.

Through 15 games the Capitals are one of just three NHL teams that have not yet had a game decided by a shootout.

And that’s just fine with Oates, who was very clear when asked if he likes games settled by shootouts.

“Personally? No,” he said. “I’m old-school.”

“I come from where if my dad brings me to the game and if it’s a 2-1 game and our team ties it up with 30 seconds left and the place is going crazy, isn’t that exciting? I’m good with that. And all of a sudden you settle it with a home run derby?

“Like soccer. How do you play 90 minutes, two extra times, and all of a sudden you go to penalty kicks?”

Wolski agrees, even though he’s almost even money on shootouts. The 26-year-old left wing has scored 25 times on 58 attempts for an incredible 43 percent success rate. He is ninth on the NHL’s all-time list for career shootout goals.

But that doesn’t mean Wolski is anxious to take his first shootout attempt as a Capital.

When he was reminded the Caps were one of three teams that have not participated in a shootout – the Hurricanes and Maple Leafs are the others -- Wolski replied, “Good. Let’s keep it that way.”

Six of Wolski’s shootout tallies are game-winners and he says he knows they are exciting for fans, but …

“I don’t know one player that gets excited about a shootout,” he said. “If I get a penalty shot I’d welcome one of those, that’d be great. But a shootout is nerve-racking and stressful and you want to win the game before you get there.

“…We personally like to end the game 4-on-4 in overtime. That’s a little more fair when it comes to getting those extra points. I’d love to see the three-point rule come in, where you get three points for a regulation win. That would be pretty cool.”

Not so cool if you’re Holtby. The 23-year-old goaltender has been involved in just three NHL shootouts and is 1-2, allowing six goals on 11 shots.

But Holtby says he enjoys the thrill of participating in shootouts.

“I like it because I think a tie’s boring,” he said. “Nobody likes it if it’s a tie. The players, the fans. At least if you’re in a shootout one side is happy. It brings people out of their seats and it keeps people there for the whole game. I think it’s great.”

Holtby said it’s been a little while since the Capitals practiced their shootout moves, but here’s his top five selections and some commentary on what he’s seen behind the mask:

  1. Nicklas Backstrom – “Shoot, deke, he can do everyting.”
  2. Mike Ribeiro – “He’s pretty slick.”
  3. Wojtek Wolski – “He’s got some good moves.”
  4. Matt Hendricks – “Obviously, from what he did last year.”
  5. Alex Ovechkin – “Great shot.”

Holtby says the best shootout snipers are the ones who are the most deceptive.

“It all depends on what you sell,” he said. “It’s all about deception on the breakaway. It’s funny, but there are a few places that guys will score the majority of times but very few guys figure them out, so I try not to talk about them.”